Personal injury cases are legal disputes that arise when someone suffers harm or injury at the hands of another person or entity. The other party responsible for causing harm can be held legally responsible for their actions. Victims in personal injury cases can take steps toward protecting their legal rights after the accident or injury. The case may go to trial or, alternately, the dispute may be resolved through informal settlement outside of court and damages can be sought.
Parties involved in personal injury cases include the plaintiff or the individual who suffered harm or injury. The second party is called the defendant, which is the person or organization that caused harm. It could be another person, a business, a corporation, or government agency who is being alleged for acting carelessly, negligently, or in an irresponsible manner which caused harm or injury in the first place. Disputes can be resolved in any of the following ways:
Informal Settlement – Most of the time, disputes in personal injury cases are resolved outside of court where the insurers and attorneys representing both sides reach a settlement outside of court. Both parties negotiate a settlement amount, followed by a written agreement where they agree to forego any further action and choose to resolve the matter through payment of an agreeable amount of money.
Formal Lawsuit – A formal personal injury case can be initiated when a private individual, also called the plaintiff, files a civil complaint against the individual or party who caused harm. The complaint alleges that the defendant acted carelessly or irresponsibly, resulting in the injury or accident. The matter is taken to the court and a formal lawsuit is filed.
Mediation and Arbitration – Alternately, both parties may choose to follow middle ground where the dispute is resolved through mediation and arbitration instead of a lawsuit or an informal settlement.
Like in most other cases, there is limited time available to the plaintiff to file the lawsuit, which is defined under the “statute of limitations.” This is the period of time dictated under law which begins when the plaintiff is injured or discovers the injury. However, it all depends on the type of injury and the state you are in.
In order to understand the processes and laws related to personal injury cases, it is advised to get in touch with an experienced attorney. The attorney will be able to correctly analyze how the injury has impacted your life and the amount of settlement you are entitled to. The attorney can also help you if you are not sure whether you have a viable personal injury case or not.
Most attorneys do not charge a fee in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. They work on a contingency fee basis, which means they will only be paid once they get a settlement for you. To discuss your case, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer today.
Thanks to our friends and blog authors at Volman Law for their insight into personal injury practice.