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Lawsuits & Litigation

What Qualifies as a Personal Injury?

— March 5, 2020

Personal injury law covers a wide range of cases from dog bites to medical malpractice, defective products to car accidents.

Personal injury is separate from property damage because a person’s body was damaged as a result of another’s negligence, recklessness, or criminal intent. A person’s mind and emotional well-being can also be damaged during an accident, so damages for pain and suffering as well as emotional distress can also be collected in personal injury cases. No matter what, you always want an experienced attorney representing you so that you can get the most compensation possible.

Physical Injuries

Personal injury law covers a wide range of cases from dog bites to medical malpractice, defective products to car accidents. This is why it is important to hire the right kind of attorney for the specific injury you have and where it happened. 

No two personal injury cases are the same, but they follow the same basic process. Speaking to an attorney is the best first step to see if you have a case, to rule out that the accident occurred due to things beyond anyone’s control. After all, you won’t win a case against acts of nature, for example. But listening to you gives your attorney a chance to assess your situation, offer their support, explain the law to you, and tell you exactly what they need from you.

Stethoscope on cloth; image by Hush Naidoo, via
Stethoscope on cloth; image by Hush Naidoo, via

Your attorney will want any police reports, medical bills, letters from physicians and physical therapists (if needed) and letters from employers or professors (if relevant and needed). Any other expenses related to your injuries, such as missed wages and expected losses from continuing to be out of work, will also need to be provided. Your attorney will draw up a settlement based on these expenses, as well as what you are claiming for pain and suffering.

Pain And Suffering

Many people seek justice for a personal injury because they have bills piling up, and they may have to work with the person who injured them. Or, they may have to continue seeking care from them if they’re a medical professional. Sometimes knowing that you have to drive again since it’s almost impractical not to, is very hard to think about after an accident. For some people, speaking to an attorney about getting damages allows them to move on after an accident or event that left them temporarily or permanently injured. 

You are also a unique individual. You probably have hobbies, a career, and other things that make you distinctly you. An avid scuba diver or student-athlete is going to have their life and their mindset changed if they get injured in an accident, for example. Pain and suffering includes the humiliation, depression, loss of enjoyment and loss of companionship, either from the death of the person in the accident, or even a divorce that resulted from the stress of the injury on the marriage. 

A compassionate attorney respects your need to be dignified and respected as you go through the legal process. You can learn more about your rights and more about personal injury law here. Evidence you can provide to your attorney include family, colleague, and friend testimonies to your changed mood, behavior, and cognition (whether you remember things, focus, or have any changes in how you talk). Images of your injuries are key, as well as college transcripts, job evaluations, and anything else that can attest to how you’ve been suffering.

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