Attorney David Cates discusses personal injury lawsuits in the United States. He also provides an example of how he handles a personal injury case brought to him by an injured party.
How does personal injury law work?
The essential elements of a personal injury claim are negligence and damages. A person must show that someone other than herself was negligent and that she suffered some form of loss or damage as a result. For example, if the other person’s carelessness caused an auto accident, which resulted in injuries to your back, you would be entitled to damages for your medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, the injured person may be entitled to punitive damages if there was actual malice involved in causing the accident.
What is an example of a personal injury case you have handled?
I represented a mother whose son died while playing on a Slip ‘N Slide during a backyard party. The water slid on which he was playing came to an end at the base of a small hill on which he lost his balance and slid into the street, where he was hit by an automobile. In addition, we proved that the homeowner who organized the gathering had actual knowledge of prior accidents involving children on this same slide.
How can you pursue your case?
The next step in pursuing a personal injury claim would be to hire an attorney who specializes in this area of law. The attorney will review the accident’s facts and circumstances and meet with witnesses to determine what happened and who is at fault for causing it.
What can you do if someone else causes your injuries?
If you’ve been injured by someone other than yourself, there are a few things you can do to protect your rights under the law:
- You should immediately gather all of the information and names of any witnesses at the accident scene.
- If possible, take photographs or video of the injuries and property damage and make detailed notes about what happened.
- If you have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
What about car accidents?
All 50 states have dealt with the question of fault in automobile accidents. Generally, if the other driver was at fault for causing an accident, that person’s insurance company will be responsible for compensating you for your injuries, medical expenses, and property damage.
What are some cases of personal injury?
Some examples of personal injury include dog bites, slip and fall accidents, car accidents, medical malpractice cases, and defective products.
What if you are injured at work?
If you suffer an injury while working, your employer will still be financially responsible for compensating you under the law. When injuries occur on the job, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. You should gather any information on the accident from your employer, including who witnessed it and who saw you immediately afterward. You should also seek legal representation to protect your rights under the law.
What kind of damages can be awarded in a personal injury case?
In a personal injury case where someone is injured on another person’s property, like slipping and falling in a grocery store, the injured person is usually entitled to recover all past and future medical bills, in addition to lost wages. If the injury occurred due to the careless acts of another person, she might be able to sue for personal injury damages, which can include punitive damages.