According to the Legal Information Institute (LII), any injury to the body, mind, or emotional well-being qualifies as a personal injury. Many incidents qualify as a personal injury, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents (car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, or bus)
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Assault and other violent acts
- Defective products or manufacturer recalls
- Dog bites
- Negligent security
- Workplace accidents
- Stalking or harassment
- Sexual abuse
- Uber & Lyft accidents
You could consider injury, illness, or loss of life resulting from an accident caused by someone’s intentional or careless act as a personal injury. You may be entitled to pursue compensation for financial loss resulting from these physical, emotional, or psychological injuries.
Establishing Negligence After a Personal Injury
Sometimes, it is clear who is the at-fault party for a personal injury. If a drunk driver swerves and collides with your car, there is not much room for denial by the other party.
Other times, it is more difficult to determine who or what caused your injuries. That is when many people turn to a legal professional for help. A personal injury lawyer who has the resources to investigate the cause and circumstances of your accident can identify the liable party and help you fight for compensation.
Required Elements in a Personal Injury Case
Proving liability after a personal injury—and then seeking compensation—depends on the answer to these four questions:
- Did the other party owe you a duty of care to take the same reasonable measures that the average person would use to prevent you from harm?
- Was this duty of care breached in some manner, either through carelessness or omission?
- Did this negligence cause you to suffer physical, emotional, or psychological injury?
- Do you have damages as a direct result of these injuries, including medical bills, lost pay, and pain and suffering?
If the answer to all four elements is “yes,” you could recover compensation from the liable party.
Your Options for Seeking Compensation
There are several ways to pursue compensation for a personal injury and the associated economic and noneconomic damages:
- File a claim against the liable party’s insurance policy (e.g., auto insurance after a car accident).
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party (typically after trying to recover compensation from an insurance settlement).
- If you were one of many people injured, you might be a plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit (this is only for situations where there are multiple people similarly injured or sickened by the liable party).
Depending on your case, there may be more than one liable party. You could seek financial recovery from all those who contributed to your injuries and losses.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit
The liable party will rarely admit to wrongdoing or negligence. This fact should not deter you. A personal injury lawyer can examine the circumstances and involved parties for evidence of liability.
A lawyer will look for proof that shows how the other party is liable for your losses. This proof usually includes:
- Evidence such as photographs, videos, records, police reports, blood alcohol test results, and witness statements.
- Testimony from subject matter experts, including healthcare providers, law enforcement, and other professionals relevant to your case.
- Documentation including safety and maintenance records, prior convictions or complaints, and state or federal statutes.
Most people do not have the time, resources, or legal knowledge required to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. It is even more challenging to pursue compensation on your own if you are ill or recuperating from injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you in this pursuit.
One crucial thing to remember is your state’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims. For instance, you should contact a New York personal injury attorney for your New York claim as soon as possible after the incident, as New York’s statute of limitation is three years. It may seem like a lot of time, but our attorneys warn you that it is not. In other states, like California, the clock starts ticking on the date of the person’s injury and stops after only two years.
Damages for a Personal Injury
There are many incidents that qualify as a personal injury. You may want to talk to a personal injury lawyer to help you recover compensation.
Personal injury cases usually involve recovery for:
- Medical care and treatment, such as emergency room care, surgery, rehabilitation, and follow-up.
- Lost pay for the time you were out of work recuperating.
- Lifecare expenses.
- Medical equipment, adaptive devices, or prescription medicine.
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish.
- Loss of consortium or companionship.
If you lost a loved one from injuries or illness associated with a personal injury, you might recover compensation with a wrongful death claim.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in an accident or situation that was not your fault, the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm might be able to help you recover damages. Please call us today at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation with a member of our team.