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Everything You Need to Know Before Getting into a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Finding yourself involved in a personal injury lawsuit, whether as the plaintiff or defendant, can be a taxing experience to go through. Learning everything there is to know about a personal injury lawsuit can help you be better prepared to deal with the case and everything that comes with it.

From learning what exactly personal injury is, how a personal injury case is won, and even how much you can win from such a case, there is no shortage of helpful information. 

What is Personal Injury?

For those unfamiliar with the term, personal injury in law refers to one individual who has been injured as a result of actions stemming from negligence on behalf of another person or organization. In some cases, personal injury could be applied to property damage also resulting from the actions of another person or organization. 

Common Examples of Personal Injury Cases

There are several instances that may qualify as personal injury, but some of the most common include:

  • Car accidents between vehicles or running into a pedestrian
  • Slip and fall accidents in the workplace
  • Medical malpractice of any type 
  • Defective products causing injury upon use
  • Defective drugs causing unintended issues
  • Wrongful death cases

As a more commonly outlined example, say a driver is traveling along the road like normal. They get a text and can’t help themselves, so they check their device and take their eyes off the road. When this happens, they fail to see that the light ahead of them has turned red and that a pedestrian is preparing to cross the road.

That pedestrian starts crossing the road when the signal indicates to walk, but the driver barrels through and hits the pedestrian. In this instance, the pedestrian may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. 

How to Prove Your Personal Injury Case in Court

While proving another person or group caused your injuries may seem easy on the surface, several factors can make it difficult to win your case. First and foremost, a plaintiff will need to prove that the other party involved acted with negligence of some form which resulted in their injury. 

What is Negligence?

The first step in determining whether or not the actions of another individual justify a personal injury lawsuit is if there was negligence on behalf of the other party. However, this can be a challenge when it’s unclear what exactly negligence is. The basic definition of negligence is a failure to take proper steps when doing something.

Typically, negligence is referenced in law when an individual has failed to take reasonable care to avoid damage or injury to another person. When it comes to proving that you have a personal injury case on your hands, three elements of negligence must be proved. 

Three Elements of Negligence a Plaintiff Must Prove

  1. Duty of Care: First and foremost, a person must prove that the defendant had a duty of care towards them. Duty of care refers to a legal responsibility to protect the livelihood of another individual. Every time you step behind the wheel of a vehicle, for example, you have a duty of care to keep yourself and other drivers safe. 
  2. Breach of Duty: Second, a person needs to prove that another person acted negligently in such a way that they violated their duty of care towards you or others. In the above-outlined example, choosing to check a cell phone qualifies as negligent behavior. 
  3. Causation and Damages: Finally, it must be proven that the negligence on behalf of the defendant directly caused your injuries. Therefore, the driver checking their phone which resulted in them colliding with a passenger would serve as causation. You also need to prove that this action caused the number of damages that you are seeking. 

How Much Can You Win from a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

As you start to consider your legal options when injured in an accident, you are likely wondering how much you can win from a suit. While the amount awarded to the victor of a personal injury lawsuit will vary depending on how much the civil suit is for, there are general ranges to expect.

On average, half of all plaintiffs receive less than $24,000 from their personal injury lawsuit, but the median awarded amount is $31,000. This average can change drastically depending on what the lawsuit was for, however, with medical malpractice personal injury lawsuit cases having an average award of $679,000. 

Key Considerations to Think About Before Filing a Suit 

While it can be tempting to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit about your case, there are several key considerations to take into account before starting the process:

  • Consider the damages you have suffered and think about what level of monetary compensation would make you whole
  • The cost of legal proceedings may exceed the amount you could be eligible for from the personal injury lawsuit
  • A personal injury lawsuit may not be the right type of lawsuit for you based on the details of your case
  • You will need to spend time researching and gathering all necessary information that could apply to your case
  • There will be several deadlines involved in your court case – be sure to stick to each and never miss one
  • The majority of personal injury lawsuits end in settlement, as opposed to a trial, so know ahead of time if this is something you are interested in

Defend your legal rights today

Knowing what the process of a personal injury lawsuit looks like is only half the battle. Reach out to an accredited injury attorney in your area who can help you win the legal battle that you are faced with. Be completely honest regarding what happened with your attorney so that they can advise you to the best of their ability. 

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