A personal injury is a legal term used to describe an injury to the body or one’s mental state, as opposed to damages to personal property. Personal property can include your car or truck. In American law, a personal injury claim typically refers to a lawsuit in which one party says that their injuries were caused by another person or entity.
These claims are designed to help the victim get compensation for monetary losses or debt that was caused by their injuries. Monetary losses include hospital and medical bills, as well as other damages. It is important to understand the most common types of personal injury claims and how personal injury attorneys, insurance companies, and the courts handle these cases. You should also understand how damages are determined, as well as who is at fault, if you have experienced a personal injury due to negligence.
The most common types of personal injury claims
Most types of personal injury claims involve car accidents, accidents at work, and other situations. The list also includes medical and dental accidents, as well as industrial disease cases such as exposure to asbestos. Although these injuries affect a person’s body, injuries may also involve emotional abuse or negligence.
How personal injury claims are handled
In most cases, the first step involves seeking representation from a personal injury attorney. Most attorneys who specialize in personal injury work on contingency, or a percentage of the final damages awarded at the end of the claim. Many of these professionals offer free consultations. An individual may also seek to settle their claim with an insurance company by using mediation instead of litigation. This method of handling a personal injury claim saves the time and money associated with going through the court system.
Dealing with insurance companies and the courts
You are going to deal with an insurance company in almost every personal injury claim. It is important to understand the role of insurance adjusters who work for the insurance company and investigate the facts of the case. You should also know how much your claim is worth. Because adjusters work for insurance companies, they naturally want to keep payouts as low as possible. However, these employees also want to avoid a lawsuit and prefer to settle the case outside of court.
If the claim is not settled outside of court, the individual who was injured typically has the option of filing a civil lawsuit. The claim, who is liable, and what damages must be paid will be decided by a judge or jury. There are time limits regarding when you can file a personal injury claim, depending on where you live, where the accident happened, and the type of injury sustained.
Determining damages and who is at fault
Insurance adjusters typically look at the same factors as juries would in deciding what damages are appropriate for each personal injury claim. The adjusters look at actual expenses, such as medical bills and costs, lost income or wages, and also damages caused by pain or emotional distress. Some of the costs are fairly easy to determine, such as medical bills or lost wages. Measuring pain and suffering, however, is far more difficult.
nsurance adjusters also take into account policy limits and the strength of the plaintiff’s case. When it comes to policy limits, an insurance company likely never pays over their limit. If the plaintiff has a strong case, like an obvious medical malpractice claim, the insurer will likely offer a larger settlement. This offer is given because the victim has an almost certain chance of winning in court.
Another key factor in deciding how much compensation will be given to the victim is determining who exactly is at fault and to what extent. In the majority of cases, it isn’t difficult to determine who is responsible for the injury, but determining the percentage of fault may require negotiation. If the victim is considered to have a percentage of fault, then the amount offered as compensation may be reduced. The particular circumstances of each claim and local laws can ultimately decide how much is awarded.
It can be overwhelming to try to file your personal injury claim alone. Contact Attorney Dean Boyd for more information on how we can help you with your claim. Call us at (806) 242-3333 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our services. You can also visit our office at 4423 SW 45th Ave, in Amarillo, Texas or 5012 50th St #103 in Lubbock, Texas.