If you have suffered an injury and it was someone else’s fault then chances are, you are entitled to damages and you can win them in court. However, in order to win you must prove certain things in the court to prove that you are entitled to the damages. There is also a time period in which you must file the lawsuit. This is a statutory limitation and must be taken into account.
Not Just a Complaint, but Also a Summons
Let’s begin with where you can sue the person at fault. You can do so in the state where the accident took place or in the state that has some type of connection to the defendant. What is a summons? A summons is a legal document that the defendant receives and it tells he/she that they should appear in court on a given day. On the other hand, the complaint serves as a description of your case in more detail. Both of these documents are delivered to the defendant by a state official or process server. After they have been delivered, the defendant must respond in writing within the given period of time. It is the court’s obligation to set a date when the first hearing will take place.
Things You Must Prove
Any personal injury case usually involves intentional tort, negligence or strict liability. If the accident arose because of a negligent behavior, you must be able to prove in court that the person at fault did not manage to do something he/she was obligated to do, that this negligent behavior caused the accident, and that your injury arose during the accident. Strict liability applies in cases when someone has been injured by a defective product. Last but not least, an intentional tort might be proven by showing that the defendant intended to harm you, for example, by proving that he/she punched you in the nose.
Winning a Personal Injury Case
When there is a criminal proceeding, the evidence must be up to the legal standard. In other words, the guilt must be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” On the other hand, in personal injury law, the legal standard is called “preponderance of evidence.” This means you must be able to prove that the odds that the defendant caused the accident are at least 50%. This explains why people who often win in the criminal proceedings might not be as likely to win in personal injury lawsuits.
Damages Go Beyond the Medical Bills
Medical bills are not the only type of damages you can demand. You can also ask for compensation for lost work time and pain and suffering. Damages for medical bills are usually a few times smaller than the damages for pain and suffering. In cases based on negligence, if you caused the accident at least in part, then the damages might be decreased accordingly. Furthermore, in some state jurisdictions, if you caused the accident by at least 1%, you might not be entitled to any damages, whatsoever. Last but not least, while the standard legal proceeding is a certainty that you can always rely on, most personal injury cases tend to be resolved through private settlements.
If you have suffered an injury, a personal injury lawyer can help because he/she will know all the important information and will be able to assist you with the legal proceedings.