Being hurt in an accident is never good news. You have a lot of questions. Health insurance might be covering your treatments for the moment, but oftentimes the bills go above and beyond that particular coverage. Are you entitled to receive financial compensation for your injuries? People are anxious to know if they can file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to or as an alternative to simply an insurance claim. It is sometimes necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit when someone is unable to obtain fair compensation from the insurance company or responsible party. However, it's important to understand that even if you were hurt very badly in an accident, you may not have a valid personal injury lawsuit or a valid personal injury claim. In order to determine if you have a viable personal injury claim, 3 factors have to be taken into consideration.
The Extent of Injuries And Damages Suffered
In order to bring an injury lawsuit or claim a personal injury must have occurred. It can be an injury to your body, mind, or emotions. To clarify, a personal injury can be either physical or psychological in nature. Breaking a leg or sustaining a concussion after slipping and falling is suffering a personal injury. Experiencing anxiety, depression or other regressive symptoms after a traumatic car accident is suffering a personal injury. The law clearly distinguishes between a personal injury and property damage. Being involved in a minor fender bender which caused minimal damage to your vehicle and left your body and psyche unharmed does not classify as suffering a personal injury.
An insurance company or a small claims court is the proper avenue for a remedy in that type of mishap. However, it does not constitute a legally recognized basis for a personal injury lawsuit. Under 3% of all personal injury cases brought ever see the inside of a courtroom. The majority of them settle amicably outside a courtroom. However, it is the threat of litigation that compels the defendant's insurance company to offer a fair settlement.
The Negligence Or Fault Of The Other Party Involved
There are 4 distinct legal components that must be shown to prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit. In order to win a personal injury lawsuit or claim, the injured person must establish that the other party were negligent by proving each of the 4 components by a preponderance of the evidence. They are as follows:
- The defendant has a legal duty to behave in a responsible way toward the plaintiff under the circumstances
- The defendant breached that duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way toward the plaintiff
- The actions of the defendant were the legal cause of the plaintiff's injury
- The plaintiff was injured or otherwise harmed as a result of the actions of the defendant and money damages should be provided to remedy these harms.
Recoverable Damages In Your Particular Situation
Damages is the legal term for the sum of money awarded to an injured person to compensate for their injuries and other losses. When it is established that the other party acted negligently, the court awards damages or insurance offers a settlement that takes into account:
- Medical bills incurred in treatment of your injuries
- Physical pain, emotional and mental anguish caused by injuries
- Lost wages during recovery period
- Reduction in earning capacity due to injuries
- Disability accommodations for vehicle and home
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of companionship and support
An experienced personal injury attorney can be the most reliable source to prove your claim and get the damages that you deserve.