We live in an imperfect world where accidents happen. Sometimes they’re innocent matters that require little more than a simple apology.
At other times, an accident may cause serious injuries. If you’ve been injured as the result of an accident, you may have the option of pursuing some degree of compensation.
Knowing what your legal rights are will empower you to make educated decisions as you move forward.
Common Types of Injuries and Legal Claims
No two injuries are the same, but many share similar causes, categories, and characteristics. Here’s a list of some common types of injuries, and the legal claims that may be brought in response to them.
- Car crashes are generally caused by driver’s negligence. The at-fault driver can be held liable, and the injured victim may seek an insurance claim and/or civil lawsuit.
- Slip-and-falls typically show up beneath the heading of “premises liability.” The property owner’s negligence may be the cause. Insurance claims and/or civil lawsuits can be based on these cases.
- Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, health-care facility, or one of its staff members doesn’t live up to the standard of care it’s supposed to provide to patients. Typically the facility is held liable, though individuals (such as the doctor who performed the procedure) can also be responsible. Again, insurance claims and civil lawsuits come into play.
- Workplace accidents can be caused by negligence, faulty equipment, or simple oversight. Typically, the company can’t be held liable. Instead, workers compensation compensates for the losses.
- Defective products are strict liability cases, in which the product manufacturer can be held responsible for any harm the product may have caused. In addition to civil lawsuits, defective products also tend to attract class-action lawsuits.
The above is just a sample of some of the injuries that occur each day and the types of legal claim which are commonly connected with them. The more you learn about these matters, the more you’ll understand the nature and extent of your legal rights.
How to Explore Your Legal Rights
Whether you’re injured in a vehicle collision or you slip and fall on a sidewalk outside a restaurant, you have legal rights. Here’s what you should know:
You Don’t Have Forever
As SalviLaw.com explains, “You must file a claim with the appropriate court and state legal grounds for a lawsuit to make a claim after an injury. You have a limited period of time in which to take legal action and must comply with all court rules.”
The statutes of limitations are different in every state and jurisdiction. For personal injuries, you’ll find that legal recourse is typically limited to two or three years.
Hire an Attorney
Too many people assume they can handle their own personal injury claim, but this is not recommended. Personal injury attorneys understand how these cases work, what sort of tactics defendants use, and how to handle the process so your best interest are protected.
Determine the Role of Insurance
Insurance is the first big consideration. Whether it’s a car accident or premises liability case, typically an insurance policy is in place to cover the liable party. This is one of the first points of contact you’ll have. In most situations, an insurance settlement is preferable to a lawsuit.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
Insurance companies always look out for their best interest. They want to pay as little as possible to maintain profitability. Thus, in order to get a fair payout, you and your attorney must be prepared to negotiate. In some instances, this process can take months.
Be Willing to Go to Trial
In order to have a strong negotiating stance, you must be willing to go to trial if an insurance settlement can’t be arrived at. This is why it’s a good idea to select an attorney who is both a skilled negotiator and an experienced courtroom lawyer.
You Get Only One Chance
You get just one shot at seeking compensation for your injuries. Don’t let this fact pressure you into making a rash or uneducated decision, but make sure you play your cards right.
Developing a strategic approach for your claim/case will enable you to plan ahead and overcome potential issues before they compromise your case. Take your time, but do it right!
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