What’s the Definition of Personal Injury?
A personal injury case, also referred to as a tort lawsuit, is when an injury to mind, body or emotions is caused by the negligence of another. Unlike criminal cases, which are initiated by the government, personal injury cases are initiated by a private individual who files a civil complaint against another person, business, corporation or government agency.
In personal injury cases, the plaintiff is the private individual who has been injured and is filing the case, and the defendant is the entity that is accused of acting carelessly and causing harm. The most common types of personal injuries are:
- Road traffic accidents
- Work accidents
- Tripping accidents
- Assault claims
- Accidents in the home
- Cruise ship accidents
- Product defect accidents
- Holiday accidents
Lawsuits vs. Settlements
Individuals injured in an accident caused by someone else can be entitled to monetary compensation. Many personal injury disputes are resolved through a settlement rather than going to court. In a settlement, a negotiation is reached in which both sides agree to not pursue any further action in exchange for a resolution via payment of an agreed upon sum of money.
How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?
Every personal injury case is different, but there are some basic tenets that occur in each case. The typical series of events is as follows:
- Injury Occurs: First, of course, the defendant does something to injure the plaintiff.
- Plaintiff Suspects Negligence: The plaintiff believes that the defendant acted negligently, causing the injury to occur unnecessarily.
- Plaintiff Contacts Personal Injury Lawyer: Because negligence is suspected, the plaintiff will likely contact a personal injury lawyer to begin the process of proving that a legal duty was breached.
- Settlement Talks or Court Proceedings: The plaintiff’s attorney and the plaintiff will either reach a settlement agreement with the defendant and/or his insurance company. If no settlement is agreed, the plaintiff may choose to take the claim to court.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact an Arkansas Personal Injury lawyer. Depending on the intent or negligence of the defendant, you could be entitled to monetary compensation through a settlement or judgment.