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You may be entitled to compensation if you have suffered a personal injury. Legal responsibility, called “liability,” revolves around the simple fact that most injuries happen because someone was careless or “negligent.” Even if you believe you may have partly caused your injury, in most states, you can still get some compensation from anyone else who was also careless and partly responsible for your injury. Several factors affect the potential success and value of a personal injury claim. Such factors include the ability to prove the fault of another for your injury and the nature and extent of your injuries. You should contact an attorney to evaluate your case if you suspect you may have a legal claim. More on this website
Personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can tell you at the onset whether it is worthwhile to pursue legal action. If you are unlikely to prevail, your attorney will tell you so, and you will not need to incur the time and expense of pursuing an unpromising claim. In pursuing personal injury claims, attorneys work with investigators and experts in specialized areas who can skillfully investigate your case’s technical and medical aspects. More importantly, an attorney can work through the paperwork necessary to resolve your claim so you can get on with your life.
Steps You Can Take Now
You can take several steps to increase your chances of recovery, and increase your potential overall recovery, in a personal injury case, even before you meet with an attorney. Such steps include:
* Writing down as much as you can about the accident or injury itself, your injuries, and any other losses (such as wages) you’ve suffered as a result of the accident
* Make notes of conversations that you have with people involved in the accident or the injury
* Preserving evidence of who caused the accident and what damage was done by collecting physical evidence and taking photographs
* Locating people who witnessed the accident and who might be able to help you prove your case
* Notifying anyone you think might be responsible for the injuries of your intention to file a claim for your injuries, especially if a government agency or employee may be involved.
How Much is Your Personal Injury Claim Worth?
Determining how much certain injuries are worth is critical to any injury claim. It is also part of a claim about which it is most difficult to generalize; the amount depends on your circumstances. A personal injury attorney can be more objective about your case than you can and will not make a rash decision. Where you may be tempted, for instance, to go for a quick payout, your attorney may counsel you that it is in your best interests to wait for a more appropriate offer. Lawyers are used to working with insurance companies and will not be confused by their tactics or feel pressured to settle for an unsatisfactory amount. Personal injury attorneys work hard to reach the best settlements for their clients as early in the litigation process as possible. If a trial becomes necessary, a personal injury lawyer can zealously represent you in court and work toward achieving the best possible jury verdict in your favor for:
* Medical care and related expenses
* Income lost because of the accident, because of time spent unable to work
* Undergoing treatment for injuries, permanent physical disability, or disfigurement
* Loss of family, social and educational experiences, including missed school or training, vacation or recreation, or a special event
* Emotional damages, such as stress, embarrassment, depression, or strains on family relationships, for example, the inability to take care of children * Anxiety over the effects of an accident on an unborn child
* Interference with sexual relations
* Damaged property.
Also, the following guidelines usually apply:
The more painful the injury, the higher the potential damages you may recover more invasive and long-lasting the medical treatment
The greater the potential damages you may recover more
the medical evidence of the injury, the greater potential damages you may recover
the longer the recovery period, the greater the potential damages you may recover more
serious and visible any permanent effect of the injury, the greater potential damages you may recover.
How Will Fault for My Injury Be Determined?
Various rules of fault apply to different types of personal injury actions. Here are some examples of liability rules in different actions: Suppose you are injured in a store. Can you recover the damages from the store? It depends on the facts of the case. Storeowners must keep their premises reasonably safe for customers, inspecting and discovering any dangerous conditions. They also must keep all aisles clear and properly maintained. A judge or jury will determine whether the owner knew the condition that caused your injury and how long it had existed. A judge or jury will also look at your conduct about the condition. If a dangerous consumer product has injured you, you may have an easier time recovering compensation for your injuries than those injured in other ways.
“Product liability,” the legal rules concerning who is responsible for defective or dangerous products, differs from ordinary injury liability law. This set of rules sometimes makes it easier for an injured person to recover damages. For several reasons, the law has developed a doctrine known as “strict liability,” which allows a person injured by a defective or unexpectedly dangerous product to recover compensation from the maker or seller of the product without showing that the manufacturer or seller was negligent. Thousands of people are injured yearly, some very seriously when they slip or trip and fall on a dangerous floor, a flight of stairs, or a rough patch of ground. There is no precise way to determine when someone else is legally responsible for something on which you slip or trip. Each case turns on whether the property owner acted carefully so that slipping or tripping was not likely to happen and whether you were careless in not seeing or avoiding the thing that caused you to fall.
Automobile accident claims are the most common type of personal injury case in our court system today. Except in those states where legislation has been passed doing away with fault as an issue (no-fault laws), these cases are prosecuted under general negligence principles. The injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent, that the negligence caused the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff’s injuries. As with other types of accidents, figuring out who is at fault in a traffic accident is a matter of deciding who was negligent.
In many cases, your instincts will tell you that a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian acted carelessly, but not what rules or rules that person violated. Your case can be strengthened if you find some “official” support for your conclusion. Your attorney will look to several sources to help you determine who was at fault for your accident, such as police reports, state traffic laws, and witnesses. There are many different types of personal injury actions and several theories of fault that may apply in a given case. Discussing your case with a personal injury attorney is the best way to evaluate the likelihood of success if you bring a claim for your injuries and the potential value of your case. In light of the deadlines imposed under state and federal law for filing personal injury actions, meeting with an attorney sooner rather than later if you think you might have a claim is always recommended.