Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Personal injury claims are different than most other types of insurance claims. They require specific steps to be taken in order to file a claim successfully.
This article will discuss what you need to do to file a personal injury lawsuit and how hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can help. We will also explain what happens after filing a personal injury claim.
What Is A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a legal action filed against another person or company that caused harm to you. This could include physical injuries such as broken bones, burns, or cuts. It could also include emotional injuries such as anxiety, depression, or stress.
When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you claim damages for these harms. The goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to recover money to compensate you for your losses.
What are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits?
Personal injuries are one of the most common types of accidents that people experience. These injuries can occur due to negligence, such as driving too fast or failing to use safety equipment. They may also result from an accident caused by another person’s carelessness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29.4 million people visit emergency departments each year for unintentional injuries. Injuries can include broken bones, burns, cuts, bruises, sprains, strains, dislocations, concussions, and internal damage. In many cases, these injuries require medical attention and treatment. Sometimes, however, these injuries lead to permanent disability or death.
Some of the most common personal injury lawsuits include injuries from:
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Product Liability
- Dog Bites
- Defective Products
- Negligent Security
- Wrongful Death
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Many different types of injuries can occur in life. Some of these injuries may result in permanent damage to the victim. Other injuries may cause temporary pain or discomfort. Still, other injuries may require medical attention.
When someone suffers an injury, they may seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
- Intellectual property rights
- Other losses
While medical bills are usually easily quantifiable, others may be more difficult. Lost wages are often calculated using the average wage rate for the industry in question. Pain and suffering are subjective measures and, therefore, harder to replace with a monetary figure. Emotional distress is measured by gauging the impact of the injury on the victim’s life. Property damage is typically determined based on the cost of repairing the damaged item. Intellectual property rights are often valued based on their market value.
The amount of money that a person receives depends on several factors. These include the severity of the injury, whether the injury was caused by negligence, and the type of insurance coverage held by the defendant.
Who Can Sue For Damages In A Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Anyone can sue for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, certain requirements must be met in order to file a successful lawsuit.
- If you have suffered a legally recognized injury. This means that you must have been harmed by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
- If you have suffered financial harm. This means that the harm you suffered has resulted in monetary losses.
- If you have a reasonable chance of recovering damages. If you cannot prove that you will receive compensation for your losses, then you should not pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
- You are able to prove that the defendant was negligent. Negligence is defined as failing to act reasonably under the circumstances.
- You are able and willing to pay any judgment that may be awarded.
- You are physically and mentally capable of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. You cannot represent yourself in court if you are too sick or injured to appear in court.
Can You Sue For Emotional Distress In Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, emotional distress falls under the umbrella of “pain and suffering” damages in personal injury cases. To sue for emotional distress, you must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions caused your emotional distress and that it was severe enough to warrant compensation.
To prove emotional distress in a personal injury case, it is essential to document your symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary. This documentation can include records of doctor visits, therapy sessions, or medication prescribed for your symptoms. It is also important to document any missed work or other consequences of your emotional distress.
Pennsylvania law recognizes two types of emotional distress claims: negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Negligent infliction of emotional distress occurs when the defendant’s negligent actions caused the plaintiff to suffer emotional distress. For example, if a driver caused a car accident that resulted in severe emotional distress for the victim, the victim may be able to sue for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress occurs when the defendant’s actions were intentional and caused severe emotional distress to the victim. For example, if someone deliberately harassed or threatened you, causing severe emotional distress, you may be able to sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
It is important to note that emotional distress claims can be challenging to prove and require significant evidence. It is also important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and build a strong case.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
After you meet the above requirements, you must file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company responsible for causing your harm.
Consult an experienced lawyer –
A personal injury lawyer can help you understand what to expect during the claims process, as well as what kind of compensation you should expect. Make sure you’re ready for your consultation. You will need to present any documentation that can help your attorney build your case. Depending on your medical expenses, limitations, and the insurance company responsible for making that payment, this may contain an estimate of how much financial compensation you should anticipate pursuing your injuries.
Gather evidence from the accident –
Your attorney will need to understand the accident in order to appropriately determine the parties liable. While your statement is a good start, you may need a lot more evidence to completely reveal what happened, including additional persons who may share the blame. Any photos of the accident or your injury will help your attorney.
File a claim with the insurance companies –
Your lawyer will work with you to file a claim for compensation with the responsible insurance companies after hearing your version of events and collecting any evidence relating to your accident. This may entail a single claim in a simple accident, such as a vehicle collision when only the other driver is at fault. In a more complicated accident involving numerous causes, however, you may need to file a separate claim for each party at fault. All of the specifics of your injuries, as well as the compensation you anticipate, will be included in your claims package.
Negotiate with the insurance company –
The insurance company will often respond with a settlement offer shortly after you make your claim. The insurance company may even make a quick settlement offer before you’ve had a chance to speak with an attorney about your claim or fully comprehend the costs associated with your injury. Examine this settlement offer thoroughly and discuss it with your lawyer.
Going to court and after your trial –
According to The Law Dictionary, less than 5% of personal injury cases go on to trial. If your claim cannot be settled in negotiations, you will have to file a lawsuit. There are various stages to this, including mediation, trial, and the possibility for an appeal. Mediation usually takes place within 30 days of the notice of denial. If mediation does not result in a settlement, then the next step is trial. The trial is where a judge decides whether you were at fault for the accident. The final step is an appeal.
Can Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Help My Personal Injury Case?
Don’t deal with insurance companies or try to go it alone if you’ve been hurt in an accident. You’ll need the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for a financial settlement you need to recover from your injuries.
Some other benefits to hiring a personal injury attorney include:
- Negotiate settlements
- Expedite claims process
- Professionally represent you in court
- Experience in the legal process
- Get better medical care
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation to help you recover and compensate you for any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the accident. Our legal team of personal injury attorneys at Schuster Law is here to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.