If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, you no doubt have a lot of important things you have to keep track of and manage. Concern about your job, the ability to pay your bills, the ability to take care of your family, and covering your medical expenses are just some problems you can encounter due to a personal injury. When seeking to be made whole there are many steps that go into handling a personal injury case and hiring an attorney to handle your case is one of the most important steps you can take and should be one of the first things you do.
How Do Personal Injuries Occur?
Personal injuries can occur in several ways including workplace accidents, consumer liability cases, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice. These categories are broad and cover many types of incidents and injuries.
- Automobile Injuries: automobile accidents are sadly a common occurrence with 180 occurring every day just in Houston. Accident causes are varied and include drunk driving, distractions, speeding, and unsafe vehicle operation. The injuries automobile accidents can cause are equally varied and can include bone breaks, soft tissue damage, spine injuries, brain damage, burns, internal injuries, and others.
- Workplace Accidents: an employer is expected to provide reasonable standards of safety and follow regulations. However, this is not always the case and employer negligence can occur in situations where a company has knowingly placed employees in unsafe situations or not followed proper standards for the industry they serve. Many industries are dangerous due to the nature of the industry they are in such as woodworking and construction and if you’ve been injured due to employer negligence personal injury compensation should be pursued.
- Consumer Liability: personal injuries can also be caused by production negligence. If you or a member of your family has been injured by a defective or dangerous consumer product that can lead to personal injury. Examples can include defective design, improper labels, and defective manufacturing. You expect the products you buy to be safe to use and a company releasing dangerous products shows negligence for their customers and their safety.
- Medical Malpractice: in the medical profession a certain level of care and professionalism is expected. Malpractice covers several aspects of the healthcare industry including surgery, treatment, follow-up, prescriptions, and more. Malpractice also is not just limited to doctors it also covers nurses and other healthcare professionals.
Negligence is defined as acting carelessly without any regard for the safety of others. There is also a consideration for prudence in that what would a reasonable person do in the same situation or similar circumstances. For example, a drunk driver who injures others in an automobile accident is negligent because operating an automobile while intoxicated would not be considered a responsible action. This also applies to employers and service providers such as doctors. A company that exposes its workers to known unsafe working conditions or a doctor who ignores patent treatment needs would both be considered negligent. Negligence can take many forms and be defined in different ways such as:
- Gross Negligence: is used in situations with a complete lack of care for the safety of other people. It is defined as negligence beyond simple carelessness and can be considered an active disregard for others and their wellbeing.
- Comparative Negligence: is applied in cases where fault can be split between both parties involved. This split may not necessarily be 50/50 depending on the nature of the events in question.
- Vicarious Liability: this type of negligence is used in situations where a party is held at fault for the actions of another person or animal. This is commonly seen in cases involving damages caused by children or pets.
The Types of Damages Can Be Claimed in a Personal Injury Case
Generally, three types of damages can be awarded in a personal injury claim.
- Economic: when you’ve injured the impact on your finances can be devastating. Lost wages, loss of future earnings, long-term care, therapy, treatment, and hospital costs are just some areas a personal injury can affect. When a lawsuit is filed all such economic factors are given careful consideration before the court.
- Non-Economic: damages include more than just the financial an injury can impact your life in ways that are more abstract but are nonetheless highly important. Long-term pain, reduced quality of life, psychological issues such as PTSD, and the impact on just living your life day to day are considered damage and something you can receive finical compensation from.
- Punitive: a less common type of damage is punitive. In situations where a party has shown egregious carelessness and a lack of regard for the wellbeing of others, punitive damages can be awarded. Punitive damages are awarded to show such actions are unacceptable.
Why You Need an Attorney
An attorney provides not only legal but also handles the important steps of your case including investigation, contacting law enforcement, consulting experts, filing the right paperwork, calculating what you are owed, deposing witnesses, representing you in court if needed, and other highly important steps in the legal process. When you’ve been injured by the negligence of another party you want to know your legal concerns are in good hands. By hiring an attorney you can rest assured your injuries and all the associated damages are given the consideration that you deserve.
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