According to the US Department of Justice, there were 7,000 reported cases of personal injury in 75 regional courts around the country. The data also showed that among these cases, 52% of them was due to road accidents, 15% due to medical malpractice, 5% due to product liability, and 28% for other cases. With these stats, we can see that personal injury cases are very common no matter where we are.
If you happen to be a victim of a personal injury case, what’s the next thing you do?
The simplest answer is to get a personal injury lawyer to help you file a case. Take note that different counties have different rules and procedures. With this in mind, get a lawyer that specializes in your region. For example, if you live in Newport News in Virginia, then get a Newport News personal injury attorney to handle the case. Once you have a lawyer, file a case right away.
Why It Is Important to Know the Process
One thing to note is that most victims win their personal injury cases or, at the very least, have a settlement with the defendant. Even if the latter is the case, it is always important to know how much compensation you can get from the damages you’ve suffered. There are basically two types of settlements for damages. These are the compensatory and punitive damages.
- Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are broken down into special and general types. Special compensatory damages refer to expenses incurred because of the injury. They include hospital bills, opportunity loss, healthcare expenses and other things.
General compensatory damages refer to all the non monetary damages incurred because of the injury. These include the pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other emotional damages.
- Punitive Damages
The second type is the punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to victims when the defendant displayed wrongful behavior. These cover injuries resulting from a malicious act.
Two Types of Settlement Modes
If the victim wins the case, the judge may pick either of the two modes of settlement for the defendant to pay. These modes are: a lump sum or a structured settlement. The lump sum settlement forces the defendant to pay the compensation and damages in one whole amount. The structured settlement is based on an agreed term and may be in the form of installments.
Whether you are a victim of personal injury filing a case or a defendant charged with personal injury, it is important to have a good lawyer by your side. For victims, your goal is to squeeze as much compensation from the defendant as you can. The defendant, on the other hand, must try to make the damages as little as possible and to make the terms more flexible. Of course, the whole outcome of the settlement depends on the decision of the courts. The decision of the courts is based on the skill of the lawyers defending their clients. Thus, hire a lawyer that you can rely on.