Getting injured in a car accident, slip and fall or other type of accident is stressful. If someone is to blame for your injury, it can get even more overwhelming when you add a lawsuit on top of the injury. If you are considering a lawsuit to seek reimbursement for your injury, check out these six important facts.
Compensation for Injuries, Damages and Lost Income Is Common
If the judge approves your settlement, there are some expenses that are generally always covered. Any medical expenses you incurred due to injuries are almost always covered. If the accident caused damage to some of your property, such as your car, those costs are also typically covered. Last, if your injuries prevented you from working or continue to prevent you from working, the judge will also usually include lost income in your settlement.
You May Get Money for Pain and Suffering
Unfortunately, physical injuries aren't the only injuries you may sustain in an accident. Pain and suffering is awarded to people who can prove their injuries go above and beyond the physical. Pain and suffering includes many different possible injuries, but some of the most common include emotional distress, fear, anger, loss of enjoyment of life and depression. These injuries are harder to treat and may affect the individual much longer than physical injuries.
Punitive Damages Are Less Common but Possible
The money you get in a settlement is designed to make you whole again, so it depends largely on your injuries. However, punitive damages have more to do with the defendant's actions than your injuries. If the judge awards you punitive damages, it is actually meant to punish the defendant. This type of settlement isn't as common as others because it is only used if the judge decides the defendant participated in extremely dangerous or careless actions that resulted in your injury.
You May Be Partially to Blame for Your Accident
In many cases, the plaintiff is partially to blame. Most states follow this comparative negligence rule when determining your settlement. This rule reduces your settlement based on your responsibility. If, for example, you are 20 percent responsible, and the settlement amount is $20,000, you'll get $16,000. Some states follow the pure system, which means that even if you are 99 percent responsible, you can get 1 percent of the settlement. Other states follow the modified system, which means you can only recover money if you are 50 or 49 percent (depending on the state) or less responsible. A few states won't give you any money if you are remotely responsible.
If You Were Injured on Someone's Property, the Reason You Were There Matters
Property owners have a responsibility to ensure their property is safe for visitors and guests. If they are aware of a hazard, they need to take reasonable steps to fix it. Even if they aren't aware of it, they may be responsible if a reasonable person would have noticed the hazard. If someone invites you to their house, and you slip on ice and hurt yourself, you've got yourself a case, especially if the law requires the removal of ice. However, if you were trespassing and got hurt, you're out of luck. The property owner has no responsibility to ensure the safety of trespassers, unless they are children.
You Need to Focus on Recovery
While your lawyer is preparing your case, don't just sit around and let your injuries worsen. You need to focus on recovery by seeking medical treatment to reduce the injuries and promote healing. If you don't do this, it can drastically affect your settlement. You won't get as much money because the judge will feel your injuries must not be that severe if you weren't willing to get them treated.
Even if you are partially responsible, you can usually get some reimbursement for your personal injury. For more information about personal injury cases and settlements, contact an attorney in your area today.
For professional legal help, contact a law firm such as Daniels Long & Pinsel.Share