The Basics of Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law is a fairly general term that describes the branch of tort law that covers any injury to persons or their rights or reputation that was caused by another party's negligent or deliberate actions. Personal injury lawsuits are one of the most common types of litigation.
Personal injuries can happen anywhere, including the workplace, on the road, in a grocery store, or in your own home.
What is a Personal Injury?
When you think of a personal injury, you probably envision something along the lines of someone slipping and falling on a wet floor. And although this is definitely a type of personal injury, it by no means characterizes all personal injuries.
In fact, personal injuries do not have to be physical injuries at all. They can be psychological as well. For example, if someone writes something about you that falsely puts you in a bad light and thereby ruins your reputation, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit despite never suffering any form of physical injury.
Under personal injury law, there are many different causes of action that can permit someone to file a lawsuit. Wrongful death, medical malpractice, libel, slander, and nuisance are all grounds for a lawsuit.
At the center of all personal injury lawsuits is fault. When you file a suit against an entity and accuse it of causing your injuries, the burden is on you and your attorney to prove your claim.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you have suffered a personal injury and you think you have a cause of action, then you can seek damages by filing a lawsuit. The damages you will be seeking could include compensation for your medical bills, loss of wages due to having to miss work, and pain and suffering.
Often before a case goes to trial, the plaintiffs will seek a settlement from the defendants. The plaintiffs in a personal injury case are the ones who suffered an injury. The defendants are either the ones who are accused of being at fault for the injury (or the insurance company on behalf of the accused).
If no personal injury settlement is struck between the two parties, the case is usually filed with the courts and proceeds to trial. Personal injury trials can be long and drawn-out processes. They can include the admission of a lot of evidence, as well as the questioning of many witnesses. The trial can also be fairly expensive. This can work in the favor of the plaintiff since sometimes the defendant finds it more cost-effective to settle rather than fight it out in court.
Personal Injury Law Attorneys
If you are looking to file a lawsuit, you will definitely need the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
A personal injury lawyer will represent you during the settlement and trial process. He or she will write the initial demand letter that is sent to the opposing party. This letter serves as a notice to the other side that you have an intention to file suit should they not meet your settlement requests, which are also listed on the letter. Your attorney will also negotiate the settlement agreement should the party initially reject your offer.