Breaking Down Personal Injury Law
When you are injured, you will hear various opinions, and many lead to filing a personal injury claim. However, there is a vast umbrella when it comes to personal injury law. Filing a civil suit is complicated and best done with the assistance of an attorney. It is easier to find the best lawyer for you when you understand the basics of this area of the legal system.
Types of Personal Injury Law
Seven main types of situations fall under the umbrella of personal injury. However, each of these types has subcategories, so always talk to a defense lawyers or attorney if you feel like you should be compensated for your injuries.
- Accidents – Car accidents are a common cause for civil suits because of how many vehicles are on the road. Claims can be filed in any situation when a person has acted in a careless manner resulting in injury. It is essential to hire a lawyer in “no-fault” states because they can be more challenging to settle.
- Slip and Fall – Property owners are required by law to keep walkways clear and safe. For business owners, this means placing warning signs in construction or wet areas. However, landlords are responsible for making sure their property is free of ice. If you are injured in a slip and fall situation, an attorney will help determine who was at fault and seek restitution.
- Medical Malpractice – Another large division of personal injury law is in medical malpractice. These cases are often complex to win unless it was blatant negligence that caused injury or death. You must prove that the treatment you received was substandard and the staff acted in a negligent manner. Many believe if they did not receive the result they were hoping for, malpractice was the cause. Attorneys have the ability to sift through the evidence and determine when carelessness was a factor in your health. Common causes of malpractice include surgical mishaps, improper dosing, or incorrect diagnosis.
- Defective Products – You see advertisements on television or social media or maybe have recall notices come through your email. When a product is sold that has caused harm, the company has a set period to rectify the situation. It becomes a civil matter when the company is aware of the defective product and opts to ignore the dangers. Whether it is a consumer, medical device, medication, or vehicle components, consult with a lawyer to determine what your options are if you have been injured due to a defective item.
- Dog Bites – Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. You are financially responsible for your pet’s feeding and health care, but you are also liable for any damages caused by the animal. Laws will vary based on the state you reside in, but you can seek restitution if a dog has bitten you. Due to the emotions that run in these types of cases, it is best to allow an attorney to handle the situation. Dog owners have the ability to prove that they were unaware their animal had aggressive tendencies, as well as show that their animal was provoked. In addition, lawyers will bring a neutral ground that allows you to seek medical attention without having to fight for compensation.
- Assault and Battery – A place where criminal law and personal injury intertwine is during assault and battery cases. When someone intentionally harms you, you can file civil claims in addition to the criminal charges. These lawsuits will cover the medical bills, as well as the pain and suffering that is incurred.
- Defamation – A less common type of personal injury law is libel and slander. Defamation occurs any time a person smears your reputation by making untrue claims. You will need to document where statements were made and how they negatively financially affected your life. Public figures have a more difficult time proving these cases because malice must be shown. Hiring a lawyer is best because they can help you gather evidence to prove your case, as well as guide you through steps to take for restitution.
Where does Personal Injury Law Come from?
Many people have heard the term common law when it comes to marriage. These types of rules are created by judges rather than the legislature. The legislature will put bills and statutes up to a vote, and after months of deliberation, they become law. However, common laws are created after a judge hears a case and forms a decision. They are binding in their court and all under their level. Therefore, if a state judge rules on something, then all cities and counties in that state must adhere to the same decision. It is easy to see that these laws will easily vary from state to state. As they roll out, they will be collected in books for lawyers to use as a guide based on precedence. Personal injury law falls under common law.
Where customary law comes in is when legislators begin seeing what the majority of the population wants and puts bills into effect. For example, workman’s compensation was once only a common law but became a regulation following discussion on work-related injury claims being filed. Personal injury lawyers follow the changes that are made nearly daily. It is possible that in the time it takes you to file a claim, statutes have already adjusted. Therefore, it is vital to consult with an attorney immediately after an injury to determine the statute of limitations and get the process started.
How Do Personal Injury Claims Work?
Every case is unique, as they are based on the damages to your property and you. While every personal injury claim will be slightly different, they take the same primary path. The main differences are the statute of limitations (how long you have to file a claim) and your settlement amount.
Step 1 – Plaintiff is injured by Defendant
The first step is a person (plaintiff) is injured by something the defendant has done or failed to do (negligence). Whether it is intentional or an accident, you will need to begin the process of contacting a lawyer. The Personal Injury Attorney Lawrenceville GA, will determine if the injury falls under contract law or not.
Step 2 – Determination of Legal Duty Breach
Next, you and your lawyer will determine if the defendant breached their legal duty to keep you safe. For example, medical professionals are bound to perform a standard of care to all their patients. In medical malpractice suits, the physician is determined to be in breach of that duty. The same is true of manufacturers, drivers, employers, and so forth. In addition, there are rules of the road to follow, the safety of the environment, and the removal of dangerous products. Finally, your attorney will take all of your documentation and perform an investigation with experts to ensure you receive a settlement that will cover your recovery.
Step 3 – Mediation Begins
Once your attorney has determined that legal obligations have been breached, you are ready for mediation. The law firm will have a starting number that is often higher than acceptable to create a point to work from. They will also have a bottom line that they will not go below without a trial. The negotiations between the insurance companies, the defendant, and the plaintiff rarely go to court. You only want to sign the settlement agreement if you are 100-percent sure you are happy with the result because you will lose your ability to file a lawsuit in the future regarding the injury. Negotiations can be reached up until the case goes before a jury. It is essential to have an attorney on your side through this process, especially if agreements cannot be met.
If you have been injured, call Cain Injury Law to determine what your next steps will be. Whether you reach a settlement quickly or you have to take it to trial, they will hold your hand and take the stress off of you. Following an accident, you will need to focus on your recovery and returning to your everyday life. It is incredibly challenging to allow your body to heal and fix everything if you are hassling with insurance companies to receive compensation.