Have you recently suffered an injury due to the negligence of another person? Are you wondering whether or not your injury should be compensated for by someone else? If so, then you need to learn more about what is legally considered to be a personal injury.
Doing so can help you determine whether or not you have the grounds for a personal injury case. If you do, then you need to seek legal representation to maximize the chance of receiving the amount of money you’re entitled to.
See below for an in-depth guide highlighting what is considered to be a personal injury case and what you should expect during the process.
What is Considered to Be a Personal Injury?
Let’s start with the basics. What is legally considered a personal injury? In other words: What does the legal system define a personal injury to be?
To put it simply, a personal injury refers to any type of injury—physical, mental, or emotional—that is caused by an accident. Generally, but not always, these accidents are caused by the negligence of another person or corporation.
It’s important to note that there is also the term “bodily injury”, which differs a bit. This term only refers to the physical injury that someone has suffered due to another party.
What’s the difference? A personal injury includes any injury caused by an accident, whether there was a guilty party or not. This includes things like:
- Scooter accidents
- Car accidents
- Workers’ compensation
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Abuse and neglect (for things such as the treatment of a nursing home patient)
If you suspect that you’re the victim of a personal injury case, then be sure to check out more here. If you’re a victim of personal injury, you deserve to be compensated fairly for the damage it’s caused your life.
What Are the Signs of a Personal Injury Case?
So how can you be sure that you have the grounds for a personal injury claim? There are many telltale signs you can use to gauge whether or not you have a legitimate claim.
First, this should be prefaced by saying that, most of the time, personal injury accidents do not happen intentionally. They’re usually brought on by the negligence (carelessness) of another party.
Even though they aren’t intentional, you still have the right to compensation. This can help cover expenses such as your medical bills, lost wages from not being able to work, legal fees, and so on.
Here are the signs you have a personal injury claim:
- The defendant didn’t meet their duty of care that you were owed.
- The injuries or losses that you sustained are a direct result of the guilty party’s negligence, thoughtlessness, or inattention to detail.
- The defendant’s actions led to the injury that you sustained.
Here’s the main question you should ask yourself: could the guilty party have taken certain steps/actions to avoid the accident? If the answer is “yes”, then they should be liable for the financial stress you now find yourself in.
For example, say you slip and fall at work from a wet spot on the floor. Where did the wet spot come from? Why didn’t anyone clean it up? If they did clean it up, why wasn’t there a wet floor sign put up to warn you?
How Long Can a Settlement Take?
First off, you and your lawyer should always have the mindset that you’re preparing to go to trial. While a bulk of personal injury claims are settled before trial, you don’t want to assume that will happen with your case and be caught off guard if not.
That said, a personal injury claim can take up to two years (or longer) to reach the desired settlement. Needless to say, you need to prepare for the long haul.
An important piece to that is to show the insurance company you’re opposing that you mean business by hiring a lawyer to represent you. This will show them that you’re prepared to wait as long as it takes to get your desired compensation.
The lawyer can help you in a variety of ways. They’ll listen to the entirety of your story, then help you gauge how much compensation you’re entitled to. From there, they’ll get to work on compiling evidence to build your case and back the insurance company into a corner.
While the potential time length of a settlement can be daunting, it doesn’t have to be financially stressful. Start by applying for pre-settlement funding (which your lawyer can help you with) to take care of those expenses in the short term.
What to Expect from Settlement Talks
If you hire an attorney for your case, then they will take over a majority of the communications so that you can focus on recovery. Once you have enough proof that the defendant is responsible for your injury, the settlement talks can begin.
If you and your lawyer are given a settlement amount that you’re looking for, the talks (and the case) can end right then and there.
However, if a settlement isn’t agreed to, then you and your lawyer might have to file a personal injury lawsuit. You and the defendant can still work towards a settlement after a lawsuit has been filed. If not, then the results are left up to a jury.
File for a Personal Injury Claim Today
Now that you have seen what is considered to be a personal injury, it’s time to start by finding the right lawyer for your needs.
Be sure to find an attorney with experience. Ask them whether they believe you have grounds for a case and how much compensation that they would advise you to pursue.
Browse our website for more articles on personal injury cases, as well as many other helpful topics that you will love.