Personal injury is a type of tort law, differing from criminal law. Tort law encompasses civil lawsuits brought by a plaintiff against a defendant. Personal injury claims begin when a plaintiff seeks reimbursement and compensation for harm or injuries that caused damages due to another person or entity’s negligence.
Damages may cover a person’s property, reputation, or rights and the harm caused can be things like injuries, emotional trauma, medical expenses, and loss of wages.
Types of Personal Injury
Many accidents are unavoidable, but often they can be prevented through appropriate care. If you are injured physically or psychologically because of someone else’s negligence or wrong doing, you may have a personal injury case. There are many types personal injury cases such as:
- Wrongful death
- Industrial disease
- School and daycare injuries
- Automobile accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip and falls
- Medical mistakes
- Workplace injuries
- Pedestrian accidents
- Animal bites
- Motorcycle accidents
Personal injury cases cover a wide array issues which can be become confusing. It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine if you have a personal injury case.
In order to prove the defendant is at fault, a plaintiff must establish the defendant’s negligence to file a personal injury claim. In order to do this, it must be shown that:
- The legal duty of the defendant existed
- The legal duty was breached by the defendant
- This breach of duty caused harm to the plaintiff
- Damages were sustained by the plaintiff due to the accident
Most personal injury cases end in a settlement between the plaintiff and defendant and their legal teams. A settlement is a mutual agreement that defines how much the plaintiff will be compensated for and says the plaintiff will relinquish the right to pursue further actions against the defense. When personal injury cases do go to trial, it is important to have appropriate representation to navigate legal proceedings and handle documents.
Common defenses for personal injury cases include:
- Comparative negligence which compares the fault of both parties. Based upon the percentage of fault the plaintiff is responsible for, they will receive that much less in a settlement or award amount.
- Contributory negligence which asserts that victims who share any fault should not receive any compensation.
- Assumption of risk which assumes that the plaintiff willfully participated in the activity considered to be dangerous.
- The trespasser defense which asserts that an unknown trespasser was not welcomed onto the property, therefore injuries sustained are not because of the negligence of the property owner.
The statute of limitations defines how long a plaintiff has before a case cannot be brought against a defendant anymore. The statute of limitations varies by state, so it is important that an experienced personal injury attorney consults with and represents anyone pursuing a personal injury claim.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Jenkins Utley, P.C
If you or someone you love was injured because of the negligence of another person, you have a right to compensation to cover damages. Don’t accept a small settlement – compensation should cover medical bills, hospital bills, pain and suffering, medications, lost wages and more.
An experienced personal injury attorney can collect additional compensation from other parties that may be liable for damages. Contact Jenkins Utley, P.C. for a free consultation, call (404) 919-7297 or fill out our online contact form.