PERSONAL INJURY LAW OVERVIEW
Personal injury law is the process of enacting legal defense through civil lawsuits due to physical or emotional harm that arose from negligence. Also known as tort law, personal injury law allows the victim of a negligent act to receive compensation for their injuries. Compensation will only be rewarded when negligence, injury due to the failure to use reasonable care, has been established.
A personal injury claim typically involves an injury to a person in one of three ways:
- Physical bodily impairment
- Emotional suffering
- Pain and discomfort
Physical bodily impairment encompasses any injury that a person sustains on their actual body during an accident. For example, if someone were injured in a reckless car crash, they are considered to have sustained actual bodily harm. Emotional suffering involves a vast scope of injuries usually as a result of libel or a threat to the injured person. Pain and discomfort are concerned with how the accident has altered the injured person’s daily activities and lifestyle.
Negligence is established in a personal injury case once it is proved that:
- The Defendant had a legal obligation of duty towards the injured person.
- The Defendant did not uphold their duty of care.
- Plaintiff’s sustained injury was a direct result of Defendant’s failure to uphold their duty of care.
The goal of personal injury law is to return the injured person back to the position that they were in before the accident. Oftentimes, it is not possible for this to happen, so instead, the injured person is compensated in other ways. This compensation usually comes in the form of money, whether it be to make up lost wages, medical expenses, funeral expenses, or pain and discomfort damages.
The process of filing a personal injury claim is oftentimes strenuous and complicated. A qualified personal injury attorney can significantly streamline and simplify a personal injury claim proceeding. Contact Carlson & Work at 775-298-6403 for personal injury law guidance in Reno, Nevada.
PERSONAL INJURY CASE TIMELINE
If you have been injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury claim. This claim timeline can be confusing and long, especially if you have no prior knowledge of the format and logistics of a personal injury process. Below is a brief explanation of the timeline of a personal injury case.
Evidence is a crucial aspect of a personal injury case. It important to gather as much evidence as possible about the accident that occurred and the injuries you sustained. The type of evidence that should be collected includes:
- Multiple photos and videos at the scene of the accident from as many angles and perspectives as possible. These photos should include any damage that the accident caused before and after anything is moved.
- Calls to emergency services for any medical treatment needed.
- Calls to law enforcement to create a police report.
- Contact, insurance, and vehicle information from everyone involved in a car accident.
- Information from any witnesses of the accident, as well as the witnesses’ contact information.
- Any documentation of the accident, including reports to those around the accident, medical expenses, lost wages due to the accident, and insurance letters.
Attempt to Reach Settlement
Many minor personal injury claims can be settled before a lawsuit is filed. A lawyer can help negotiate with another attorney or the defendant’s insurance company to reach a settlement that is sufficient enough to compensate for the victim’s injuries. Normally, this will occur through a written demand letter where you and your lawyer will ask for a high amount of financial compensation from either the insurance company or the defendant. Negotiations over this demand will occur until the parties either come to an agreement or decide to file a lawsuit.
File Court Documents
If the two parties cannot reach a settlement, a lawsuit will commence with the filing of court documents. Typically, an attorney will prepare and file a complaint that identifies the legal basis for the personal injury lawsuit. Within this complaint, the attorney will establish negligence using the gathered evidence from the accident. The complaint will also enclose the compensation that the injured person is requesting for their personal injury.
Go To Trial
Before going to trial, the parties can attempt to reach a settlement on their claim through mediation. If a settlement is not reached at mediation, the case will go to trial. The length of a personal injury trial varies greatly due to the complexity of the case. The personal injury trial can be half a day, a full day, a week, or longer. At the trial, a judge will decide how much compensation the injured person should receive.
Once the judge has ordered the amount of compensation that the injured person should receive from the defendant, the case will be complete, and the injured person will be able to collect their compensation.
COMMON INJURIES OF A PERSONAL INJURY CASE
The field of personal injury encompasses several types of injuries and incidents. In Nevada, the severity and depth of a personal injury case depend on the type of injury sustained from the given accident. While almost any kind of accident can develop into a personal injury case, not every incident will end in legal liability. The following will review some of the more common injuries in a personal injury case.
Many personal injury cases involve car accidents. While some states follow a “no-fault” law where the driver who caused the car accident cannot be sued, Nevada is not a “no-fault” state, meaning that a person in the state of Nevada who was injured as a result of a car accident that was not their fault may be able to seek compensation for their injuries.
Slip and Fall Accidents
It is the legal duty of any property owner to keep their establishment free of any dangers that could result in the injury of an innocent person. For example, if a person slips and falls on a liquid substance on the floor of a grocery store, that person may be eligible for a personal injury claim.
Wrongful Death Accidents
Wrongful death personal injury claims are a result of a person dying due to the negligent act of others. This would occur in any instance where someone has a legal duty of care towards someone and fails to uphold that duty. For example, a pedestrian fatality could likely result in a wrongful death claim.
Doctors and health care professionals are responsible for upholding the same appropriate medical standard of care to each patient they treat. Failure to do so can result in serious injury of the patient. Medical malpractice personal injury claims can be complex and difficult to prove, so it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney if you believe you have a case.