You’ve probably heard the term, “personal injury” before. This is a legal term that refers to when someone has experienced harm (whether emotional or physical) that was caused by another person or organization. In most cases, personal injury is caused by negligence (carelessness or failure to take proper precautions), but there are often a lot of factors at play.
Whether you’re filing a personal injury claim of your own or have one against you, it’s crucial that you enlist the services of an experienced attorney. They will help you navigate the situation and get the best possible outcome. In the meantime, here are some things you should know about the term, “personal injury” and what it really means in the legal sense.
What Can Be Gained from Filing a Personal Injury Claim?
The whole reason personal injury claims exist in the first place is to make up for things that were lost or damaged. For example, a personal injury claim can help recoup lost wages, property damage costs, medical costs, semi-permanent to permanent disability, transportation costs and more. Even in situations where there are not clear financial costs as a result of the case, a jury may be able to determine an appropriate number to help compensate for unjust emotional distress and suffering. If negligence is deemed to have been a factor, additional compensation may be awarded.
In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded as a result of poor conduct by the defendant. These may be on top of the jury-determined compensation. In these situations, the judge usually awards punitive damages to the injured plaintiff (the person who filed the personal injury claim in the first place) in order to make an example out of the defendant, to punish them for poor behavior, or simply because the judge felt that the jury-determined compensation was not sufficient given the circumstances. Punitive damages are not necessarily common though, and they should not be expected in every personal injury case.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims can result from many different types of situations, but some of the most common cases are as follows:
- Auto accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Premise liability (someone gets injured on another person’s property)
- Product liability (someone is injured while using a product, especially when that product malfunctions or is not clearly labeled for safety)
- Wrongful death
- Workplace liability (injuries while at work)
- Dog bites
In some cases, more than one of these situations may apply to a personal injury claim. It is important to be open with your attorney and share all the details of the case so that they can evaluate it properly.
What if I Have Experienced Personal Injury?
If you have been injured or have otherwise suffered because of another person’s actions or negligence, it’s time to reach out to an experienced attorney. Don’t wait! Personal injury cases have time limits (the statute of limitations), though these terms vary by state. It’s not very long though, ranging between one and six years from the time of the injuring / damaging event.