Personal injury is a form of tort law that enables people to seek justice when they are injured because of someone’s negligence. The negligence may take many forms including automobile accidents where someone is clearly at fault, medical negligence caused by poorly developed medications or erroneous prescriptions, and toxic environments, air or water, caused by industrial negligence. Tort law enables the victims of injury from negligence the right to sue the negligent party for financial compensation to cover costs incurred by their injury.
Most of the time personal injury law suits are not simple and straight forward. The victim has to evaluate the cost of the damage to him or her. This calculation has to be documented and realistic in order to provide a legal basis for the suit. The victim has to prove that the party accused actually was negligent and that a legal level of responsible due diligence was not met in this instance. The accused has to have been aware of the negligence and able to prevent it. This legal documentation will have to be made in the face of an accused party who is vigorously defending himself or herself.
The law suit must be undertaken under legal procedure with both parties represented. It must be undertaken in a timely way. For example, in some jurisdictions, the proceedings must begin within three years of the injury, or the victim may lose the right to bring the claim. In the United States, the statute of limitations (how long it may take to bring the suit) for damage suits varies from state to state.
Good legal representation is always necessary to pursue personal injury claims. In spite of advertising, law suits of this type are rarely easy. There are many legal subtleties to the establishment of fault and justifying a claimed level of damages.
Many times the legal proceedings go between a plaintiff, claiming the injury, and an insurance company contracted by the defendant. Insurance companies are often large well represented organizations that will energetically resist the plaintiff’s claims. However, if the evidence of negligence is very strong, the defendant may settle a civil suit outside of court. That is often a much more convenient and less expensive option for the defendant. It all depends on a complex legal negotiation requiring strong legal support.
Most of the time lawyers that take personal injury cases will do so on a contingency basis. They will adjust their fees based on the size of the settlement and will not be paid if the lawsuit is unsuccessful. This prevents lawyers from taking cases that cannot win, preventing trivial lawsuits. It is also a guarantee for a defendant that the legal services received will be of the highest quality.