How to File Suit for Personal Injury Damages
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What Are Personal Injury Damages?
Personal injury damages are monetary amounts that are issued to the victim in an injury lawsuit. There are many different categories of damages awards, such as compensatory, punitive, pain and suffering, and others. However, the most common type of damages award is a compensatory damage award that is meant to reimburse the plaintiff for their economic losses.
Personal damage awards are calculated using a number of different factors. These can include: the type of injury involved; the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries; the degree to which either party is liable; and the injury laws in that jurisdiction.
What Are Some Guidelines for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
When filing suit for personal injury damages, there are several guidelines that can help you succeed on your claim. These can include:
- Be aware of deadlines: The “statute of limitations” in each state allows you only a certain amount of time to file your lawsuit after the injury occurred. After this time period, you can no longer file a lawsuit
- Be aware of which court to file in: Depending on where the injury occurred, you may need to file in a specific court. This can also mean that a different set of laws may apply, especially for injuries that occur across state lines
- Do not file “frivolous” claims: Do not file lawsuits that do not have a legitimate basis, or that are filed solely for the purpose of harassing the other party. Doing so can lead to negative consequences like a contempt order or even criminal penalties
- Be responsive to the other party: You are obligated to respond to certain communications and requests from the other party. However, you should also be careful to only speak when your attorney is present, and if at all possible, when the other party’s attorney is present as well
Lastly, be sure to hold on to any items of evidence that you might feel useful for the lawsuit. You should entrust these to the care of a qualified attorney, who can keep them safely during the course of the lawsuit.
What Are Some Legal Issues to Consider Regarding Personal Injury Damages?
Most personal injury damage awards are issued based on a negligence theory. Negligence requires a showing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, and that their breach of this duty resulted in damages to the plaintiff. This is a somewhat complex legal analysis, but is necessary especially where the defendant did not act intentionally to harm the victim.
Another issue to consider is where the plaintiff’s damage award gets reduced due to their own conduct. If a plaintiff has contributed to their own injuries, it could result in their damage award being lessened in amount. Rules governing these types of situations may vary by region however. Lastly, plaintiffs generally have an obligation to reduce damages in a personal injury claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Personal Injury Damages?
Personal injury damages are one of the more common methods for resolving personal injury lawsuits. If you need assistance with any legal matters, you may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer for advice or representation in court. Your lawyer can help you with the filing of your claim, and will be able to provide you with the guidance needed to obtain your rightful damage award.
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Last Modified: 08-25-2014 12:53 PM PDT
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