Personal injury claims refer to injuries to an individual’s physical, emotional, or psychological state. These injuries are typically caused either intentionally or negligently by a third party. In a lawsuit, this third party is the defendant. The individual filing the personal injury claim is the plaintiff. By definition, a personal injury claim does not cover damage done to property, such as a home or automobile.
With a personal injury claim, the plaintiff seeks financial compensation for harm or injury caused by the defendant. Financial compensation for personal injury claims may cover expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, injury to reputation, and pain and suffering the plaintiff has endured.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
There are a variety of personal injury claims for which victims may seek legal action. In cases of intentional harm such as assault, the defendant will typically face criminal charges as well as personal injury charges for the injuries inflicted upon the victim. Personal injury claims vary depending on the environment, nature, and intent that caused the injury.
Common types of personal injury claims include:
- Automobile accidents
- Work-related accidents
- Home accidents
- Battery and assault claims
- Animal attack claims
- Defamation or slander
- Product liability/defective product claims
- Medical malpractice or negligence
- Slip and fall accidents
Damages for Personal Injury Claims
Those who file personal injury claims may receive damages, or financial compensation for injuries or harm caused by the defendant. Damages for personal injury claims can be categorized as special or general. Special damages are itemized, measurable costs that the plaintiff faces as a result of the harm caused by the defendant. These costs include medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to property.
General damages are less measurable. These include costs such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. Loss of consortium refers to the claims of the victim’s spouse. Loss of consortium is the inability of the married couple to experience the love, companionship, and sexual relations experienced before the injury occurred.
Filing Personal Injury Claims
In order to win a personal injury claim, the plaintiff holds the burden of proof. This means that the plaintiff is responsible providing sufficient evidence that the defendant is guilty of the accused action that led to the personal injury claim. In order to prove the allegations, the plaintiff must gather a series of documents and information to present during the lawsuit.
The documents for proving a personal injury claim may include:
- Medical documents, such as the plaintiff’s medical records
- Doctor’s notes surrounding the injuries
- Photographs of injuries and the accident scene
- Police reports surrounding the incident
- Insurance paperwork
- Documents that prove loss of income due to the incident
Statute of Limitations
Each state has a statute of limitations for particular types of personal injury claims. The statute of limitations dictates how much time a plaintiff has to file a case before the timeframe to file a lawsuit expires. This timeframe typically begins when the incident occurs or when the injury is first discovered. The statute of limitations typically provides a year to file a lawsuit. However, many states only allow 60 days to file a lawsuit against a government entity or employee.
Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys
It is recommended to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if victims wish to file a personal injury claim. The attorney may be able to help the plaintiff gather necessary documentation and information to file a lawsuit. An attorney can also provide insight, guidance, and advice to plaintiffs and their loved ones over the course of the lawsuit.
A personal injury attorney can also help the plaintiff navigate through the complex legal system. Each state has varying laws and regulations for certain aspects of a personal injury claim. These laws may play a significant role in each plaintiff’s personal injury claim. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help to research the laws that are relevant to each plaintiff’s case.