EMPIRE LAW GROUP
Finding Legal Relief to Injuries Resulting from Accidents
Accidents almost always result in injuries. They have direct causal effects, wherein the injured person may be able to identify who is liable for the accident and ultimately the injuries sustained.
Legally, an injury is a violation of a person’s interest. A person’s constitutionally protected interest can be in the form of physical or mental well-being, property, and reputation.
Examples of injuries include:
* If a surgeon mistakenly amputates the right leg when the patient injured the left foot, the patient can sue the surgeon and hospital in negligence or medical malpractice suit.
* Two friends got into a fight. One hit the other with a bat, resulting in a broken rib. The injured party can file charges of assault and battery. The perpetrator may even face criminal penalties.
* A writer who keeps an opinion column in a local newspaper intentionally accuses a neighbor of committing petty crimes. The neighbor can sue the writer for defamation because there has been damage to his reputation.
Seeking Damages in Court
In these injury-related cases, the plaintiff seeks compensation for damages from the perpetrator. But according to law, there must first be a recognizable damage that has given rise to pain and suffering. If there are no physical damages, the plaintiff may pursue claims for psychological symptoms. There are, however, strict rules under how claims on such circumstances may succeed.
Damages can either be compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages refer to monetary compensation for the plaintiff’s injuries. On the other hand, punitive damages are reserved for outrageous violations wherein the defendant has acted with malice.
The level of compensation for damages will depend on the nature of the injury, as well as the losses and expenses that resulted. Establishing the at-fault party in court is usually easier compared to the task of determining the reasonable level of damages.
Pre-existing medical conditions may have an impact on the claim. Expert medical evidence will be needed to address these concerns.
In the US, there is a statutory period within which to file an action. The time limit is two years from the time of knowledge to bring a claim to court. The Statute of Limitations Act of 1957 provides the rules surrounding injury claims.
With regards to knowledge, this refers to the following information: time of injury, the significance of the injury, who the at-fault party is, and, if the injury is because of negligence, breach of duty or nuisance. In most cases, the time of knowledge will be the time the injury was sustained.
The rationale behind the time limit lies in the fact that the sooner a plaintiff proceeds with the claim, the easier it will be to show substantial supporting evidence. Also, the court believes that it is unfair for the defendant to live with the fear of potential legal action for a long time.
Should there be an unreasonable delay in bringing a claim to court, the court may decide to dismiss the case.
A personal injury lawyer can thoroughly prepare a claim case and legally fight for you. He/She has the knowledge and experience to deal with insurance companies, subpoena witnesses and experts to support your claim, analyze the evidence, negotiate a settlement, and apply the law to your advantage.