The term “personal injury” generally refers to a situation in which a person sustains an injury or injuries as the result of another person’s negligent, reckless or intentional acts. Motor vehicle accidents, product defects, premises liability, medical malpractice and wrongful death are common types of personal injury claims. Injuries that occur at work are typically subject to workers’ compensation laws, but may also involve personal injury claims against a person or company other than the employer.
The attorney representing a client for a personal injury claim seeks to recover full compensation for the client for his or her damages. Damages for personal injury claims include the various ways in which a person’s life has been, and will be, adversely affected as a result of the injury or injuries. The compensation falls into either the category of economic damages, which generally consists of lost earnings, loss of earning capacity, medical bills, and reimbursement for payment of related insurance or governmental benefits, or the category of non-economic damages, which generally consists of temporary and/or permanent physical limitations, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Personal injury claims frequently involve some type of insurance claim(s). Those insurance claims may include liability claims, no-fault claims and/or uninsured or underinsured motorist claims. The personal injury attorney deals directly with the insurance companies and other parties involved in the claim. The attorney also directs the client in dealing with release of confidential medical information and other privacy matters that are frequently involved with personal injury claims. Personal injury claims are frequently resolved through a mutually agreeable settlement between the parties, but it is sometimes necessary to take a case to trial in order to obtain a reasonable recovery.
It is important that a person with a personal injury claim be aware of the applicable statute of limitations and other notice requirements related to that claim. Otherwise, that person’s claim(s) may be barred, thereby limiting or negating any recovery for damages. It is also important that a person with an injury claim be fully informed about his or her rights, as well as the issues that may be involved with the claim.