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Understanding a Personal Injury Lawsuit

header.jpgThere can be so much confusion when trying to understand the law in the event of an injury. Especially considering there are multiple factors when it comes to personal injury suits. A personal injury lawsuit is a civil suit where the person injured (known as the plaintiff) files a lawsuit against a company or individual (the defendant) whose negligent or intentional actions caused bodily harm to that person. Because of the injury, the plaintiff files a suit for the defendant for a monetary settlement amount.

What is pain and suffering?

frr_p&s.jpgThe term pain and suffering refer to the physical or mental pain and suffering a person goes through due to their injuries. For example, a person that experiences physical pain and suffering is not just referring to the physical pain from the injury, but to the adverse effects, they are likely to suffer in the future. An example of mental pain and suffering could be the anxiety or depression a person develops due to the physical pain of their injuries. In some cases the mental stress is so severe the person cannot return to work even after they have healed resulting in loss of wages which is factored into the amount awarded.

What are some examples of a personal injury lawsuit?

  • Automobile accidents are one of the more common personal injury cases. In this case, the operator of the vehicle that caused the accident will be responsible for payment to the injured party for the damages that may include damages made to the vehicle, medical bills, loss of wages and potential pain and suffering in the future.


  • Assault and Battery cases result when a person causes physical injury or death to the individual. The victim must prove that the attack was intentional and that it was meant to cause bodily harm or death.The attack can cause not only extensive physical damage but also mental damage from the trauma of the event.


  • Medical Malpractice is where a patient is injured or killed due to the negligence of a medical professional. The individual must prove that the physician was legally required to treat that person; moreover, that the treatment was deemed detrimental due to the action or inaction of the professional.


  • Injuries related to a defective product, such as an electronic device or a toy that malfunctions due to a design or manufacturing defect and causes injury or death to a person are another example of a personal injury suit. In these cases, the injured can sue if there is a flaw in the design that causes injury or death; or if the manufacturer did not warn of possible danger.


Is there a statute of limitations?

frr_time.jpgA statute of limitations is the amount of time a person can file a lawsuit after the event of the accident or assault. For a personal injury suit, the statute of limitations is anywhere from one to six years, depending on your state; with an exceptionally long amount of time in Oregon of ten years. Once the allotted amount of time has passed, you will not be able to file a suit for the incident.   


How much can you be awarded for a personal injury lawsuit?

While there is no specific formula to determine how much value the injury should receive, there are several factors taken into consideration when making the decision. Some of these include whether the plaintiff is credible, consistent with their story, isn’t exaggerating about their injuries, and if they have a medical professional to support their claim.


While these are all good examples of a personal injury, they are only a few factors and examples involved in a lawsuit. You should consult with an attorney to establish if you have a viable claim.



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