Personal injury is often misunderstood because it covers such a wide area of legal claims. What is and is not personal injury can be confusing, but it is defined as a wide range of circumstances where one party’s negligence or deliberate action causes harm and injuries to the mind, body or emotions of another party. Personal injury is one of the most common types of legal cases filed, and women file as many personal injury claims as men.
A personal injury case is a civil case meaning the objective in a personal injury case is for financial compensation from the defendant. Since there is no criminal element in the case, the defendant cannot receive jail time if he or she loses the case. Also, since it is a civil case, the burden of proof for personal injury is much lower than in a criminal case. To win, the plaintiff lower must prove fault based on a preponderance of the evidence, rather than reasonable doubt which is required in a criminal case.
The important components necessary for a plaintiff to win a civil case is for the plaintiff must show that:
- the injuries were caused by the defendant’s behavior,
- that the defendant’s behavior was reckless, willful, or negligent, and
- that the injuries caused by the defendant have a financial impact to the plaintiff that can be quantified.
Personal injury lawsuits are so common partly because personal injury can happen in nearly any circumstance. They are most often however filed for defective products, traffic accidents, medical malpractice, assault, and slip or trip and falls on private and public property. The injuries sustained from personal injury may be physical, mental or emotional and can be short term or lifelong. The damages sought in a personal injury case will seek to cover medical bills, loss of work, pain and suffering, impaired or diminished quality of life and other things that have occurred due to the injuries caused by the defendant.
When a plaintiff brings a personal injury claim, there are important things to do that will greatly improve the odds of winning the case, Here is a short list:
Hire a Good Local Personal Injury Lawyer
You must hire an attorney in the jurisdiction where the personal injury occurred. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident in Miami, you must hire an attorney licensed in Florida, and it is best to hire a good personal injury lawyer in Miami because they know the court system in that city and can do the best job for you. Your lawyer will instruct you on all of the necessary things that you both need to do to win your case.
Make Sure You are Prepared
Your personal injury case will include hundreds of big and small details. You will be required to recall every event and circumstance related to your injuries while the defendant will try and prove that the fault was yours. You must be completely prepared with all of the facts. This means that you must take good notes regarding the car accident; get a police report, take down and contact any witnesses, and take all of the details and personal information from the defendant and anyone else involved in the car accident, and any witnesses to it as well. You need to notate all of your doctor and rehab visits and those with your attorney as well. Also keep a record of the work you lose because of your injuries and the loss of quality things in your life including intimacy.
One additional major aspect is the mental anguish you can sustain. Car accident victims often develop phobias, anxiety, and other mental issues when they are in a bad car accident. You can receive compensation for these issues as well so you should note them. Being well prepared for your personal injury case with great notes will help your lawyer make your best case and get you the most compensation.
Hire a good local lawyer and take good notes and it will greatly improve your chances of winning your personal injury lawsuit.