When a person causes injuries or other damages to another person, the injured party can seek compensation for his or her losses through a personal injury lawsuit. Clinton County residents should understand how personal injury claims work and what to expect from filing one against a negligent party. Personal injury law hinges on the concept of negligence, so it’s vital to find legal representation with the experience and resources necessary to handle your case.
If you’ve suffered an injury in the City of Wilmington, you can reach out to Brannon Law to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. Depending on the details of a claim, plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits can secure several types of compensation for their losses, sometimes from multiple defendants.
In the legal world, “negligence” refers to an individual’s failing to act in a reasonable manner or prevent injury to others in a given situation. A plaintiff in a personal injury case must prove the elements of negligence in court to succeed in his or her claim:
- The plaintiff must first prove the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care in the situation in question.
- Next, the plaintiff must show the court how the defendant breached this duty of care. This can be through a specific action, such as speeding through a red light and causing an accident. A breach of duty is also sometimes inaction when another reasonable individual would have taken proper action in the same situation.
- The plaintiff must then show the court how the defendant’s breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s damages. The plaintiff may only sue for the damages directly resulting from the defendant’s breach of duty and must prove those damages were not the result of some other cause.
- Actual harm. If the plaintiff suffered no injury or did not incur an economic loss from the defendant’s actions, he or she has no claim.
The first thing any injured person should do after an accident with a negligent party is seek medical care. Even if injuries appear slight at first, waiting to seek medical attention can be harmful in several ways. Some injuries and medical conditions do not manifest immediate symptoms but worsen to critical levels without prompt treatment. Additionally, the jury reviewing the subsequent personal injury claim will assume that, since the plaintiff did not seek medical care right away, his or her injuries were not as severe as claimed.
Damages in Personal Injury Cases
A plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit can secure direct compensation for the tangible or monetary losses incurred by the defendant’s negligence. This includes property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages from time the plaintiff was unable to work due to his or her injuries. The jury reviewing the case will also assess the plaintiff’s level of pain and suffering experienced as a result of the defendant’s actions and award pain and suffering compensation accordingly. Pain and suffering damages are usually several times more than a plaintiff’s medical expense award. For example, if a plaintiff’s injuries necessitated $10,000 in medical expenses, his or her pain and suffering compensation could be $30,000 or more depending on the severity of the injuries.
Although personal injury cases may sound straightforward, they are far more complex than most people realize. Additionally, many personal injury cases lead to multiple claims against several defendants. After seeking medical care, the first thing an injured person should do is to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney about building a case. Reach out to the team at Brannon Law in Wilmington to schedule a case evaluation with one of our attorneys, and we will be glad to let you know how we can help.