A personal injury case results from injuries due to someone’s wrongful action. You’ll often need a Smyrna personal injury lawyer to represent you. However, the categories of personal injury claims are so vast that they can be confusing.
To help you along, we’ll explore the concept of a personal injury case in this article. We’ll touch on the damages you can recover for your injury and all the elements involved in injury claims.
Legal Elements of a Smyrna Personal Injury Case
Most personal injury cases involve negligence. Negligence is a failure to exercise the level of care a reasonable person would in a similar situation. The following are the elements of a negligence claim:
Duty of Care
One party usually owes another a duty of care. The levels typically vary based on the relationship between the two parties. Sometimes, there are differences in how the duty of care is defined based on the personal injury case. For a successful claim, you need to establish the level of care owed to you.
For example, all drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles in a way that doesn’t place others at risk. Doctors also owe patients a duty of care to act within the acceptable standard of care for every medical situation. Even property owners owe a duty of care to prevent hazardous conditions that could cause legal visitors to sustain injuries on their property.
Breach of Duty
When a person behaves negligently, it is a breach of duty. There are several ways a person breaches the duty of care. For example, it could be excessive speeding, distracted driving, or drunk driving for drivers. Additionally, a doctor who doesn’t prepare appropriately for surgery or acts outside the acceptable standard of care for a patient breaches their duty.
There’s a need for a direct and proximate cause of your injury to prove the breach of duty. Also, you need evidence linking the other party’s negligence act to your injury. For instance, in a premises liability claim, you need proof that the property owner knew about the weak spot in the floor that caused you to slip and fall.
In such a case, the property owner breaches the duty of care by not repairing or warning you about the risk. For a car crash case, you need to prove that their actions caused the accident. An example is a distracted driver who hits the rear end of another vehicle.
There must be damages in a personal injury case. This is because damages are crucial to recovering compensation. Also, even if there was a breach, there’ll be no need for settlement without losses.
Damages You Can Recover in a Smyrna Personal Injury Case
If you can prove the elements of negligence in a personal injury case, you’re entitled to compensation for your damages. The damages differ and usually depend on the circumstances surrounding the case. However, most victims receive a settlement for their financial losses due to the accident.
Below are the different damages your Smyrna personal injury lawyer can help you recover.
Economic damages are the financial loss you suffered from the accident and your injuries. Some typical financial losses include:
- Medical expenses, care, and treatment
- Cost of personal care
- Lost wages
- Damage to property
Sometimes you’re entitled to future damages when your injuries result in permanent impairment or disability. These future damages could include personal or medical care. It could also cover special medical equipment and modifications to your vehicle to accommodate your injury. You can also get compensation for future income loss if you can’t work due to your wounds.
Compensation for non-economic damages is usually for losses without a fixed dollar value. It includes:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Psychological injuries like PTSD, anxiety, and depression
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
- Disabilities and impairments
Pain and suffering are usually the most challenging damages to value in a personal injury case. This is because there’s no standard formula for calculating non-economic damages. Insurance companies or Smyrna personal injury attorneys often use a multiplier or Diem method to value the pain and suffering damages.
The court awards punitive damages to punish a defendant for gross negligence and a willful disregard for people’s safety. Punitive damages are not common in personal injury cases. The plaintiff must request it for the court to consider it, and if granted, it could run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Common Causes of Personal Injury
Personal injury covers different practice areas. Therefore, hiring an experienced Smyrna personal injury attorney can boost your chances of a favorable award.
Below are the causes of personal injury.
- Dog Bites: Animal attacks usually make up a large percentage of personal injury lawsuits. Most times, you’re entitled to compensation for injuries incurred.
- Motor Vehicle Accident: Auto accidents can also cause personal injury. You can seek compensation when you suffer an injury in any motor vehicle accident you didn’t cause.
- Premises Liability: When you suffer an injury that you could have prevented while on someone else’s property. An example of a premises liability case is a slip and fall accident which happens when a person suffers injuries due to slippery falls, dangerous stairs, etc.
- Product Liability: When a defective product from a manufacturer, distributor, or wholesaler makes it to the market and causes your injury, you may have a valid claim. Examples of product liability cases are dangerous drugs, auto defects, or defective medical products.
- Workplace Injuries: Injuries and death could occur at dangerous workplaces like mining sites, construction sites, shipyards, or oil industries. However, it could also happen in the corporate world.
- Medical Malpractice: It refers to medical mistakes by a doctor or other medical professionals. If this mistake results in personal injury or lawful death, you’re entitled to compensation.
Contact a Smyrna Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
If you or a loved one suffered injury or death due to someone’s negligence, you might be eligible for compensation under personal injury law. However, pursuing personal injury claims can be challenging and lengthy. Our team at Jamie Ballard Law is available to discuss your case.
We will review your claim, explain your legal rights, and explain the compensation options. Also, we will work tirelessly until we secure the maximum settlement. Contact our Smyrna personal injury attorneys today for a case review.