Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm
Personal injury refers to an injury to the body, mind or emotions. It is most commonly used when alleging that the plaintiff's injury has been caused by the negligence of another. A person is negligent when he or she fails to act with the care of an ordinary reasonable person. Personal injury claims can be made in a traffic collision, work injury (although most of those are under Workers Compensation rules), assault cases, injuries at home and defective product injuries. It can also include medical and dental injuries as well as industrial disease cases, including asbestosis and mesothelioma, etc.
You may be entitled to monetary compensation for your injuries if the negligence of the other party can be proven. There are four elements of a tort that must also be present to be compensated. The four elements in a typical tort lawsuit are: (1) The existence of a legal duty owed by a person to others (2) The breach of the duty by one person (negligence) (3) The breach of the duty being the proximate cause of damages suffered by a person (4) Damages incurred by a person.
When an injury occurs which appears to have been caused by the negligence of another, you should record as much information about it as possible. You should contact your attorney very soon after your accident. A good personal injury attorney can help you gather evidence and give you valuable advice. Your attorney will usually send a demand letter to the other person or their attorney. It will have the facts about the incident and demand a settlement. If your case is not settled within a reasonable period of time, you will have to file a lawsuit. After the lawsuit has been filed, the parties will get information from each other about the case, a process known as discovery, where the injured party and the alleged tortfeasor (negligent person) exchange documents and give depositions (verbal statements under oath). There may be pre-trial motions. Many courts will require the attorneys to meet before the trial to try to help the two parties reach a settlement. Frequently, if there is a possibility of settlement, the parties may attempt mediation. Mediation is a face-to-face negotiation where a third party makes sure the two negotiating parties are working well toward a settlement. If the settlement fails, the case will be set for trial. After the trial, either party can appeal if there was a significant legal error. If there is no appeal or after the appeal is completed, the plaintiff has to collect the damages. States have procedures to help the plaintiff find out where the defendant's assets are if the defendant refuses to pay the judgment ordered by the court.
As MO Personal Injury Attorneys, Rotts & Gibbs, LLC focuses a great deal of their practice on these claims. They can be very complicated and may involve extensive issues relating to insurance policies and the complicated language in those policies. We have a practice group inside our law firm, which consists of several people whose entire job is to prepare Personal Injury claims for settlement or trial by jury.
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