Finding yourself injured in the normal course of your day is a frustrating experience, especially when it could have been avoided in the first place. In this situation, considering filing a personal injury lawsuit may be in order. However, personal injury lawsuits aren’t typically covered in the news or given any form of media attention. To that end, learning everything there is to know about personal injury lawsuits can help you determine if filing one is in your best interest.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit Case?
For those unfamiliar with the term, a personal injury lawsuit case is when one person sues another for damages they suffered as a result of an accident they believe was caused by the other person. As an example, if a pedestrian was crossing the road legally and had the right of way, but a car barreled through a red light out of nowhere and hit them, the injured pedestrian will likely have legal grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver.
Common Examples of Personal Injury Cases
The above case is a common example of personal injury, but there are a number of additional examples that are seen quite often as well:
- Medical malpractice cases
- Slip and fall accidents
- Animal attacks
- Defective product accidents
- Aviation and boating accidents
- Auto accidents of varying types
What Must be Proved in a Personal Injury Lawsuit Case?
For those who are considering a personal injury lawsuit, the entire process can be quite confusing to those who have never gone through one. There are four primary points to prove in a personal injury lawsuit that must exist for a person to have any chance of winning the case.
- Duty of Care
First and foremost, a person must demonstrate that the party who caused the accident in which they were injured had a duty of care to keep the plaintiff safe. In the driver-pedestrian accident example, all drivers have a duty of care to keep others on the road safe given that they should be in complete control of their vehicle.
- Breach of Duty of Care
The second item that must be proven in a personal injury lawsuit case is that there was a breach of the aforementioned duty of care. This simply means that it must be proven that the person who had a duty of care to protect you directly is responsible for the accident, which indicates a breach of duty of care.
- The presence of damages
Third, a person must prove that they actually suffered injury resulting directly or indirectly from the accident. In most cases, the court will accept medical opinions or other similar forms of proof of injury during an accident. However, you cannot simply state that you suffered injuries without demonstrating any sort of proof whatsoever.
Fourth, it must be proven to the court that the plaintiff actually suffered damages as a result of the accident in question. These injuries need to have happened as a result of the accident and not from an unrelated matter after the fact. However, if the person was injured indirectly by the defendant then it may still be enough to justify that the accident caused those injuries indirectly depending on the situation.
How Much Can You Win from a Personal Injury Lawsuit Case?
Oftentimes, people debate whether or not they should file a personal injury lawsuit case for the sole reason that they are not certain they can recover a sum of money in the case. Even the most experienced lawyers don’t win every single case, so it’s natural to be apprehensive about the legal process.
A large number of personal injury lawsuit cases end in settlements, however, and even if they don’t there is a large amount of money on the table. In fact, the average award amount for a personal injury can be as much as $30,000, and potentially more for those pursuing cases such as medical malpractice. For peace of mind, look to hire an attorney using a contingency fee structure so that they only receive compensation when you win.
The Bottom Line
Filing a personal injury lawsuit will not be the right choice for everybody depending on the circumstances. However, for many people a personal injury lawsuit can be a major benefit as it can provide access to compensation for injuries suffered as a result of that accident. Even if you aren’t sure whether or not your case merits attention from a lawyer, reach out to an accredited personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case.