What Exactly is a Personal Injury Claim? The Basics of Personal Injury

163

It is a well-known fact that Americans are notorious for suing one another in law courts. Don’t talk to me; talk to my lawyer is the often-repeated refrain.

There is a high likelihood that you may be faced with deciding whether to pursue a personal injury claim at some point in your life. This is borne out by the numbers.

Since 95% of personal injury claims are settled out of court, we can estimate somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000 personal injury cases each year in the United States.

What is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a legal dispute following harm suffered by an individual from an accident or injury. It is alleged that someone else should be held legally responsible for the harm caused, and the victim should be compensated for their loss.

Contact the Dixon Injury Firm Trial Lawyers if you need a highly specialized and experienced personal injury law firm to represent you.

Where Would These Injuries Typically Come From?

There are a wide variety of situations that may cause injury.

Common examples of these situations are:

Accidents

Generally, one person has acted negligently, which causes the other person an injury. Examples include:

  • Car accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Wrongful death
  • Workplace accidents

Defective Products

A manufacturer can be held liable for making a defective product that harms a customer.

For example:

  • Defective medical device
  • Defective vehicle component causes an accident
  • Defective pharmaceutical product

Defamation

An instance in which one person makes a defamatory statement about another, and the other person suffers harm as a result.

Intentional Harmful Acts

Where one person intentionally harms another.

Examples include:

  • Assault
  • Battery

What You Need to Prove in a Personal Injury Claim

To obtain financial recovery, the injured party must prove liability and damages.

Liability

The injured party needs to prove that the other party was liable for the accident.

To prove liability, they need to prove that:

  1. The other party owed the injured party a duty of care
  2. The duty of care was breached by the other party
  3. The injured party suffered injuries
  4. The breach caused the injuries suffered,

Damages

The injured party will need to prove the amount of damages claimed.

This depends on the facts of each case and covers a considerable range of amounts.

Any financial loss suffered due to the breach should be included.

What Kind of Damages Can Be Claimed?

Personal injury damages may include compensatory damages, which may include:

  • Lost wages
  • Disability
  • Medical expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage

In rare cases, the court may award punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter future wrongdoing.

How Long Does the Claim Take to Process?

How long is a piece of string?

Every case is different, and there are so many variables that this is impossible to predict.

However, 95% of personal injury cases are settled before proceeding to court. Settlements are much quicker than taking the matter through a formal trial.

Personal injury law firms are often prepared to take on your case on a contingency basis, which means you only pay them if they win your case. So lack of funds should not prevent you from pursuing your personal injury claim.