After a personal injury, it can be hard to take the necessary actions that are going to fulfill your needs, especially if you are uneducated on the basics of personal injury law. According to the CDC, approximately 40 million people experience personal injury each year. This blog article delves into the realm of personal injury, so that hopefully clients will have adequate base knowledge to help propel them into a successful case.
What constitutes a personal injury case?
Personal injury cases are civil cases that ensue after a person endures harm from an incident where someone else might be legally responsible for that harm. If someone else is completely at fault, then you may have a legitimate claim on damages, but a lawyer can help you identify this based on your situation.
Types of Personal Injuries
There are two types of personal injuries that can result in a justifiable claim for the plaintiff - intentional acts and negligent acts.
An intentional act is when someone does something intentionally that leads to injury. Examples of intentional acts are assault, battery, and slander. One key thing to note is that there doesn’t have to be an intention to harm someone. Just because the actor didn’t intend to harm the victim, doesn’t mean it is not an intentional act. For example, if someone pulls the chair out from under another person, and the victim falls and breaks their tailbone, the individual could be held accountable for the victim's injuries. Even though the person may have not intended to hurt the victim, they did intend to pull the chair out, which in turn did injure the victim.
A negligent act is when a person inadvertently injures someone else, but they could have been more aware and avoided the situation. This is most commonly seen in car accidents. One example would be if an individual is texting while driving and they accidentally run a red light which causes them to crash into another vehicle. Although they did not intentionally run into the vehicle, they were negligent and will likely be held liable for any damages.
Advice For Personal Injury Victims
Personal injury claims, after being injured without any fault of your own can be arduous, exhausting, and stressful. Nonetheless, there are a few tactics that you should keep in mind that will hopefully ease the pain and make the process more seamless.
The first step is to take notes. The best way to preserve evidence from your case is to take detailed notes as quickly as possible after the accident occurs. Write down what happened before, during and after the incident. You should also take pictures if you feel that it would benefit your case.
Another very important point to keep in mind is to never sign any legal documents before consulting with your personal injury attorney. Deliberating with a lawyer that you trust will help you make a confident decision. One that you will feel satisfied with. Refraining from signing any documents will ensure that you are able to decide on a course of action that is satisfactory for you.
Addressing Personal Injury Claims
Before you address your personal injury claim, it is important to understand the three possible outcomes that may occur during the process.
Informal Settlement - Most cases involving accident or injury are resolved through informal early settlement. After both parties have agreed to settle, a written agreement to resist further action will be generated and the defendant will in turn pay a set amount to atone for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. This course of action is the most timely and avoids conflict.
Mediation and Arbitration - Arbitration is a legal technique used outside of the courts in which an uninterested third party is brought in to decide on a resolution. This is a common middleground between an informal settlement and a formal lawsuit.
Formal Lawsuit - When the plaintiff files a civil complaint against another party, claiming that they took part in a reckless, negligent or irresponsible act in connection with an accident that caused harm. Filing a formal lawsuit for personal injury is the least common scenario, which usually takes the most time and causes the most stress.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
It is important to know when to call a personal injury attorney. If you feel that your injury was caused by another party, don’t hesitate to reach out to a personal injury lawyer that you trust. They can help you diagnose the situation and guide you towards the best course of action.
At Barfoot & Schoettker, we have an excellent team that specializes in personal injury and we are ready to help you fight your case. Learn more here about our personal injury services or contact us today at (334) 834-3444.