Personal Injury Basics: What is a Personal Injury Case?

Personal Injury CaseIf you have been injured because of the actions (or lack of actions) of another person or entity, then you may have a personal injury claim. Personal injury cases can also include mental or emotional damages as well as property damages.

Examples of Personal Injury Cases

Sometimes understanding the concept of personal injury cases makes more sense if you have a few examples. Motor vehicle accidents are by far the most common type of personal injury case.

However, there are many other reasons that a personal injury case might arise:

  • Being injured on someone else’s property
  • Construction accidents
  • Work-related accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Product liability (malfunctioning or dangerous products)

This short list provides a simple overview of personal injury examples. There are many other unique types of personal injury cases as well. Just because the cause of your injury may not be on this list does not necessarily mean that it is not considered a personal injury.

For these situations, it may be best to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney to get a feel if you have a viable personal injury claim.

Damages Involved in a Personal Injury Case

The most common reason that clients bring personal injury cases is because they cannot keep up with medical bills associated with their injury. A personal injury settlement can help you pay for these bills, but it can also cover many other related expenses as well, including:

  • Time off from work (lost wages)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or activities
  • Medical expenses, including future doctor visits and medication
  • Chiropractor visits
  • Decreased ability to work in the future (decreased potential earnings)
  • Emotional distress

Being injured can take a huge financial and emotional toll on your life, and a personal injury lawsuit can help decrease this burden.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

Keep in mind that personal injury claims “expire” after too much time has passed following an accident. This is commonly referred to as the Statute of Limitations.

In Florida, those who have been injured must bring their claim within four years of the accident for most personal injury claims. Some personal injury cases, like medical malpractice, have a much shorter statute of limitations. If you fail to sue during that time, then you are forever barred from asserting your rights. It is very important to speak with a lawyer as soon as practical after your injury.

The Statute of Limitations serves a few purposes that are worth noting:

  • Keeps the evidence and information from going stale—witnesses are more likely to remember events within the statute of limitations period
  • Prevents deterioration of evidence, including photographs and physical property
  • Allows the defendant to be free from liability eventually, preventing the accident from hanging over him or her for the rest of their life

How a Personal Injury Attorney West Palm Beach Can Help

It is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit on your own, but it is not recommended. Personal injury attorneys are experts in their field (which is commonly referred to as tort law).

The attorneys at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates are also experienced enough to know roughly what a case is worth before they even take it to trial or attempt to negotiate a settlement. Those without this type of experience are at a severe disadvantage because they may end up only taking part of what their case is really worth.

Local personal injury attorneys in the West Palm Beach area also know area judges and the local rules, so we are at an advantage when compared to non-local attorney as well. Knowing how to function within the system is one of the huge pluses of using an experienced local attorney.

If you think you have a personal injury claim, give us a call at 561-687-5660 for a free case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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