(U.S. Personal Injury Law and generally) Personal injury cases can be filed for a wide variety of reasons, and they were responsible for 60 percent of all lawsuits that were filed by an individual in 2008. Because these cases are so prevalent, it is shocking that an estimated 96 percent of them never make it to court. Instead, the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits result in an out of court settlement.
What Exactly is Personal Injury?
A personal injury lawsuit can be filed if an individual was injured by the negligence of another person or company. It is most common for these cases to originate with an automobile accident, but they can also stem from a slip and fall, tripping, an accident at work and any other incident during which the individual’s injury was not sustained due to their own personal negligence. In other words, if you crash your car into another vehicle when you are driving while under the influence, you will be considered negligent, and this will make you responsible for the other driver’s injuries if they decide to file a lawsuit.
The most difficult aspect of winning a personal injury case is being able to prove that the other party was negligent. For example, if you go into a fast food restaurant and slip and fall on a wet spot on the ground, you might be able to sue the restaurant. However, if they have a sign in place that says that the floor is wet, they will most likely no longer be considered negligent in the eyes of the law. In other words, you must be able to demonstrate that your injury was not caused by your own actions. In the example of the fast food restaurant, your own personal responsibility to keep yourself safe would have required you to read the sign and make the necessary adjustments to avoid walking into the wet spot.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have been injured and you believe that another person or business is negligent for your injuries, you should contact an attorney who has experience working with personal injury cases. Whether you consult a San Bernardino personal injury lawyer, or one in New York state, U.S. attorneys all will have the same basic qualifications. Because it can be difficult to prove negligence, you will also want to gather as much evidence as possible. Therefore, it is always a good idea to take photos of the accident scene, and you should ask at least a couple of witnesses if they would be willing to testify for you.
In addition to proving negligence, you also have to prove that your injury claim is legitimate. This can be accomplished by providing photos of the injury, documentation from your doctor’s office and a statement from a medical expert witness. If your doctor is unwilling to get involved, your attorney should have a list of medical contacts who would be willing to do an examination in order to give a qualified statement.
As previously mentioned, it is highly likely that your case will never see the inside of a courtroom. Therefore, you need to be willing to settle out of court. Your attorney should handle all of the negotiations, and they will let you know once they think that they you have received a fair settlement offer. By accepting an out of court settlement, you can avoid the average wait time of 23 months to get your case in front of a judge and start taking care of your medical bills right away.
Anthony Joseph is a freelance author who contributes this article toward raising awareness of negligence and its affects on liability. A San Bernardino personal injury lawyer from the firm of Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, will be able to protect your rights and make sure that you receive exactly what you deserve. Their attorneys have many years of experience defending injured victims.