There are millions of lawsuits filed in the United States each year. Many of these lawsuits are based on accidents or conducts that resulted in injury. These types of lawsuits are commonly known as Personal Injury claims as they seek compensation for the injuries that the victims sustain. It is always helpful for victims to have some understanding of these claims before contacting an attorney.
because someone had an accident or sustained an injury due to some other reason does not necessarily mean that there is an actionable claim. In order to get some compensation in a personal injury claim, there has to be a legal aspect that can hold the defendant accountable for the injury. One of the most common legal scenarios involved in personal injury claims is negligence. This means that injury happened due to defendant’s negligence and the victim needs to show that the defendant owed a duty to the victim. For example, if the victim was an employee or customer in the store, it is the sore owner’s duty to maintain the premises safe. The victim must also be able to show through his or her attorney that the defendant failed to abide to this legal duty and the injuries happed because the owner did not take proper precautions to ensure safe premises.
There are other scenario’s (theories) that may be used, e.g. intentional torts etc. No matter what the theory is, the plaintiff always has the burden of proof in order to be able to get any recovery out of the claim.
Whenever someone refers to the term “Personal Injury”, it is most commonly believed to be pursuing a car accident claim. Though car accidents are one of the personal injury case types, there are several others, including Workplace Injuries, Premises Liability, animal attacks, Workers Compensation etc. In other words, any case which indicates that a person suffered harm due to negligence or other actions of another individual or entity.
Of all the personal injury claims filed each year, a lot of them involve insurance companies. A few examples being road accidents, medical malpractice and injuries that generally happened at a business place or private home. The insurance companies’ priorities are always to protect financial interests of the insurance company. Hence the settlement amount offered by the insurance company may not always be fair as they are trying to limit the financial exposure of the company.
The court system in US is flooded as there are over 40 million lawsuits of different types including personal injury are filed each year. Hence, a lot of personal injury cases are settled outside of court. The pretty much means that a judge or jury does not give a verdict for the case. Instead, the victim’s attorney negotiates a monetary settlement with the defendant or the insurance company outside the court. The victim always has the option to accept or reject the proposed settlement.
In most states, due to the statute of limitations, the victim may have a very specific (limited) time period for a personal injury claim to be filed. Once the time limit for statute of limitations is expired, a claim cannot be filed and will be barred forever. Many states have a 3-year limitation for personal injury claims; however, this may be lesser or more in different states depending on state laws and the identity of the defendant.
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