In legal terms, personal injury law is related to “injuries caused to a person’s mind, body or emotions.” If you have been injured it can be difficult to understand what all your options are and when you should start legal action and even how to go about doing it.
At Select Justice, our focus is on helping people and our goal is to make sure that your legal needs are met by the best lawyers experienced in the specific type of personal injury law you need.
We work with only the best firms and lawyers across the country who offer quality services. All of the people we work with offer their services on a contingency basis, meaning you pay no upfront fees at all to anyone.
We understand that some people have doubts and hesitations about lawyers and the legal process, but the fact is that without experienced legal representation many people will not get a fair deal in their case.
We are here to do the investigation work for you. You don’t have to spend hours researching the “best lawyers” near you. Simply fill out a free case review and we will provide you with the most experienced lawyer for your needs in your area.
We understand that those looking for a personal injury lawyer may have many questions. We have some tips and advice to help you understand the legal world of personal injuries a bit better.
The criminal justice system is designed to correct societal wrongs. It does this by fining or jailing individuals found guilty of crimes.
Some wrongs, however, are personal and not societal. For personal wrongs that have altered the life of an individual or group of individuals, there are personal injury lawsuits.
Personal Injury Lawsuits empower individuals to seek justice for themselves. The verdicts of these cases restore the quality of life lost by plaintiffs.
Speaking to a personal injury lawyer will help you understand the details and needs of your case. Although some people may not love the idea of getting lawyers involved it is recommended to get a free case review because there may be complexities involved in your case that you are not aware of.
A personal injury lawyer will review your case and let you know the best way to proceed. All of the lawyers in our network work on a contingency basis, so you do not need to pay any upfront fees and you only give the lawyers a fee if they win your case.
Personal injury lawsuits are brought by an individual seeking compensation from a defendant who has wronged them. Personal injury lawsuits seek compensation, usually through monetary payments.
We understand that some people may be overwhelmed by the idea of a lawsuit but the truth is that once an experienced lawyer is involved everything will be taken care of.
The point of the lawsuit is to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. There may be some lucky times where people who inflict harm will take responsibility right away and give what is needed to the injured parties however this is rarely what happens and that is when lawyers can help you.
Unlike in a criminal court where juries decide guilt, in a personal injury lawsuit juries decide whether the defendant is “liable” for the harms suffered by the plaintiff. Unlike criminal courts, where the jury must be sure “beyond a reasonable doubt,” in civil courts the burden of proof is based on “a preponderance of the evidence.” This is generally held to be a much lower standard to find.
Personal Injury Lawsuits fall under the following main three categories:
Negligence suits are based on a three-step logic process by which negligence is determined. First, the defendant must have had some duty of care for the plaintiff. Second, that duty of care must have been breached in some way. Third, that breach of the duty must have been the reason that the injury occurred.
An example of a personal injury lawsuit that uses negligence to establish liability would be a doctor who committed malpractice by not appraising a patient of the risks of a procedure or performed an unnecessary procedure that resulted in an injury. Another case could be an employer who failed to purchase safety equipment or enforce uniform safety. In both cases, the defendant was obligated to safeguard an individual and through that failure is liable for the individual’s injuries.
Intentional wrongs suits focus on an action that was committed by the defendant on purpose and resulted in some harm. An example given by the American Bar Association is that of an individual who was detained under the false assumption of shoplifting filing a lawsuit for false imprisonment.
Intentional wrongs suits can also arise from unintended consequences of intended actions like intentionally surprising an individual with a heart condition.
Strict liability lawsuits cover all cases where a drug, device, or consumer product is considered to be dangerous or harmful to consumers. Strict liability cases often make up class-action lawsuits or mass tort suits because so many individuals are likely to be impacted by a defective product.
There are many obstacles and requirements in order to successfully navigate a lawsuit. An attorney should be consulted when considering whether to file a lawsuit. Even with representation, there are still several areas where learning about the lawsuit procedure can benefit potential plaintiffs.
The following areas are important to understand in the cycle of a personal injury lawsuit:
Statute of Limitations
The first thing to address is the matter of time. Every state has a law governing how long a plaintiff can wait to file a lawsuit. This is known as the statute of limitations. If a lawsuit is not filed within the statute of limitations, then it is effectively invalid from the outset.
Time Frames of Lawsuits
Lawsuits are not a quick process. There are multiple stages to a lawsuit, all of which can take months or years to resolve. Even if a personal injury lawsuit goes to trial and the jury delivers a verdict, appeals and post-trial motions can take a significant amount of time to resolve.
Stages of Lawsuits
The first stage is the Discovery process. During Discovery, both plaintiffs and defendants will file motions to review documentation, record depositions, and receive interrogatories. All of the information compiled during Discovery is then pored over to decide what will and will not be included as evidence in the upcoming trial. This process can take years to complete.
After discovery comes a series of deadlines to file pre-trial motions which may include excluding witnesses, jury or venue selecting, and any number of minute yet powerful arguments to give either party the advantage. After pre-trial motions will come a series of hearings as well as the trial itself.
After the trial, post-trial motions are made and eventually, the verdict finds for one side or the other. Either side may then appeal the verdict in a higher court if they choose. Because of the significant cost and time consumption, the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits end in settlements.
Settlements can be offered at any time but can only be accepted by the plaintiff. A plaintiff may accept an offered settlement at any time if the defendant is willing to comply.
If you or a loved one have been harmed by negligent actions you may have a personal injury claim. It’s important to note any injuries and contact a personal injury attorney who will be able to advise you based on the laws of your state or municipality.
We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.