What is a Personal Injury?Personal injuries can take many different forms and present themselves for a wide range of reasons. For all personal injuries, including medical malpractice injuries, the common thread is that a person, persons, or organization has allowed an error or accident to occur that caused an injury, has neglected to prevent an injury, or has intentionally caused an injury. injury.
While the word "injury" brings to mind things like slip and fall accidents or car accidents, there are many other situations that can qualify as personal injuries, including both physical and psychological illnesses that arise due to some type of negligence. For example:
- Exposure to harmful chemicals at work or at home causes some type of illness. For example, exposure to asbestos leading to cancer mesothelioma or asbestosis.
- A traffic accident caused by one of the parties in which the other party is injured or killed.
- The victim of a crime is physically or psychologically injured during the commission of the crime. For example, someone may develop post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of being assaulted or robbed.
- Someone is injured during the normal use of a product they purchased. A famous example of this is the American woman who received third-degree burns when she spilled McDonald's coffee on herself. The coffee heated up well beyond what constitutes a safe temperature, and she sued for and compensation for personal injuries was awarded.
- Someone is injured in a public space because the space is not maintained properly. For example, a slip and fall accident that occurs due to a wet floor that has not been marked as such.
Medical NegligenceMedical malpractice is a particular type of personal injury that occurs when dealing with a medical professional that causes the injury. In cases of medical malpractice, a nurse, doctor, or other medical professional is considered to have failed in his duty of care in such a manner as to have caused injury. For example:
- A person with a demonstrated allergy to penicillin is prescribed medication and has a dangerous reaction to life.
- A surgical patient is neglected after the surgery and dies due to an internal hemorrhage that went unnoticed.
- A patient falls and is injured because they do not have the help needed to use the bathroom safely.
Personal Injury & Medical Negligence (Malpractice) Lawsuits
When do you need a personal injury lawyer?
In general, you need a personal injury lawyer if you suffer a physical or psychological injury that is the fault of another person, and for which you want to claim some type of compensation. Compensation can take a variety of forms, such as the payment of lost wages, medical expenses, or for the pain and suffering caused by the injury. Keep in mind that it does not always have to be the person who suffers the damage that brings a lawsuit against the guilty party. When someone dies as a result of a personal injury, your family may choose to take legal action in order to be compensated for the loss, and for medical and funeral expenses.
What should you do if you suffer from personal injuries?
If you are injured or injured as a result of someone else's harmful behavior, there are certain things that need to be done in order to prepare to make a claim for compensation. These include:
- Creation of a written report of the incident. This should be done as soon as possible, while the details are still fresh. You must also take details of the witnesses of the incident plus you must take note of the offender's name.
- Report the injury to the owner of the spaces in which it was carried out. This could be your employer, local health authority, or council.
- If the injury does not require immediate medical treatment, visit your doctor to document your injuries or symptoms, and to make sure there are no serious injuries hidden.
- If the injuries are the result of a traffic accident or crime, make a report from the police.
- Take photos to document the location of the events, and to provide a record of your injuries. In the case of an injury caused by a defective product, also take photos of the product for your file.
- Obtain and maintain bank statements, income, and other records of expenses incurred due to the incident.
- In some cases, for example for traffic accidents, it is advisable to report the accident to your insurance company.
What can a personal injury lawyer do?
The personal injury law is complicated, and there are a lot of different factors involved in determining if a case is valid, and in calculating what kind of compensation can be granted. A lawyer can perform a wide range of tasks to help you pursue a personal injury claim.
At the first appointment with a lawyer to discuss your case, you will be asked to review all the details and provide all the supporting documentation that you have gathered. The attorney will give you a preliminary assessment of how likely it will be to win your case through an agreement or through the court system. The decision on the amount of the claim means thinking about what you want in the form of compensation, and also if you are willing to settle for a lesser amount in order to avoid going to court. As your personal lawyer, your lawyer will do everything possible to get as much compensation as possible.
As well as this, you will go through all the different legal processes involved in taking a claim for compensation, and what you can expect to happen at each stage of the claim.
If you decide to work with the lawyer, you can ask them to send you a letter to confirm this in writing, and to detail the advice they give you. This should include details such as the expected timeline for the entire process, an estimate of your probable legal expenses, and any information that the attorney has to provide in order to pursue the claim.
The lawyer will provide you with legal advice at every stage of the process so that you can make informed decisions. Once they begin the compensation claim they will act as your advocate when negotiating with the defendant's attorney. Depending on the details of your case you could also advocate that in negotiations with your insurance company.
How is a personal injury case resolved?
Make a claim compensation when your lawyer starts sending a lawsuit to the defendant that you believe is responsible for your injury. Once the letter is sent to the defendant, it has a limited period of time in which it accepts or rejects responsibility for the injury.
If they accept responsibility, your lawyer will try to resolve your compensation claim without going to court. This usually involves your attorney making an offer requesting a specific amount. This is accepted or rejected by the defendant. At this point, what usually happens is that the defendant accepts this offer outright or otherwise makes a counteroffer for a lesser amount. In the first case, the claim is resolved, while in the latter case it is up to you to decide whether or not to accept the counteroffer.
If you and the defendant can not agree on the settlement, you can then decide whether or not to take the claim to court. If the defendant denies his responsibility completely, he can also choose to go to court to challenge them.
If you choose to follow your claim through the court system, your case is assigned to a judge and the court will assign a date, time, and place for your hearing. In court, you and the defendant both have the opportunity to present their case, and the judge will decide on liability and an economic reward.
- Your lawyer writes a letter to the defendant to advise on your claim, and the defendant accepts or rejects responsibility. If they deny responsibility, they can take them to court to pursue their claim.
- If they accept responsibility, your lawyer makes a financial claim on your behalf. The defendant can accept the initial offer or make a counter offer.
- If you and the defendant can agree on an amount, the claim will be resolved. If not, you can take the matter to court to try to earn a higher compensation amount.
Talking to your lawyer About fees
Legal aid is no longer available for personal injury cases in England and Wales. However, if you win your claim the defendant will be ordered to pay most of your legal expenses.
Keep in mind that depending on the lawyer will give instructions you may have to pay an additional fee if the lawyer wins your case. If your application is accepted your lawyers are entitled to have a 'success commission' of up to 25% of your compensation. However, if your claim is not successful then your attorney's fees incurred would not be payable. Please note that some third-party charges (such as fees to obtain a medical report) that would have been incurred during the process of your claim must be paid. Such commissions should be discussed with your attorney before it is incurred.
It is important to talk with your lawyer about financial matters, particularly in terms of what happens if you go to court and do not win your case. Your lawyer will talk to you through all your options so you can make an informed decision about how to cover your costs in each possible situation.