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Personal Injury Law

Personal injury is one of the most widely known — and yet most misunderstood — areas of the law.

Myths persist about greedy people taking advantage of the courts to make millions. But the simple truth is this: personal injury law exists to help you get through some of life's toughest moments — moments that you never expected to have to deal with.

What Is Personal Injury Law?

In short, personal injury law provides people who are injured (plaintiffs) an opportunity to seek compensation from the party that is responsible for the injuries (defendants) through a lawsuit. Defendants could be an individual or a business. Families who lose a loved one due to someone else's actions may also be able to pursue compensation through wrongful death lawsuits.

Personal injury involves a wide array of accidents and injuries. Some common examples include:

  • Car and truck accidents caused by negligent drivers who drive drunk, drive distracted, speed, or display any other dangerous or reckless behavior while driving.
  • Premises liability accidents caused by the negligence of a property owner, whether it is a business or someone else's home, such as slip-and-falls or trip-and-falls, dog attacks, falling objects, or injuries caused by negligent security.
  • Medical malpractice accidents caused by doctors, nurses, or other health care professionals ranging from surgical errors to misdiagnoses to prescribing the wrong medication.
  • Defective products accidents caused by a product manufacturer's poor design and/or lack of proper safety warnings. This involves essentially any type of product, including children's toys, car parts, furniture, power tools, appliances, prescription drugs, and food.
  • Assaults, such as someone punching you in the face or the sexual abuse of children.
  • Illnesses, such as cancer or mesothelioma, caused by corporate wrongdoing.

What Compensation Can I Get?

The amount of compensation you can receive depends on the extent of your losses. Some types of compensation that people receive include:

  • Reimbursement for medical bills, including future medical care stemming from injuries
  • Present and future lost wages if injuries leave you unable to work
  • Pain and suffering, which can be challenging to quantify, but allows compensation for the loss of the ability to live a normal life because of your accident
  • Loss of companionship if you lose a loved one
  • Punitive damages, which are rare, but are made to punish the defendant for their negligent behavior

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you intend to move ahead with a personal injury lawsuit, you should definitely have a lawyer in your corner. Even if an insurance company is offering you a quick settlement, you should consult with an attorney to determine if you have a stronger case to potentially secure additional compensation.

To win a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, it was more likely than not that the defendant caused the harm or is at fault. This is different than what's required in criminal cases (that is, guilt beyond a reasonable doubt). However, victory is never guaranteed.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to evaluate the evidence and work with the right experts to determine the value of your losses and build a strong case. They will also be able to speak on your behalf with insurance companies and lawyers who are trying to stop your claim. If it is necessary to take your case to trial, having a strong attorney in your corner will be essential.

Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney

Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills and other complications. You should have an attorney help you with your claim. Not sure if you have a good injury case? Speak to a local personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. This one step can help you protect your rights and take the proper next steps.

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