A personal injury lawsuit is a lengthy process. Some settlements can be handed out in just a few months, but others can take years to reach a conclusion. In fact, there are even a few prerequisites that need to be met before you can even consider filing a lawsuit. Continue reading to find out if you meet the required criteria to file a claim.
You Must be Injured
You’d think this would go without saying, but some people think you can file a personal injury lawsuit even if an accident doesn’t result in injury. You actually have to suffer physical or mental injury to file a lawsuit. Even if the other person is at fault, you can’t file a personal injury lawsuit unless serious injury occurred. However, you might be able to file other lawsuits if personal belongings were destroyed as a result of the accident.
Personal injury is actually a legal term. It has a clearly defined meaning that can’t be construed to your own personal situation. In law, personal injury refers to someone who has been mentally or physically harmed due to the negligence of another person or business.
Generally speaking, four different criteria need to be met to prove a personal injury claim due to negligence. These are duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty means that the defendant owed some sort of legal duty for the plaintiff. For example, a doctor owes a legal duty to his patients. As for car accidents, other drivers have a legal duty to drive reasonably in order to protect others.
Breach refers to the instance where legal duty has been ignored or broken. In order for breach to occur, the defendant has to have known that their actions could have harmed another person.
Causation refers to how the defendant’s negligence directly caused injury to another person. Causation is only possible if a person’s negligence directly harmed another person. For example, someone can be negligent by texting and driving. This doesn’t mean the person texting and driving is at fault for every accident that happens. There must be a direct connection between the negligence and the injury.
Damages refers to the calculated cost of the personal injury claims that you, the court, or your lawyer has determined. Damages can be anguish, medical bills, pain & suffering, and other expenses. The court, if the defendant is found at fault, will order the defendant to pay the plaintiff the damages.
Find a South Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury attorney is almost always required if you want to see a settlement; it isn’t something you can handle on your own. Personal injury claims are complicated cases that can take years to end, and it’s important to find a lawyer that is experienced in personal injury. John Mufson is an experienced, professional South Florida personal injury lawyer. He has over 25 years of experience in bankruptcy, personal injury, and much more.
Contact John Mufson’s office today to find out if you have standing to hire a personal injury attorney today.