The law allows people who have been injured to pursue compensation from those responsible for their injuries.
This compensation comes in the form of money, which can be used to pay medical bills, recover from your injuries, or improve the quality of your life in any number of ways.
If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, you might be eligible to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, depending on the circumstances and the state in which you live.
To learn more about how personal injury lawsuits work and how they can benefit you if you’ve been injured, keep reading this guide to personal injury lawsuits.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering if you have a case for a personal injury lawsuit. Here are some things you need to know.
- To have a valid claim, your injury must have been caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act.
- You will need to prove that the other party owed you a duty of care, that they breached that duty, and that that breach caused your injuries.
- Your injuries must be serious enough to warrant filing a lawsuit – in other words, they must have resulted in significant medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Forms of Compensation
In a personal injury lawsuit, four main types of compensation may be available to the injured person.
These are known as general, special, punitive, and costs.
General damages are awarded for things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress.
Special damages are awarded for economic losses like lost wages and medical bills.
Punitive damages may be awarded in cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Lastly, costs may be awarded to help cover the legal expenses incurred in pursuing the lawsuit.
In a personal injury lawsuit, compensatory damages are awarded to the injured plaintiff in order to make them whole again.
This means that the award is meant to reimburse the plaintiff for their losses.
Compensatory damages can be either economic or non-economic.
Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify, and can include things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In order to receive compensatory damages, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was at fault for their injuries.
Additionally, the amount of damages awarded will depend on the severity of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.
If you’ve been wrongfully injured, you may be able to receive punitive damages from the at-fault party.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party and deter future negligent behavior.
They are awarded on top of compensatory damages, which are meant to reimburse the injured party for their losses.
To recover punitive damages, you will need to prove that the at-fault party’s behavior was particularly egregious.
Who pays your attorney fees?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you win your case.
The typical contingency fee is one-third of the total settlement.
So, if you receive a $90,000 settlement, your attorney will get $30,000.
Some attorneys may charge an hourly rate instead of (or in addition to) a contingency fee.
In that case, you would be responsible for paying the attorney’s hourly rate for the time he or she spends working on your case.
If you win your case, the court may order the losing party to pay some or all of your attorney’s fees.
If you don’t have the money right now, you can always opt for pre-settlement loans and pay for the medical and legal fees.
Why should I hire an attorney before talking with the insurance company?
An insurance company’s job is to pay out as little as possible on any claim they receive.
An experienced personal injury attorney will fight for the full value of your claim, and make sure you are compensated for all your damages.
Additionally, an attorney can help investigate your accident and gather evidence to support your claim.
Without an attorney, you may be at a disadvantage when dealing with the insurance company.