Personal injury is anything that causes harm to a person’s body, mind, or emotions. If an individual or entity is responsible for inflicting personal injury, the individual or entity may face legal repercussions. These repercussions may include reimbursing the affected party for any costs stemming from the damage or injuries and criminal penalties such as fines, business restrictions, or even jail time.
Types of Personal Injury
Personal injury can stem from many different occurrences, including:
- Automobile accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Industrial diseases
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Workplace stress
- Medical malpractice
- Medical negligence
- Accidents within a business
- Accidents within a home
- Defective products
- Slander or defamation of character
Florida Personal Injury Claims
If an individual can prove that a person or entity caused damage and that the individual or entity is not exempt from liability due to an agreement or waiver, the individual or entity may be liable for the damages. This liability obligates the party that caused the injury to compensate the victim for any suffering that is a result of the damages. The objective of this compensation is to restore the victim to the physical, mental, and emotional state that was enjoyed before the personal injury occurred. The compensation that victims receive for personal injury typically falls into one of two categories, special damages and general damages.
Special damages are quantifiable damages such as money spent on medical treatment, wages lost due to missed work time, and costs to repair property or replace belongings. Special damages can be documented and easily proven. Defendants are nearly always required to compensate victims for special damages following a personal injury claim.
General damages include pain and suffering, emotional stress, and other less measurable damages. It may be necessary to enlist the assistance of experts in order to quantify the compensation that is owed for general damages. In some cases, a defendant may be ordered to provide lifelong compensation for injuries that affect a plaintiff’s livelihood.
Statute of Limitations
Most states have a statute of limitations law that places a time limit on filing a personal injury claim. This may vary from state and allow different amounts of time for different types of injuries. Statute of limitations laws may also include certain allowances for injuries that resulted from different actions but were not immediately apparent. An example of this is an injury that resulted from an improperly placed implant, but was not painful immediately following the surgery. Personal injury attorneys can help victims of personal injury to compile all necessary evidence and file a claim within the allotted amount of time.
Personal Injury Defenses
In some cases, the defendant does not assume 100 percent of the fault for the action that caused the personal injury. This defense is commonly used following a car accident in which the victim was partially at fault. A percentage of responsibility may be assigned to both the victim and the defendant, and the amount of compensation due may be determined by this percentage. Not all states consider fault when determining compensation due following a traffic accident.
Assumption of Risk
A victim may have assumed certain risks by participating in activities in which there are inherent dangers. Contact sports, thrill-seeking activities, and spectator activities may include common injury risks. Signs and waivers may help to absolve defendants of responsibility for injuries which are known to be inherent in these types of activities.
If a plaintiff helped to cause the injury, the defendant will often be excused from the obligation to compensate the victim. This is a common defense following workplace injuries in which an employee disobeyed rules or improperly used equipment and was injured as a result. The defendant may have to provide evidence that shows how the plaintiff helped to cause the injury.
Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers
After an event in which personal injury has occurred, it is important to contact an attorney that has experience with personal injury lawsuits. Personal injury lawsuits can become complicated, but an experienced attorney will be able to provide advice and assistance. A personal injury attorney can help generate a fair resolution for all parties involved in a personal injury lawsuit.
“Personal Injury Claims.” American Bar Association, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 3 June 2014.
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“Personal Injury Law.” HG.org. HG.org, 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 3 June 2014.
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