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When another person’s negligence or wrongdoing caused you harm, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim. Although you can do so on you own, it is not recommended without the assistance of a Memphis personal injury attorney. At Wiseman Bray PLLC, we have helped a broad number of individuals and families recover damages from vehicular accidents, slip and falls, premises liability accidents, and more. In general, we are able to successfully resolve a case before it reaches the stage of a lawsuit. However, in about 5% of cases, they will go to court and be heard before a judge and jury. If this happens to you, it will be important to understand the basics of personal injury lawsuits.
The Basics of Personal Injury Lawsuits
When you or someone you love suffers an injury through someone else’s negligence, it may be tough to recover. Financial devastation may occur as a result of medical bills and a lack of income. Filing a personal injury case against the responsible party may be the best way to try and recoup some of what you lost. Understanding how the process of the litigation and the recovery of damages occurs may better prepare you for the road ahead.
When a lawsuit is filed, the court dictates proper procedures. Your Memphis personal injury lawyer and the opposing side will go through a period of discovery; or rather, the time when all evidence relating to the incident that caused injury is exchanged. These include your medical records, work records, and any other pertinent info that would help a judge determine the outcome of your case.
If the parties involved cannot settle, the case proceeds to court. It is here that a judge, and possibly a jury, will hear the allegations and facts of the case side by side. There may be witness testimony including experts who may testify on behalf of either party. These individuals review the evidence and provide an opinion on a specific element of the case, such as medical diagnosis, treatment and mechanics of the incident. During this time, you can feel confident in knowing your Memphis personal injury attorney from Wiseman Bray PLLC, will be at your side.
Finally, the judge or jury will evaluate the case. During this process, special attention is paid to the severity of the negligence, the impact the injury has on you, and any other outside factors that may impact your life. Your Memphis personal injury attorney will likely put forth a figure that you hope to recover, often referred to as damages. In a personal injury case, three types of damages may be imposed:
Compensatory: A reimbursement of all the money you lost as a result of the injury. This includes medical bills, lost wages, therapy, medication, and any other amount you paid or lost.
General: A less palpable figure awarded that takes into account your suffering and pain, mental anguish, and any loss of marital intimacy resulting from the injury.
Punitive: In cases of extreme negligence, the court may seek to punish the defendant and award you money above and beyond what you asked. The imposition of punitive damages ranges from state to state, and as such, knowing the law where you live may help you understand the chances of getting this type of damage.
Personal injury cases can be challenging to understand and usually result from a painful injury. Asking your Memphis personal injury attorney to set expectations for your case may be the best way to alleviate stress and avoid misunderstanding. Call Wiseman Bray PLLC, for a consultation and case review.