Whether you are running to the bus or walking down the street, a personal injury is always a lurking possibility. A personal injury is an injury to the mind, body, or emotions as opposed to damage to property. In legalese, a personal injury claim is referred to as a tort, meaning a wrongful act or an infringement of a right other than under contract leading to civil legal liability.
Personal injury cases can be tough to navigate, but here are some key points to keep in mind if you have been personally injured.
Types of personal injury
Automobile accidents are the most common types of personal injury cases and the best example of how the tort system works. The driver who caused the accident is financially responsible for injuries stemming from the accident. There are however, exceptions to that rule. There are over a dozen states that are “no fault” states, meaning that drivers have to file claims against their own policy except in cases of very serious injuries.
Under no-fault laws, motorists may sue for severe injuries and for pain and suffering only if the case meets certain conditions. These conditions, known as a threshold, relate to the severity of injury. They may be expressed in verbal terms (a descriptive or verbal threshold) or in dollar amounts of medical bills, a monetary threshold. In states that don’t have the no fault law, personal injury lawyers are able to bring cases against the other drivers’ policy and they are typically awarded monetary settlements. Personal injury lawyers in Mississippi (which is not a no fault state) take on cases like product liability, nursing home abuse, and industrial accidents, just to name a few.
Slip and fall is another very common personal injury case. The outcome of these cases are usually based upon the state’s premise liability laws. Whether the incident takes place in a supermarket or on a sidewalk, property owners are obligated to keep their property safe and hazard-free.
In most dog bite cases, the owner of the dog is financially responsible for bites and other injuries caused by that dog. The exact laws on owner responsibility vary from state to state. In some cases, strict liability rules prevail and the dog owner is liable for dog bite damages even if the dog has never shown any aggression or propensity to bite in the past.
Simple personal injury cases usually deal with soft-tissue injuries in the neck and back that require multiple physical therapy sessions. The more sessions the injured party attends, the stronger the case and the chances for a higher settlement amount. Injuries like bone fractures and spinal disc herniations are considered very serious and receive larger settlements as well. Head injuries, like orofacial injuries can cause permanent damage and require ongoing lifelong treatment. With a combination of dentistry and medicine, there is some orofacial pain relief from numbness, soreness, and sharp pain caused by a personal injury to the head.
If you win a personal injury case, a judge or jury awards money—known as damages— for your injuries. That amount can include compensation for such expenses as medical bills and lost wages, as well as compensation for future wage losses. It also can compensate you for physical pain and suffering. In addition, you may receive damages for any physical disfigurement or disability that resulted from your injury.
Every state has certain time limits, called “statutes of limitations,” that govern the period during which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, for example, you may have as little as one year to file a lawsuit from an automobile accident. If you miss the statutory deadline for filing a case, your case is thrown out of court.
People do their best to stay have, but accidents do happen. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, it’s best to contact a specialized attorney to help you seek justice.