To determine compensation in a Personal Injury lawsuit, it must be established who bears liability – the responsibility – for damage claims. This is not always a straightforward and easily discernible matter. To win compensation, the plaintiff must prove fault. This also is not always a simple thing to determine. Whoever is proven to be at fault for damages is liable for making payment to the other party. In some cases, liability is shared between the plaintiff and the defendant. This results in any compensation that is ultimately awarded being reduced.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
A major objective sought when an injured party files a Personal Injury lawsuit is obtaining fair compensation for damage claims. Damages include both economic and non-economic claims. Some claimed items have an easily determined value, such as medical bills and other items that are invoiced. Non-economic claims may need expert opinions to calculate their value. This would include items like pain and suffering that a deceased person may have suffered prior to death from their injuries, personal loss of enjoyment of normal lifestyle activities and other intangibles.
The Personal Injury lawsuit begins at the point in time when harm is done to the plaintiff. This can be a firm date, such as is true with a vehicle accident, or it can be a later point in time when the damage is discovered. An example of this is seen in cases that involve diseases like mesothelioma, which normally is only diagnosed decades after exposure to the toxic substance asbestos. It is important to support a lawsuit with all possible records of the injury event. This means obtaining police reports, medical records, eye-witness statements, videos, and any other items that basically document the event. With luck, these records will contain firm evidence
Negligence is primary factor to prove in a Personal Injury lawsuit. It is fair to expect that other people and companies will behave responsibly and take care to not harm others. When a person or company is negligent in their care of duty, problems can result that cause injury to an innocent victim. People depend on products to perform as promised and not be defective and cause harm. Drivers who disregard traffic signals, break traffic laws and otherwise neglect their duty to drive safely can cause severe injury or even death to other people when the result of their behavior is a collision.
In successfully presenting a Personal Injury lawsuit, several points must be proven to win the case. This includes proving liability or fault for the injuries. When the case involves an easily demonstrated scenario, such as a vehicle accident, proving liability may be easier. There are plenty of traffic laws and regulations to support a case if the defendant is proven to have violated those rules and their negligence resulted in a collision. Other cases are more difficult to prove, such as personal trauma due to harm to a reputation or mental stress resulting from discrimination or harassment.
Lawsuits & Liability
Lawsuits and liability are a type of team. Winning a lawsuit means proving that someone else was responsible for your injuries, that they bear liability for any harm due to their behavior. This can apply to many situations, personal, business, professional or governmental. In all cases, a standard care of duty is assessed, as well as whether or not someone violated regulations by being negligent or careless and not meeting that expected standard care of duty.
Liability can have deep roots, extending beyond the actual defendant to others who may also share some responsibility. This is seen in product defects cases, where a company may be charged with negligence and liability, but also others within that company could bear some responsibility. Product designers, people who make those products, installers and others could do something or not do something required that results in an unsafe and defective product. If a driver hits someone else and causes harm through negligent behavior, that driver may be charged with liability, but so also might their employer if they are driving for a company they do not own.
The injured party may share liability for their injuries if they are harmed while they are doing something they were not supposed to do, like crossing a roadway but not using an available crosswalk. If a driver hits a pedestrian or another vehicle because they ran a red light or made an illegal turn, they would be liable and at fault for that accident. In some states like California, a pure comparative negligence rule may apply. This means that an award for compensation to a plaintiff would be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributed to their own negligent behavior. In many states, compensation may be denied if the plaintiff is found to be 50% or more, or even any percent, at fault.
Strict liability is another issue to deal with in some personal injury lawsuits. With strict liability, there may be total responsibility levied upon a defendant. This is seen in product defect lawsuits, where the plaintiff only needs to prove the product was defective, and not that the manufacturer was negligent. Dog owners in some states also face strict liability if their dog harms someone. This concept applies to dangerous activities, such as blasting or demolition activities, where accidents can be prevented if due care is exercised.
Personal Injury Attorney
An experienced Personal Injury Attorney is your best legal professional and counselor if you decide to pursue fair compensation following a personal injury. They have the knowledge and legal skills needed to help you determine which course of action will bring the best results and maximum compensation you deserve.
Typical Personal Injury claims that people file in this type of legal action include:
- Medical Expenses – current and future
- Income Losses – due to temporary or permanent disability; retraining and rehabilitation costs, survivor’s lost income and future inheritance
- Pain & Suffering – yours or that of a deceased loved one prior to their death, mental/psychological stress and therapy
- Special Services – home care, housekeeping, transportation
- Some Property Damage – if your vehicle or other property was damaged during the accident
Time limits will apply to your case; do not delay in getting legal advice. Contact our Personal Injury Attorney for a free consultation today to get started.