The term “personal injury” encompasses a wide range of cases. But the essential feature is that a person has suffered some sort of physical harm to their mind or body as the result of someone else’s conduct. The conduct which caused the injury can be accidental or it can be intentional. Either way, there must be some physical harm done in order for their to be a recovery.
The most common types of personal injury cases include auto accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, or products liability. But personal injury can also include assaults, battery, sexual molestation, false arrest, or imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
When a person suffers a personal injury, they may be able to recover different forms of damages from the party who caused the injury.
- General damages refer to the monetary amount that would compensate for a person’s pain and suffering.
- Special Damages refer to a person’s out-of-pocket expenses that they incurred as a result of the conduct, such as medical bills or lost wages.
- Punitive damages may be available where the other person’s conduct was intentional, willful or malicious, or where the person was grossly negligent.
No two personal injury cases are alike. And whether a person will be able to recover (and how much they will be able to recover) depends on many factors. Some can be settled quickly if there is insurance available. However, others must go through litigation and a long collection process before the plaintiff receives their judgment. It is crucial to talk with an attorney about your personal injury case right away to determine whether you have a good case and what steps you should take next. A few things to do are:
- Document the incident: Make a detailed account of what happened, where it happened, when it happened, and how it happened. List all the people present and include their contact information. If possible, take photographs of the scene where the incident occurred.
- Document the injury: take photographs of all visible injuries, and make a detailed account of any internal or physical injuries. Some people keep a daily journal of how they feel so that their progress can be documented.
- Seek medical help: If required, go to a doctor or emergency room. Tell the treating physician what happened and follow their advice. Some doctors are willing to work on a lien basis, meaning that they will defer payment until you receive compensation for your injuries. (See Expenses page for more information.)
- File a suit if necessary: The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years. That means if you do not file a lawsuit within two years of the incident, you will lose your right to sue forever!
Following these four steps will help you preserve your personal injury claim. However, this does not replace assistance and guidance from an experience personal injury attorney.
If you have suffered any form of personal injury, the Law Office of Randy K. Bell would by happy to help with your case. Our office has years of experience in various types of personal injury cases, including auto accidents, slip and falls, false arrest, and product liability. Also, all personal injury cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not pay any attorney’s fee until you recover for your injuries (excluded expenses).
Call the Law Office of Randy K. Bell today to discuss your personal injury case and get the compensation your deserve!