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Basics Of Personal Injury Lawsuits - Types, Damages & Time Limits



If you have suffered an injury that wasn't your fault, you may be able to receive compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.

There are many types of personal injury lawsuits. Additionally, not all injuries have to be physical. Injuries to your property, rights or reputation can also serve as the basis for personal injury lawsuits.

This article will discuss the basics of personal injury lawsuits. If you have specific questions about your case, you should contact an experienced injury attorney in your area. Personal injury attorneys can assess your case, provide you with legal guidance and represent you in court.

Types Of Personal Injury Lawsuits

There are many types of personal injury lawsuits. Legal issues may vary depending on the type of personal injury case and the state in which the lawsuit is filed. Examples of personal injury cases include:

  • Auto accidents
  • Trucking accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Dog bites
  • Medical malpractice
  • Railroad accidents
  • Slip-and-fall accidents

This is by no means an exhaustive list of types of personal injury cases. If you feel you may have a personal injury case, talk to a personal injury attorney.

Establishing Fault In A Personal Injury Case

To win your personal injury case, you and your attorney must prove your injuries were caused by someone else's negligence. Negligence means the person or entity did not use reasonable care.

To establish negligence, you must prove:

  • The individual or entity had a duty of care
  • This duty was breached
  • The breach of this duty is what caused your injuries

Even if you are partly at fault for your injuries, you may be able to still recover some amount of compensation, or damages. The amount you recover may be diminished by your degree of fault. This is called comparative negligence. However, laws vary from state to state.

Additionally, if more than one party is at fault for your injuries, you may be able to sue just one party to recover all of your damages. This is called joint and several liability. Once again, laws vary widely from state to state, so you should talk to a personal injury lawyer in your state.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Damages

You can seek to compensation for a number of things in a personal injury lawsuit, including:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Hiring someone to help with household chores
  • Emotional distress

Personal Injury Time Limits

States each create their own time limits for how long a person has to file a personal injury claim. This time limit is known as a statute of limitations. Usually, the injured person has at least a couple of years to file the lawsuit. However, it is to your benefit to file the lawsuit as soon as possible to ensure all evidence is preserved and the statute of limitations does not run out.

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