A person or business that has caused personal injury can be sued via a civil lawsuit. From a legal standpoint, collecting damages due to your personal injuries requires suing the negligent party and then either winning at trial or setting out of court and receiving money. The types of accidents that can cause personal injury include motor vehicle accidents, slipping and falling on a business or personal premises, job-related accidents and many other situations. There are several categories of personal injury compensation such as reimbursement of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and others.
Reimbursement of Medical Expenses
As anyone that has had a hospital stay knows, hospitals charge for everything right down to the smallest Q-tip, as a West Virginia personal injury lawyer knows all too well. Medical bills can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for surgeries and lengthy hospital stays. Injuries can require months of physical rehabilitation entailing nursing care, expensive medications, and remodeling ones home for handicapped access. It is important for the injured party to maintain a separate file and make copies of all medical expenses before submitting them to an insurance company.
Permanent or long-term disability is a real possibility of injuries a person suffers from an automobile accident, an accident on the job, or slipping and falling on the premises of another. Long-term disability can prevent an injured person from going back to work and can cause one to be forced to take a lesser job with lower compensation. Injured parties can seek compensation for lost wages in a personal injury lawsuit to receive the income they could have been reasonably expected to receive had the accident not occurred.
Pain and Suffering
Previous jury decisions have set a precedent as to the dollar amount of monetary damages a plaintiff can receive for pain and suffering. This amount also depends on the extent of the injuries. This amount is some multiple of the medical expenses and lost wages suffered and is normally somewhere between 2 and 5 times the amount.
A person injured can suffer psychological trauma that prevents them from leading a normal life after the accident. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is widely suffered by military personnel that has been subjected to physical military combat. PTSD is rapidly making its way into the mainstream in motor vehicle accidents, slip, and fall accidents, dog bites, etc., and manifests itself as severe, debilitating mental depression.
Loss of Companionship
When a person is injured or killed due to the negligence of another person, a family member can seek damages for the loss of the relationship they had prior to the action. Children and spouses can be negatively affected by a mother or father’s mental or physical disabilities.
When a person has been injured or killed by the negligence of another, a jury can award punitive damages. Punitive damages are not always available but might be awarded when a large company may have damaged multiple parties. Multi-million dollar punitive damages not only punish the guilty party but also can alert the media and help to inform others to avoid using a product that could cause them harm.
If you have been injured or have had a loved one killed by the negligence of another, you have the right to seek monetary damages and to be made whole.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Adams Legal Group, PLLC for their insight into personal injury cases.