After an injury, a victim is often forced to deal with severe financial and emotional burdens. Victims often deal with expensive medical bills, lost wages, disablement, and emotional pain and suffering. These financial and emotional losses are often too big of a burden to bear, which is why a victim is encouraged to contact a personal lawyer. Lawyers hold guilty parties accountable while helping victims collect damages for their injuries.
What is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is when a person is injured due to the neglect of a person or party. Some common types of personal injury claims include the following:
Slip and Fall Accidents: When an individual is injured from a slip and fall accident, they often face financial losses, like medical bills and lost wages. To recover these damages, they can file a lawsuit against the property owner. A property owner is legally responsible to maintain their property to protect guests, which is called premises liability. If an owner fails to do this and a guest is injured, they could be held liable.
Medical Malpractice: A doctor has a legal duty to protect the safety and health of a patient. When a doctor’s negligence leads to a victim’s injury, they can be held responsible for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can include childbirth injuries, infections, surgery errors, and misdiagnoses. Many injuries caused by medical malpractice are long-term and require further treatment and medical bills; therefore, a victim should contact a personal injury lawyer to help recover losses related to their injuries.
Defamation: Unlike other personal injuries, defamation deals with damage to one’s reputation. When an individual makes an untrue statement about another, they are likely guilty of libel. If the victim is an average individual, they typically only have to prove that the statement is false and that it impacted their reputation in some way. However, celebrities and other public figures must prove that the defendant had actual malice for making false statements.
Dog Bites: When a violent dog bites a person, the dog’s owner is usually held liable for the victim’s injuries. In a strict liability state, a victim does not need to prove that the dog’s owner was being neglectful; however, in other states, a victim must prove that the owner was negligent. An owner might be considered negligent if the dog has a history of biting or violent behaviors. Dog bites can lead to serious injuries, and children are especially vulnerable to dog bites. A victim should contact a personal lawyer if a dog’s aggressive behavior led to their injury.
Assault and Battery: Unlike other personal injuries, assault and battery is not caused by negligence, it is an intentional act. This intentional act is likely coupled with other criminal charges. When one intentionally causes physical harm to another, they are liable for the victim’s injuries and subsequent expenses, including medical bills and lost wages.
Car Accidents: The most frequent personal injury case in the United States relates to car accidents. In fact, there are over 6 million car accidents annually in America. Many car accidents lead to serious injuries and fatalities. Some drivers break traffic laws, such as driving recklessly. When a driver fails to fulfill their duty of care to others around them, they should be held liable for an accident.
What Should I Know About Negligence?
Negligence is an important component in a personal injury case. This is because most personal injuries are caused by negligent parties. An individual or company is negligent when they breach their duty of care to keep others safe. Those who have a duty of care include product manufacturers, medical professionals, property owners, and drivers.
In a personal injury case, the victim and their lawyer must prove that the defendant is guilty of negligence. To do this, they must first prove that the defendant had a duty of care that they breached. Next, the victim needs to prove that this breach led to their injury. To do this, the victim and their personal injury lawyer should look at police reports, witness testimonies, and other evidence.
What Type of Lawsuit Can I File for a Personal Injury?
Depending on the nature of the case, the victim could benefit from different types of lawsuits, including the following:
Premises Liability Lawsuit
When a victim is injured due to a property owner’s negligence, they should consider a premises liability lawsuit. Those who own a property have a legal responsibility to maintain it. When an owner fails to do this, they could be held liable for a victim’s injuries.
To prove liability, the victim must prove that the defendant owned, rented, or leased the property. Next, they must prove that the owner was negligent with their property. Finally, they need to prove that the negligence ultimately led to the injuries.
While a property owner has a legal duty to protect public and invited guests, an owner is not responsible for injured trespassers. The only exception to this rule is when it involves the attractive nuisance doctrine. This doctrine protects children who are injured on properties that have attractive qualities, such as swimming pools.
Class Action Lawsuit
A class action lawsuit is a good option if a negligent individual or organization caused harm to multiple victims. If these victims have similar injuries or illnesses, they could band together to sue one defendant. To begin a class action lawsuit, one or two victims will file an initial complaint. The judge will then decide whether to approve the class action lawsuit.
To approve the lawsuit, the victims must prove that a class action lawsuit is the most practical way to handle multiple claims against one individual or organization. Then, the victims must prove that they all have similar injuries or illnesses. Also, the class should be clearly defined and each victim should be identifiable. Once these requirements are fulfilled, the judge should approve the case; however, this does not automatically mean that the defendant is considered liable. Instead, it simply gives the victims an opportunity to sue.
If the class is certified, public notices are sent out to potential class members. If the judge does not certify the class, the victims can file their case as a non-class action lawsuit. This may happen if the judge does not believe the requirements for a class action lawsuit are fulfilled.
How Much is My Case Worth?
The value of a victim’s personal injury case depends on the total losses associated with the injury. To determine the total losses, the victim should look at medical bills, treatments, lost wages, and other costs related to the injury.
Lawyers can also factor in non-economic losses, like pain and suffering. The total amount is the minimum a victim should accept in a settlement offer. A lawyer can also help a victim determine a fair settlement offer by looking at former cases and projecting how much a victim’s injuries will cost both short and long-term. Many factors go into personal injury lawsuits, so it is important to seek legal representation right away.
Marion Personal Injury Lawyers at Cates Mahoney, LLC Successfully Obtain Compensation for Injured Victims
If your injury was caused by another person’s negligent actions, contact one of our respected Marion personal injury lawyers at Cates Mahoney, LLC. Personal injury victims are often forced to deal with serious financial and emotional losses. Our lawyers are here to help victims recover compensation for their injuries. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 618-277-3644. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we proudly serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.