Proving Your Case
If you or your loved one has suffered a serious personal injury as a result of another party's negligence or wrongdoing, you may have the legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for the damages suffered, including present and future expected losses.
A personal injury claim, specifically called a “tort” is intended to protect those who have been harmed due to another party's actions or negligence. Through a personal injury claim, you and your family may be able to obtain economic recovery for your losses and suffering. Compensation can be recovered for pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, medical expenses, and more.
Tort claims fall under three general categories:
1) Intentional misconduct or wrongs which the defendant should have known would occur through his/her intentional actions,
2) negligence, in which the defendant's actions were unreasonably harmful or the defendant failed to act, and
3) strict liability, under which the defendant can be held liable for harm caused by a product or action, without the requirement of proving negligence.
For every type of claim, there are a certain set of criteria that must be met in order to successfully argue your case. To learn more about the exact criteria necessary to prove your case, it is important to seek the early advice of a qualified attorney.
Regardless of the specific standard applied, every personal injury claim deals with two issues: liability and damages . The plaintiff in the lawsuit has the burden of proof in a personal injury claim. This means the plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of evidence that the defendant was at fault for the plaintiff's injuries. This standard requires you to show that your version of the facts is “more than likely” to be true.
In many cases of personal injury, expert witness testimony (e.g. medical expert testimony) may be required to prove that your injuries were the result of the defendant's actions or negligence. This is particularly true in cases of medical malpractice, where a breech of duty must be proven.
Once liability is established damages must be proven. The plaintiff has a responsibility to show what damages were caused or are anticipated because of the personal injury. This may include easily quantifiable things such as past medical expenses or other less quantifiable things such as loss of companionship. Once these damages have been established, the court will determine the compensation due. At this time punitive and other damages may be considered.
Personal injury cases are also subject to a statute of limitations , which varies from state to state. The statute limits the time a victim may file a personal injury lawsuit. A statute of limitations can range anywhere from months to years following the date of the incident or the date of discovery (depending on the specifics of your case). It is important to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney to preserve your legal right to file a claim.
Personal injury laws can be complex. If you have been seriously harmed due to the negligent actions of another party and would like to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, it is wise to seek the early assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney who can evaluate your claim, build a strong case with clear evidence and expert testimony, and protect your legal rights and interests. Please contact us today to speak with a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney free of charge.
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