It was just another day for David when he was walking along the 6th Avenue of Tacoma city, Washington when he was hit by a car driver from behind. How could a pedestrian who was going to have his evening dinner in the restaurant ‘The Table’ would expect that he is going to be hit by a car? But, it had happened.
He got hit by someone who was on drugs and driving almost semi-consciously. The accident was brutal and David had lost his one limb. His family had then approached us and we worked towards getting him compensated for the personal injury he had suffered.
You or someone close to you might have experienced hurt or serious personal injury caused by someone else and you may be considering filing a case to receive adequate compensation. But, you just want to be sure about how much your case is worth and the total costs of personal injury or damage to be assessed not just in terms of physical but mental setback and if the defendant will also need to be punished when found guilty of causing the hurt to the plaintiff.
As an attorney dealing with family law, criminal law, and personal injury, I write this blog to expose you to different types of personal injury cases, who will bear the cost of injury, and how you can receive compensation in lieu of a certain type of case.
Therefore, I divide this blog into three different sections as follows.
- Personal injury law and different types of personal injury cases.
- Who should bear the cost of damages?
- And, how you can receive compensation?
Personal Injury Law and Different Types of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury lawsuits are based on the basic premise that all of us are expected to act and behave according to the rules set by the society or state’s authority and any diversion from the set rules means negligence on someone’s part and a chance of putting someone else at risk.
The degree to which any risk or damage caused to the person is assessed and then paid for, by the defendant through a negotiated settlement done by the attorneys dealing with personal injury cases. The extent to which a personal injury case may be assessed may include the loss of life, loss of capacity to earn a decent income, funeral expenses, etc.
It must be noted that the term ‘negligence’ as per law may acquire a more serious definition as in showing negligence out of ‘intentional torts’ where tort would mean ‘injustice’ and where the harm or damage is a result of fraud, misuse, assault, slander, etc.
Now, let’s take a look at the types of personal injury.
Work-Related Personal Injury
This kind of personal injury occurs at work and may occur because of harmful explosives, lack of maintenance of the equipment, lack of training to the employees, and in general unsafe or unhygienic working conditions. This kind of injury is normally observed in the factories, coal mining areas, oil rigging fields, etc.
Healthcare Related Personal Injury
This kind of injury is usually caused due to the negligence of medical professionals who out of lack of knowledge, training, or attention, failed to diagnose a medical condition and offered an improper remedy to the illness or accident.
Personal Injury Due to Defective Product
The injury may be caused sometimes due to the product being defective or a product not being able to meet the minimum quality standards. For e.g. pharmaceutical company not adhering to the USFDA requirement and because of which someone gets ill or dies.
Who should bear the cost of damages?
It can be an individual or business who will suffer the cost of damage if the injury is caused due to anyone out of them. The damage amount or award is decided based upon the negotiated settlement agreed by the two parties, their insurance companies, and their attorneys. If it’s a court trial, a judge may direct the amount of compensation to be awarded to the injured.
How you can receive compensation?
The two types of damages for which a plaintiff may be compensated are compensatory damages and punitive damages.
This kind of damage means that the plaintiff (whether it’s the injured or someone on behalf of the injured person) will be compensated to the extent that the plaintiff can feel ‘whole’ again by placing a monetary value though in certain cases of pain (physical or emotional), it’s hard for an attorney to quantify the pain.
So, as a plaintiff, you can be awarded the damage amount or compensated for medical treatment, income (if you have lost your earning capacity in the past due to an accident and what you could have made in the future), property loss (if your house or office or items therein were damaged), physical or emotional distress (for eg. anxiety, severe trauma, fear, amnesia, loss of sleep, loss of companionship etc.)
This kind of compensation is paid to the injured or plaintiff over and above the compensatory damage if the defendant showed extreme carelessness and which resulted in severe personal injury to the plaintiff. This is done to prevent the plaintiff from engaging in the same kind of act another time. This kind of award mostly comes with a ‘cap’ depending on which state you live in.
Now, while these two kinds of compensation exist, you must also remember the fact that your action or inaction as a plaintiff could affect the outcome of compensation.
There are normally three kinds of such cases and they are the following.
Comparative Negligence: If you have been at fault and even though to a partial degree, the cost of damage may get affected and you might get less than what you would have actually deserved.
Contributory Negligence: In some states of the United States, you will come across the personal injury lawsuits where you as a plaintiff might not receive any compensation because you were at fault to a partial degree.
Failure to Mitigate Damage: If you as a plaintiff sits back and takes a lackadaisical approach to the compensation (say, you don’t take an active interest in receiving medical treatment), your compensation may be reduced significantly.
The aforementioned points should serve as excellent indicators for you to get prepared for compensation that you so deserve after a personal injury and seek an attorney’s help. Don’t be afraid of a business powerhouse or an individual who might be in an authoritative position.
At Whalley Law based in Tacoma city, Washington, we are there to help you with personal injury cases such as slip and fall accidents, car and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability cases, and personal injury litigation process. Remember that time is crucial to exercise legal rights and therefore you must take immediate action to have the best outcome.