How does a Personal Injury claim work?
A personal injury claim starts with an injured person. The injury usually involves physical damage to the person’s body that requires medical treatment, results in severe pain and stress, or both. If the injured person suspects or knows that someone else (such as another individual, a company, or the government) caused their injury, that person can hire a personal injury attorney to investigate the possibility of a legal claim.
Everyone in America must follow the law. The law requires everyone — including individuals, companies, and the government itself — to follow rules of safety and common sense so that we do not injure each other. A violation of this law is called “negligence,” as in, the wrongdoer neglected to follow this basic law. A person who breaks this law and injures someone else can be sued in court by the victim.
The victim (called a “plaintiff”) asks the court to order the wrongdoer (called a “defendant”) to make right what they did wrong. This remedy is a form of monetary payment called “damages” that compensate the victim for their injuries. These damages can include payment for medical expenses, lost time from work, physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other consequence of the injury compensable by law.
In most cases, the plaintiff and defendant will agree to settle the case out of court. But if the two sides cannot agree to a settlement, then the case can proceed to trial in front of a jury. The jury will decide who is to be believed, and what compensation (if any) the plaintiff deserves.
Please be aware: the law places a time limit on your ability to pursue a claim.