If you’ve been injured in a workplace incident or have experienced a car accident, it’s important to be aware of your legal rights and options.
When you partner with a reputable personal injury lawyer, you can claim compensation for your losses. The quickest means to resolve a personal injury dispute in Oregon is by agreeing to a settlement amount.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of personal injury law and answer questions related to how disbursements work in injury settlements.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In a personal injury lawsuit, an injured person issues civil action against the entity or person that caused damage. The goal of such a lawsuit is to redeem financial compensation from the accused entity or person for any loss, like medical expenses, lost earnings, property damage, and pain and mental anguish.
To win a personal injury case, you must prove that the defendant is responsible for your losses because of the accident. This means that the plaintiff will first have to prove a case of negligence. Once liability is established, the court can then determine the amount of compensation you’ll receive in damages.
The type of lawsuit you create will depend upon various factors. These are primary facts that revolve around your case, like the severity of the injury/injuries or extent of liability. For instance, if you’ve been injured in a car crash, you can demand compensation for the damage by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
You will need to prove that the accident occurred as a result of the defendant or the at-fault driver showing negligence. There can be many scenarios, like if the defendant was driving under the influence or asleep at the wheel.
Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits
Out of 50,000 personal injury and illness cases in Oregon, approximately 33,000 were considered severe, according to a report. The personal injuries resulted in loss of income, job transfer, and medical leaves for most cases.
The severity of the loss and suffering is based on how and where the accused caused you harm or damage in a specific place or condition. For this reason, there are different types of personal injury lawsuits, the most common include:
- Car accident or motor vehicle accident: This can occur as a result of driving under the influence or a multiple collision accident.
- Defamation: This can occur when the plaintiff sues for defamation as a result of their reputation being shamed or put into question.
- Dog bites: These can occur when a plaintiff is injured because of an unsupervised canine, though state laws vary from place to place.
- Medical malpractice: This can occur when the plaintiff has experienced a lack of care and sub-par treatment by a medical practitioner.
- Product liability: This can occur when a product has malfunctioned and caused personal injury to the consumer, leading them to sue.
- Slip-and-fall accidents: These can occur in private and public places as a result of a slippery surface or poorly maintained facility.
- Wrongful death: This can occur when an entity or person is deemed liable for compensating the death of an individual.
- Workers’ compensation: This can occur when the plaintiff suffers from injury or harm because of unsafe working conditions.
- In-flight injuries and accidents: These can occur when the plaintiff gets injured while traveling in a common carrier or plane.
Steps to Take After a Personal Injury
- Call an ambulance: Seeking medical assistance right after an injury is the first thing to do when dealing with any unsafe condition, like a car accident. Some injuries take time to reveal their symptoms while others need immediate attention.
- Document the evidence: Take pictures and videos of the accident scene, including your injuries and any damage to property. You can also collect more evidence and statements from any witnesses who might have been present at the scene.
- File a police report: A police report is hard evidence when you need to take your case to personal injury court. You should also gather other paperwork like insurance records, medical bills, and any other correspondence relative to the accident scene.
- Speak to a therapist: Victims of a severe accident (like a car crash) often experience pain and mental anguish. You should always record how your injuries impact your mental health and get assistance in therapy to strengthen your case.
Whether you hire an attorney or not, a great way to settle any personal injury dispute is by sending a demand letter. This is the onset of your settlement negotiations with the accused entity or person responsible for your personal injury and loss.
How to Calculate Personal Injury Settlements
It is unlikely that you won’t receive compensation, especially if there’s evidence of physical injury and harm. Whether you were injured in a car accident or medical malpractice, the at-fault entity or person is liable to compensate for the damage.
Most personal injury cases can be settled out of court. In a personal injury settlement, all forms of correspondence occur between the legal representatives of both parties. In some cases, you may need to recover financial losses from the insurance company.
The aim of a personal injury settlement is to compensate the victim appropriately. This means the defendant is responsible for restoring the health and well-being of the plaintiff to the condition they were in before the accident or personal injury.
The settlement value will depend on the circumstances that surround the personal injury, like the extent of your injuries and the medical evidence to support a claim. Factors that influence compensation for a personal injury case are:
- The minimum insurance coverage provided by the at-fault driver
- The total expense of medical appointments, treatments, and therapy
- The impact of the injury on physical, mental, and emotional health
- The likelihood of the medical expense being long-term
- The extent of damage to a person’s ability to work and earn
- The severity of property damage, like a damaged vehicle
Calculating economic and non-economic damage in a personal injury claim requires professional advice from a legal representative who can guide you in every step of the process.