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Understanding Personal Injury

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When a person is injured because of someone else’s carelessness or mistakes, they can file a personal injury claim. These claims offer the victim a way to receive compensation for the suffering they’ve encountered because of the injury. In a personal injury case, payment is sought for medical bills, pain, suffering, time lost at work or other damages.

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Understanding Personal Injury

  1. 1. UNDERSTANDING PERSONAL INJURY A brief look at the basics of personal injury cases
  2. 2. Why People File Personal Injury Claims When a person is injured because of someone else’s carelessness or mistakes, they can file a personal injury claim. These claims offer the victim a way to receive compensation for the suffering they’ve encountered because of the injury. In a personal injury case, payment is sought for medical bills, pain, suffering, time lost at work or other damages.
  3. 3. Injuries are More Common Than You Think ◦ Over 30 million people are treated in emergency departments for unintentional, or “accidental,” injuries every year in the United States. ◦ Around 35,000 people die annually in vehicle crashes. ◦ Over 30,000 people are killed because of falls. ◦ In 2015 alone, there were nearly 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in the U.S. private sector. As you can see, people suffer serious injuries every day. While not every injury can result in a claim, injuries that are due to another person’s negligence can result in legal action. Let’s define some of the most commonly used terms in these cases...
  4. 4. Common Terms Used in Personal Injury Cases… ◦ Plaintiff - The injured person who files a personal injury lawsuit. ◦ Defendant - The person or group who is allegedly at fault. ◦ Negligence - The failure to take reasonable care. For example, a distracted driver or an employer who fails to provide a safe workplace. ◦ Damages - The harm suffered by the victim in a personal injury case. Damages can include pain, suffering, medical bills, loss of time at work or other harm caused because of an injury.
  5. 5. The Difference Between Personal Injury and Criminal Charges When someone intentionally harms another person, the perpetrator might be arrested and charged with a crime by the authorities. In personal injury cases, however, the negligent party may not have intended to harm the victim, but they can still be held financially responsible for the damages they have caused. These “civil” cases are filed by the injured party. It is also possible to file personal injury claims if the at-fault party acted intentionally.
  6. 6. Other Claims Related to Personal Injury Personal injuries come in many different forms. Depending on the severity of the injury or the setting in which it occurred, a claim might be called something else, even though many of the principles are the same. Examples include: ◦ Workplace Injuries (Workers’ Compensation) – These cases include on-the-job injuries suffered by employees. While most workers are entitled to benefits after an injury, it is not uncommon for employers or insurers to offer less than what is needed by the injured worker. ◦ Product Liability - Product liability means that a product causes injury, illness or death to a consumer. It can include defective toys, defective equipment or defective automobile parts. ◦ Medical Malpractice - Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to take reasonable care in the treatment or diagnosis of a patient, causing that patient harm. ◦ Wrongful Death - Wrongful death occurs when a negligent party, such as a negligent driver, employer or doctor, is responsible for the death of another person. Wrongful death claims are filed by surviving family members to receive compensation for their loss.
  7. 7. The Time Frame of Personal Injury Cases Personal injury cases vary in length, depending on the circumstances of each case. They can take several weeks, or even years. There’s no way to know exactly how long a claim will take without a consultation and possibly an investigation on the part of an attorney.
  8. 8. What You Can Expect You will talk to an attorney and, after hearing the details of your case, the attorney will investigate the circumstances leading to your injury. The attorney will then do the necessary legal paperwork and file a claim. Then, both sides - your attorney and the defendant’s attorney - will prepare their cases, including depositions, investigations, etc. The matter will either be settled or, if no settlement is reached, the case will go to trial.
  9. 9. Some Helpful Tips for an Injured Person… ◦ Seek medical attention as soon as possible. ◦ Keep copies of any bills you receive that are related to your injury or that are related to property damage you’ve encountered. ◦ If a police officer responded to the scene of your injury, like they do in vehicle crashes, keep a copy of the report. ◦ Take pictures of your injuries. ◦ If there were any witnesses to your injury, ask for their contact information. ◦ Contact an attorney as soon as possible.
  10. 10. What NOT to do After an Injury ◦ Don’t forgo medical treatment, even if you aren’t sure how serious the injury might be. ◦ Don’t apologize or admit fault to another person. Without knowing all the facts of a case, you have no way of determining fault. ◦ Don’t speak to another person’s insurance company. You do not have to talk to them about your case. Refer them to your attorney. ◦ Don’t wait to file a claim. There is a time limit on personal injury claims. It is called a statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims is two years.
  11. 11. Have You Suffered an Injury? If you or a loved one has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, call Guajardo & Marks to learn more about your options. Our Dallas personal injury firm has years of experience handling serious injury cases. We make sure our clients get the attention they deserve, and we offer aggressive legal representation on their behalf. Guajardo & Marks offers free consultations. Contact us today! 972-426-2621 http://www.guajardomarks.com/

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