Have you sustained injuries and high medical costs because of someone’s negligence, recklessness, intentionally dangerous behavior, and/or lack of oversight? If so, you may be wondering if you should file a lawsuit for compensation. It depends on your unique situation, but usually, the answer is that you may have strong grounds upon which to file a lawsuit – should you choose to move forward.
Personal Injury Law Basics
A personal injury lawsuit has several key players. A defendant is a person, corporation, or other legal entity that is named as the at-fault party in the lawsuit filed by the injured plaintiff. A plaintiff files a lawsuit against a defendant to seek compensation for their injuries.
Key Elements of Injury Lawsuits
If you want your personal injury lawsuit to be successful, you must establish a few things. You will need to show a clear liability. This is where you prove that the defendant was responsible for your injuries. Also, you must request specific damages. Damages are the losses you have suffered due to the actions or inactions of the at-fault party. Damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
The amount of damages will factor into the final amount that the defendant may owe you.
Understanding Tort Law
Personal injury law is sometimes referred to as tort law. There are three common kinds of torts:
- Strict liability
- Intentional wrongdoing
Cases filed under a negligence/recklessness theory generally hold that the plaintiff is at fault for the injuries in question because they didn’t do enough to stop their occurrence. Scenarios involving falls and distracted drivers may classify as negligence cases. Strict liability theory (which doesn’t require proof of negligence or intent) may be used in cases involving unsafe products or procedures. Suppose you used a product or followed a process as intended, yet harm occurred. In that case, it is likely a strict liability case. Intentional wrongdoing occurs when the defendant engaged in dangerous and/or harmful behaviors intentionally. These cases may also result in separate criminal charges.
As an experienced personal injury lawyer can confirm, the majority of individual injury claims are not litigated in a courtroom. Instead, they are settled at some time before trial becomes necessary. It is, therefore, important to explore your legal options even if you are concerned about the potential stresses traditionally associated with courtroom drama. Also, keep in mind that there is a limited amount of time to file a personal injury suit, so, you’ll want to connect with a local attorney sooner rather than later in order to explore your rights and options under the law.