Examples of Accident Injury Claims
Slip and Fall AccidentsSlips and falls can happen anywhere and to anyone. Someone could slip at work or in a grocery store. Water, grease, or other substances make the ground slippery for people. Property owners must ensure the area is safe. They need to clean up hazards or display proper warning signs.
Motor Vehicle CollisionsCar accidents can range from a fender bender to a rollover. Over 4.4 million people suffer from acute injuries, and another 38,000 fatalities occur annually. A collision can be the result of a variety of causes. Heavy rain, icy roads, distractions, and alcohol consumption are common reasons a crash ensues. In most reported cases, one of the drivers acted carelessly leading up to the accident. However, the government or a manufacturer could have been negligent.
Misconceptions About Accident Injury ClaimsAccident injury lawsuits cover a wide variety of injuries. You can begin the process of a claim for the chance to get the money you need. When people become familiar with personal injury laws, they learn a lot of information. Nevertheless, misconceptions can confuse people. A few common assumptions are:
- You do not need a lawyer for minor injuries. Some people do not contact an attorney since they did not experience severe harm. However, even minor injuries may require a trip to the emergency room and further testing. The costs add up, and a lawyer helps you file a claim regardless of the damage severity.
- Accident injury claims take years to resolve. Several complicated cases last multiple years, especially if they have aggressive defendants. However, most lawsuits end after a reasonable amount of time. Claims usually take several months to about a year. Your attorney works hard to resolve matters efficiently.
- You have enough time to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations dictates how long you have. Most people only have a few years, and time can go by quickly. You need to begin the process as soon as you can. An exception to the deadline may apply, but you need to consult an attorney to know for sure.
How Much Is a Claim Worth?
The amount of money one person receives in a claim is not the same as what someone else gets. An individual could get $10,000, but another case awards $1 million. Your accident injury claim’s worth depends on several factors. The damages from an incident primarily influence the potential settlement.
Economic DamagesYour lawyer adds up the economic damages for an accurate payout. The average expense of emergency room care for nonfatal injuries is about $6,620. Hospitalization increases how much you need to pay. Severe traumatic events usually lead to higher medical costs. An injury like a spinal cord injury needs continuous care. Prescription medication and medical devices contribute to your claim’s worth. You should see a doctor right away to help ensure you get enough money in a settlement. Many injured people cannot go back to work for a while. You can present your attorney with pay stubs as proof of lost income. Debilitating injuries affect a person’s ability to earn wages in the future. The lost income adds to the overall settlement. Property damage increases the value of an accident injury case. You should keep copies of any repair bills you acquire. If the victim died due to the traumatic event, you could claim funeral and burial expenses.
Non-Economic DamagesCourts cannot quantify non-economic damages as easily as economic ones. However, they generally try to provide a fair measurement. An accident can cause emotional distress in the victim. If the bodily harm leads to disfigurement, someone’s mental health can decline. You can claim damages for loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, and pain and suffering. The death of a loved one has another set of non-economic damages. Depending on the person, the lawsuit’s worth increases with the loss of services or companionship. Many states place a cap on non-economic damages. The caps limit how much you can receive in a settlement.
Additional Contributing FactorsOther factors include who the party is in a lawsuit. Major companies, government entities, and defendants with plenty of resources impact a claim’s worth. You might win more funds from a company than an individual with little to no assets. Of course, multiple at-fault parties can mean a higher value. Your claim’s worth can depend on the availability of insurance. Your policy might cover a portion of damages—but has a limit. The defendant might have no insurance coverage as well. If you file a lawsuit against them, you might not receive much money in a settlement. You can ask your lawyer to estimate how much compensation to pursue.
Arguments From the DefendantA payout could be worth a lot of money, and the other party’s insurance company usually issues the check. You can expect the defendant to contest one or more allegations against them. Common defenses the opposing party might use are:
- Pre-existing conditions. The defendant might argue that a pre-existing condition led to your injuries. Their attorney could question the exact nature of your injuries. Additionally, the insurance might ask you to sign a medical release form. However, a previous condition could have worsened because of the defendant’s negligence.
- You were aware of the risks. The other side tries to avoid liability with the argument you knew of the dangers. Accidents in a gym, at a pool, or hazardous workplace might involve the defense tactic. They need to show you had actual knowledge and accepted the risks.
- Expired statute of limitations. In some cases, people do not realize they got injuries from an accident until years later. The deadline likely has passed by the time the person files a claim. The defendant can get the court to dismiss the case. However, the law allows an exception under a few circumstances.