When you get injured and it’s not your fault, you need to take action.
If you’re unfamiliar with the personal injury claim process, you wouldn’t be the only one. The legal world can be a bit complicated and it’s no different when it comes to personal injury claims.
Common causes of personal injury claims are auto accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, and medical malpractice among other things. But, not every injury warrants a personal injury claim. In this post, we’re going to guide you through the personal injury claim process so that you know exactly what to do when you’re injured.
You don’t want to let your injury go uncompensated and you don’t want to go through the claim process if your injury doesn’t warrant compensation, so let’s get started.
A Personal Injury Claim Guide
There are two basic issues at the heart of a personal injury claim: liability and damages. If you’re injured, you have to consider the damages that you’ve incurred against the liability of the other party.
When you think you can prove that someone else is liable for your damages, then move forward with a claim. Here’s how it works.
Meeting and Breaching Duty
The first step after you’ve experienced an injury (other than seeking medical attention) is determining if the other party was breaching a duty to keep you safe.
Duty comes in levels based on how the other person is related to you. A stranger that hits you in a car accident has less duty to you than, say, a medical professional. However, it has to be proven that another doctor in a similar situation would’ve acted differently to keep you safe.
Once you’ve proven that there’s been a breach of duty on the part of the other person, you then have to prove that this breach is the direct cause of your injury.
A medical professional’s duty is to be aware of the medication that their patients are allergic to, for example. If they don’t make themselves aware of that and prescribe you medication that you’re allergic to, they’ve breached their duty, thus causing your personal injury.
Things to Know
Depending on where in America you live, different laws will apply to personal injury claims. There are statutes of limitations and limits on damages.
The statute of limitations is how long you’ll have to bring a personal injury claim to court after the injury has taken place. Of course, many claims settle out of court, but if you wait beyond the statute of limitations, your claim will be barred from court.
There are two types of damages that you’ll be awarded. Compensatory damages are reimbursements for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, etc. Occasionally, punitive damages are awarded to further compensate a plaintiff for pain and suffering.
Different states will also have different limits on punitive damages.
Don’t Wait to File Your Claim
Now that you know what the personal injury claim process entails, you can decide whether your case warrants a claim. If it does, don’t hesitate to get this done sooner than later. The sooner you put this behind you and get rewarded for your damages, the sooner you can get on with your life.
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