Each year, there are thousands of injury cases filed with U.S. district courts. According to the United States Courts, civil cases rose by over 6,000 to 284,604 in 2013. Personal injury filings themselves accounted for 63,316 – over 22 percent – of those cases.
What Constitutes a Personal Injury Case?
Many of the cases that involve personal injury have some form of negligence. Certain negligent actions often end up resulting in accidental injuries to the victim.
- Car Accidents
It is extremely common for personal injury cases to be caused by car accidents. Victims may include car passengers or nearby pedestrians.
- Slip and Fall Injuries
Injuries caused by slips and falls can occur anywhere but are most likely to happen in places like grocery or retail stores. Usually, the store in question is at fault because there was water on the floor, walkways were not clearly marked, or because handrails were either not present or were broken.
- Medical Malpractice
An injury that is caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse or staff at a hospital or clinic certainly qualifies as a personal injury case. Injuries of this nature can be some of the most difficult to deal with because they are so very unexpected.
When Is the Best Time to Contact a Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured through the fault of another, contacting a lawyer should be your first step, even before your insurance company. Whether you’ve been in a car accident or involved in a slip and fall at your local grocery store, you shouldn’t avoid contact with the other party or their insurance company without first consulting a lawyer.
Defenses Against the Claim
Should you decide to pursue a personal injury case, there may be a trial or a settlement, depending on what both parties can agree on. Should the case go to trial, the arguments the defense will use will depend on the type of injury. In some cases, like a car accident, the defendant will try to claim that the plaintiff contributed to their own injuries. In a slip and fall case, the defendant might try to claim that the accident occurred outside of the property. A personal injury attorney will be able to counter the defendant’s claim with facts about the case.
The Outcome of a Personal Injury Case
According to The Bureau of Justice Statistics, which published its latest report in 2005, there were 26,948 civil trials in the nation for that year. Plaintiffs won more than half of all the trials, but only a small percentage of cases went all the way to trial. In over 90 percent of injury cases, a settlement was reached before the case could be brought to court.
The ultimate goal of any personal injury case is to compensate the victim for their losses, including what they have already experienced and what they may have to deal with in the future. Some of the damages that could result from a personal injury case include:
- Hospital bills (ex: ambulance charges, surgery bills or a hospital stay)
- Doctor and clinic bills (including physical therapy or rehabilitation for long-term injuries)
- Loss of work due to injury and subsequent treatment
- Increased insurance rates (particularly in car accident cases)
- Emotional stress (which can impact the victim as well as the victim’s family, friends, and support system)
If you have suffered a personal injury, filing a claim and following the subsequent steps may seem daunting. However, the rewards you may gain are real, especially if you have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side.
If you are considering what to do after an injury, we encourage you to contact Tate Law Group here or by calling (912) 333-3915. We are more than happy to help you figure out what the next best step is in order to make sure your life following your injury does not get any more difficult than it has to.