Have you been injured in an accident or another harmful incident and are considering suing the at-fault party, but do not know where to begin?. Or maybe you are unsure about how a personal injury lawyer can help you or what benefits you may be entitled to receive?
In this post, we introduce you to the fundamentals of personal injury law and provide you with an overview of how a personal injury lawyer can help you. We also link valuable articles to expand your search or request a free initial consultation with our legal team.
But first, let’s start with the basics:
What is Personal Injury Law?
Personal Injury (also known as tort law) allows victims of accidents or other wrongful incidents to file a civil lawsuit to claim compensation for damages, like medical expenses and wage losses. Compensation not only covers existing medical costs but can also include reasonable future expenses for your care, such as medication, equipment, ongoing rehabilitative treatment, assistance with housekeeping and personal care, etc.
Personal Injury law is often associated exclusively with bodily harm, but emotional damage, pain and suffering, and PTSD are also included in personal injury.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Accidents, intentional acts, defective products, and defamation are all part of personal injury. Accidents include slip and falls, medical malpractice and motor vehicle accidents (subject to recent ICBC no-fault legislation). Intentional acts include activities that are purposely performed to harm you, such as assault and battery. Defective products include injuries caused by products that are defective or dangerous for human consumption. And last but not least there is defamation, which refers to actions that cause harm to your image, and can result in wage losses and emotional suffering and distress.
Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
You will need to get familiar with multiple elements and terms when you begin a personal injury claim. Although every claim is different, plaintiff, defendant, settlement, and liability are probably the most recurrent terms you will hear during your claim.
Plaintiff: A plaintiff is the person who was injured from a wrongful act or accident and initiates a claim against the at-fault party in a court of law. To simplify it, a plaintiff is the person who starts the lawsuit.
Defendant: The defendant is the person whose actions allegedly caused an injury or loss to the plaintiff. The defendant is the person being sued. In many personal injury claims, the defence is funded by an insurance company from insurance purchased by the defendant.
Settlement: A settlement occurs when the defendant and the plaintiff agree on compensation to resolve the claim. The defendant agrees to pay this amount, eliminating the need for a judge to resolve the controversy.
Liability: In law, liability is the legal responsibility of the at-fault party to compensate the injured party. Sometimes, liability is 100% given to one party, but you can also be found partially liable for an accident. In this case, the calculation of your settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault. E.g., if you are 10% at fault, you will recover 90% of the assessed damages.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Personal Injury lawyers represent victims who have been injured due to an intentional or unintentional wrongful act from either another person, a company, entity or organization. They ensure your claim is adequately presented, craft a legal strategy, and negotiate or litigate a fair settlement or outcome. Having a personal injury lawyer you trust is essential, as these claims can be complex, delicate, and take a long time to settle or resolve. It is important you feel comfortable communicating with your legal team.
Learn more about how a personal injury can help you here.
Talk to STA’s Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
Simpson, Thomas & Associates has proudly and diligently served the victims of accidents and wrongful incidents in BC for over 50 years. If you have been injured and want to know about making a personal injury claim, do not hesitate to reach out to our legal team. You can call 604 689 8888 or fill out our online form to request a free legal consultation.
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