If you have been injured because of the negligence of another person, you can file a personal injury claim. While it is possible to file a claim on your own, for a better chance of getting a fair judgment, you should involve a personal injury lawyer in your case. The legal complexities and the time and effort that go into personal injury lawsuits require the expertise of an attorney.
Here is some of the basic information that will help when pursuing a personal injury claim.
What Do You Need to File a Claim?
Generally, to seek compensation for a personal injury, you need to prove three things: duty of care, a breach of duty of care and causation. Personal injury lawyers will help you prove each of these elements.
The first thing you need to prove is that the other party owed you a duty of care. This means that they were supposed to act right by you in certain circumstances. For example, a driver of a public vehicle owes a duty of care to their passengers and should ensure they reach their destinations safely and soundly.
You also need to prove that the duty of care was breached. This means the person who owed you a duty of care failed to do something or did something wrong, which was against what any reasonable person in their position would have done. Finally, you need to prove that your injuries were a direct result of the defendant's breach; this is also called causation.
What Is the Statutory Limitation Period for a Claim?
It's important to file a personal injury claim within the right time. If you delay, a future claim may be deemed null and void because of time limitation laws. Time limitations for personal injury cases are provided for under the Limitations Act, 1985. Luckily a personal injury attorney will help you understand the statutory limitation period for your claim. In many cases, you've three years to lodge your personal injury claim. However, there may be exceptions to this rule. Your lawyer may be able to identify any loopholes in the Limitations Act if you fail to file your claim in time.
What Damages Do You Stand to Gain?
The damages that you're likely to be awarded during a personal injury claim will vary depending on the extent of your injuries. Moreover, the strength of your case will also determine your compensation. For example, you may be found to have contributed to your injuries.
Personal injury lawyers will advise you about the strength of your case and whether contributory negligence will arise during your claim. Sometimes the defence may try to lure you to accept an insignificant offer before the case goes to trial. This is the reason it's important to have a lawyer by your side during personal injury claims. Some of the damages that your attorney can help you claim include medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, and loss of enjoyment of life.