Everything you need to know about personal injury laws in US
Personal injury law
Personal injury laws, also known as tort laws, were drawn to safeguard the rights of an individual that were harmed by carelessness or wrongdoing of another party. The word ‘tort’ is taken from the Latin word ‘tortum’, which means ‘contorted or bent’. In other words, the word tort means ‘wrong’. These laws are practiced all around the world to redress the harm done to an individual and provide compensation.
Personal Injury Laws in the USA
Followed and acted upon by the entire world, these laws differ from place to place. Specifically in the USA, these laws vary from state to state. It is most important to have an overview of laws and what constitutes it, the types of damages one is entitled to, and the steps one should take if injured.
Personal Injury Case
Personal injury case is a lawsuit filed when an individual is harmed due to someone’s negligence. Injury caused can be of many types, including physical and emotional harm. These type of lawsuits can arise from many different types of damages caused by accidents, including road accidents, property damages, wrongful death and so on.
To proceed legally against the other party, one must prove that the actions of the party, intentionally or in negligence, caused an injury to the property or the one himself. As the task can be challenging, one should acquire the help of an attorney who can help him build a strong stance in his lawsuit.
Types of damages
In any lawsuit filed in personal injury cases, the injured is entitled to receive either economic compensation for his losses. In some cases, the injured has suffered economically, which can be quantified. While in others, one has suffered emotional or physical pain that cannot be quantified.
The damages and losses related to the money can be quantified as economic damages. These type of damages are compensated when the other party is proven to be involved in breaching or violating the law that caused harm to the victim. Examples of such damages are:
- Medical expenses
- Property damages
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Household services
Unlike economical damages, non-economical damages cannot be quantified and calculated. These are the sufferings and pain, physical or emotional, and cannot be counted as a specific amount or cost. Several examples of non-economical damages are:
- Physical pain or discomfort
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Emotional distress
- Decrease in quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
These would be the damages entitled to the victim if the behavior of the defendant was harmful in particular. It can also be described as the punishment for the defendant if somehow they were aware of the risks associated with their actions. An example of punitive damage is
- The damage entitled to the victim caused by the drunk driver, who was fully aware that his driving could lead to an accident.
- Medication to the patient when the doctor is fully aware of the risk.
Statute of limitation
The statute of limitation refers to the time frame under which the victim has to file a lawsuit against the defendant. Generally, the time frame is around 2-3 years but can vary according to conditions. For instance, if the government is a defendant, the time frame is shorter than usual. It may elongate if the injury is discovered late.
If one has failed to file a lawsuit within the given timeframe, he may lose his right to take legal action and, ultimately, the right to be compensated.
Steps to take if some if one is injured
If one is injured due to the actions of the other, he should take several steps to maximize the chances of compensation and protection of his rights.
Seek medical assistance
Health is wealth is a common saying. One should keep his health at first in any era of his life. In case of injury, one should first seek medical attention even if he feels his injuries are simple. One should get his injuries checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries may not have effects on the instance but may be deadly later on. Health must be the first priority.
Reporting the incident
Reporting the incident is one of the first step toward the legal actions taken in tort cases. One should report the incident to the appropriate authorities respective of the authority chain in his area. That includes seniors, police officials, etc.
Gather as much evidence as possible at the site of the incident, which may you proceed with your legal actions. The evidence may include photographs of the site, witnesses reporting on the site, and information copies held by the police.
Contacting the attorney
From proving the defendant guilty of the charges to getting compensated for the losses, professional help is required in the proceeding of the lawsuit. One should seek the help of an attorney to pursue his stance in a legal way. An attorney can also help by holding talks with the insurance companies and representation in court.
File the Case
Putting up your case is one of the most important ways to get your entitled compensation. With the help of an attorney, file a legal claim against your injuries.
Prepare for the trial
In case of not getting responsive statement with the compensative group, your claim would go for trials. In that case, prepare yourself with a strong argument and build your stance against the injuries to represent in the court.
As the laws in the USA are built and designed to protect the rights of its people, One should always seek legal help for any of their claims. Similarly, personal injury laws are designed to help entitled people recover their losses and get compensated for them. One should go through the steps mentioned above, i.e., recognition of the injuries and proving them. One should also have an overview of the legal actions to take against the wrongdoer and should be able to differentiate between the damages done and the legal steps to take to get compensated for his losses and injuries.