Someone else’s carelessness and inattention can change your life at a moment’s notice. Even when you are doing everything right, all it takes is one brief mistake from another person to cause you serious injury. The personal injury law system requires that someone else pay you compensation when they are legally responsible for your injuries. In practice, things are never that simple.
Personal injury law covers all cases where you have suffered physical damages because of the actions of an individual or a company. For purposes of a personal injury claim, a company is exactly like a person. In fact, if a person is working for the company, the business will normally be liable for the acts of the employee.
Personal Injury Law Covers All Types of Accidents and Injuries
Personal injury is an unfortunate possibility at all hours of the day, even when you are sleeping. The risks get even worse when you walk out of your home. You can never control the actions of other people. If they are drivers, they may take additional risks to get there faster. If they are companies, they could cut corners or knowingly sell a defective product in the name of higher profits.
Examples of the many different types of personal injury cases include:
- Car accidents
- Defective products
- Bicycle and motorcycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
What Happens in a Personal Injury Case
While all of these accidents may seem very different, there are a number of common elements in every personal injury claim:
- You must prove that the defendant should be held liable because they were negligent, meaning that they acted unreasonably under the circumstances in a manner that caused your injury.
- You are entitled to full damages to compensate for everything that you have lost because of your injuries.
How Insurance Companies Make Your Personal Injury Case Harder
In almost every personal injury case, the person or company responsible for your injuries has insurance coverage to pay the claim. However, this coverage also means that you are dealing with an insurance company that can do many things to make your life harder, including:
- Deny your claim in its entirety, claiming that you have not proven liability
- Drag out settlement negotiations by offering you less than you deserve in damages
Your obligation is to present the evidence that shows that someone else was to blame for your injury. Here, your task is two-fold. You must gather proof of what someone else did in showing what happened. Then, you must compare their actions to what a reasonable person would have done under the circumstances. For example, a reasonable driver will follow all traffic laws and keep their eyes on the road instead of on their cell phone.
However, gathering evidence to show what happened is not always easy. Much of this evidence is at the scene of the accident, and it isn’t easy to collect it yourself. For example, if you have been struck by a car crossing an intersection, you are unable to interview witnesses and take pictures of the scene of the accident. An experienced personal injury knows how to assemble the proof you need, provided that you hire them very shortly after your accident.
Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Then, you must obtain compensation that pays for all of your damages. Personal injury compensation can include:
- Lost wages for time missed from work
- The complete cost of your medical expenses
- Payment for what you have endured since the accident and will continue to endure in the future (including pain and suffering and emotional distress)
- Damages for loss of enjoyment of your life
- If your loved one died from a personal injury, your family could obtain wrongful death damages
- In very rare cases, you may obtain punitive damages when a jury wants to send a message to the defendant.
Getting this money can be difficult. When they are the ones writing the check, the insurance company will tell a far different story. They will do everything possible to minimize your injuries because their main interest is to avoid paying you what you deserve. An insurance company will try to drag out the process, both because they want to test you and try to wear you down.
How an Attorney Helps Your Personal Injury Case
In every personal injury case, you need an experienced lawyer to hold the defendant accountable and keep their insurance company from taking advantage of you. A personal injury lawyer will do the following to help you:
- Learn about your case and explain your legal options and the financial compensation process
- Investigate your accident and collect the proof that can show liability
- Compile and present your claim to the insurance company after putting a value on your damages
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or file a lawsuit on your behalf if your claim is denied or you cannot reach a settlement agreement
Call a Greenville Personal Injury Lawyer
When you need an experienced personal injury lawyer, the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm has a long track record of helping injured clients recover money from the responsible party. We fight for justice for our clients who have suffered greatly from someone else’s carelessness. There is no risk to you in calling us for a free consultation. You can speak to us at (864) 280-7660 or contact us online for your free legal case review.
Personal Injury FAQs
How do I prove negligence?
You must show that:
- Someone owed you a duty of care.
- They failed to uphold their duty of care.
- You were injured.
- You would not have been injured had it not been for their actions.
How much is a personal injury claim worth?
Your damages are unique to you. They depend on your own situation.
What if the insurance company denies my claim?
The insurance company does not have the final word. You can always file a civil lawsuit and have the jury decide your case.