When You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
For certain personal injury claims, especially those involving serious harm or medical malpractice, you’ll want to enlist the help of an experienced lawyer. If you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s very likely that you’ll have to deal with an insurance company. You must file your personal injury complaint in the state where the injury occurred and the complaint must describe your claim in detail. The American Bar Association provides excellent information on personal injury law.
Personal injury cases are usually based on either negligence, intentional tort, or strict liability.
To prove negligence, you must be able to prove the following:
- That the defendant failed to fulfill a duty to you
- That this failure caused an accident
- That this accident injured you
To prove intentional tort, you must be able to prove that the defendant acted with the intention of harming you. For example, if you were punched in the nose.
If your case is based on strict liability, you can win the case without proving that the defendant was at fault. For example, if you were injured by a defective product.
The Rule of Carelessness
Determining legal responsibility for a personal injury (often referred to as liability) can be complicated. The basic rule that is followed is the rule of carelessness, which includes the below scenarios:
- If the injured person was in a location where they were not supposed to be, the individual who caused the accident may not end up being liable.
- If the injured person themselves were careless, their compensation could likely be reduced.
- If an accident is caused by the negligence of an individual while working for someone else, the employer can be held liable for the accident.
- If the accident is due to property that is not maintained well, poorly built, or by a defective product, the owner of that property or the manufacturer of that product may be held liable.
- If you were careless and are partially at fault/responsible for the accident, don’t worry! In most states you can still get at least some compensation. There is a rule known as comparative negligence, and it is best to partner with a personal injury lawyer for this type of case.
The laws surrounding personal injury lawsuits are complicated and the facts of each case are unique. Personal injury damages are not limited to medical bills; damages for pain and suffering are often significantly larger than damages for medical bills and lost work time. Obtaining an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through this process is in your best interest.