Personal injury lawsuits are common. The term “personal injury” denotes an area of law wherein an attorney represents a plaintiff in a case against a defendant. The plaintiff will be bringing a suit at law (or lawsuit) against the defendant on the basis of injuries allegedly caused by the defendant. In other words, Fred is suing Barney.
What is Considered to be a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is any injury which occurred as a result of the actions or inaction of another, in which the injuring party should have reasonably known someone could be hurt by his/her actions or lack thereof.
For instance, say someone spills bleach in a store and the manager is called over. Rather than put a sign warning people of the danger or standing there personally for the same purpose, the manager walks away to tell the janitor. He gets distracted by some other minor emergency and in this period, someone slips and falls in the bleach, injuring their back.
Is the store at fault in the injury? That would be the central question in a lawsuit stemming from that scenario.
What Does Personal Injury Include?
Personal injury can include a wide range of accidents including slips and falls, car accidents, and manufacturer product defect injuries. Essentially, if a person is injured because of the irresponsibility of another, they have claim to a lawsuit.
What is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury?
These are insurance terms which some often hear after starting a personal injury claim. Bodily injury is coverage on a vehicle which pays for injuries to another person involved in the accident, but not the driver. Personal Injury protection is the portion of the insurance policy which pays for the driver. Thus, the term personal injury is also a legal term, but carries an entirely different meaning when speaking of insurance.
Is Pain and Suffering a Personal Injury?
Pain and suffering is considered part of the personal injury and includes both physical and emotional pain, mental injuries, and even loss of life enjoyment.
Does Bodily Injury Include Emotional Distress?
Bodily injury refers to an insurance term, more specifically, a definition within a policy. In some policies, it is possible that bodily injury may include emotional distress, but each policy differs. To understand what is included in the definition, it is necessary to read the entire policy and discuss it with an insurance professional.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Personal Injury Settlement?
The time-frame from filing a personal injury lawsuit to receiving a settlement depends on many factors. One is whether the plaintiff is willing to accept a settlement offer; another is whether the defendant makes an offer.
Of course, if the case goes to court, it could take years for a settlement to be reached. Each case is different, but your attorney can give you some idea what to expect and when.
How Can I Know if I have a Personal Injury Claim?
When one has been injured, there is a tendency to believe we were at fault. Sometimes we ignore minor pain at the time of injury and later realize it is worse than expected. Sometimes the severity of the injury does not appear for months.
During these times, knowing whether one has a personal injury claim can be especially troubling. Can it be proven? Am I overreacting? Is it worth the trouble?
These are all common questions, but ask yourself this, “Did I cause the accident?”
If the answer is “No” or “Not sure,” and you are injured, talk to a lawyer.
Is there a Limit on the Time I have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
There is a limit on the time in which a personal injury claim may be filed. This is called the statute of limitations. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is three (3) years. In Texas, the limit is two (2) years.
The clock starts ticking the moment the accident occurs.
What Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Personal injury attorney fees are the easiest for most people to afford. Each state allows for lawyers to charge what is termed a contingency fee. It is called that because collecting a fee is contingent on the attorney winning the case (or settling it, which is almost the same).
If the attorney does not win a monetary award for the client, the client owes nothing. If the attorney does win, he/she collects a percentage of the award less costs.
The exact percentage of contingency fees are determined by law and are different in Texas and New Mexico. Which is to be applied will be determined by the state in which the suit is to be filed.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Maybe not, but if an attorney is willing to take on your case, it is because he or she believes the case has merit, meaning, there is a good chance of winning. Statistically, an attorney will increase how much you are awarded, so having one is better than not.
AARLaw has been representing plaintiffs for decades and will be happy to discuss your case at your convenience. Why not Contact Us Now to speak with us in confidence.