What is Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a broad category of law that encompasses all forms of injury to your physical person as well as emotional, mental, and reputational injuries. Common personal injury cases included construction site injuries (passersby and construction workers), medical malpractice (injured patients), all forms of motor vehicle accidents (car, truck, and motorcycles), premise liability (slip and falls), traumatic brain injuries (lifetime care and management cases), wrongful death (holding those accountable for avoidable fatalities), dog bites, and defamation. If you’ve been injured in some way as a result of someone else’s action or property, it’s best to check and see if you have a case.
How do I know if I have a case?
This isn’t a decision you make on your own, it’s what consultations are for. Each case will very based on situation, context, and the state it happened in. Even the type of injury will decide if you have a case (for example if you were in a car accident, you must not have been at fault). It’s all very complicated and something you shouldn’t tackle on your own.
What damages are available in this case?
Each case is different, but most commonly, compensatory damages are what you’re looking at. This covers economic and non-monetary damages. Economic damages includes anything tangible such as medical bills, lost incoming, property damage, and the cost of any future treatment to restore quality of life. Non-economic damages includes what is not so objective and tangible such as mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. All damages must be able to be awarded quantifiably. A less common form of damages is punitive which, as the name implies, are intended to punish the defendant to deter future behavior.
How long does the process take?
A very small percentage of personal injury cases actually go to trial. The vast majority end in some sort of settlement outside of court. That doesn’t mean it makes the process any faster though. It takes time to reach settlement which often involves not just the defendant but their insurance company as well as their own legal teams. The more money at play, the longer it will take to reach settlement. The same goes for the complexity of any case which can lengthen the process as the insurance company fights different liability pieces.
How do I pay medical bills until we reach settlement?
Unfortunately, you will have to cover the cost of your medical bills initially. But there are programs you may qualify for that a personal injury lawyer can help you with. The Personally Injury Protection program can be used to cover medical bills after a motor vehicle accident. You also should talk to your insurance company about what they cover in this situation. Your lawyer can also help you with those conversations.
If you believe you have a case, don’t hesitate to contact Lampert & Walsh to get a consultation on your case!