Nothing puts a damper on a fun night out quite like experiencing a major injury. This situation is only made worse when the injury wasn’t caused by your own actions, rather the actions of somebody else. However, it may benefit a person to know that there are legal steps they can take if their injury led to significant damages which have impact their life. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may be the right choice for you depending upon your situation and where the accident occurred.
Personal Injury Law 101
Personal injury law, as outlined by the American Bar Association, is a subset of the legal system which deals with protecting an individual if they or their property is harmed through the results of the actions of others. In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured part seeks compensation for injuries supposedly caused by the defendant of the case. In regard to this type of law, the major foundation of it rests upon negligence being involved.
What is Negligence?
To those unfamiliar with the term, negligence is a form of behavior. Specifically, negligence occurs when a person acts in such a way that they risk harming others as a result of their actions. A key aspect of negligence is that a reasonable person in the same situation would not be acting in the same manner as a negligent individual. Personal injury lawsuit cases often come down to whether or not negligence was involved on behalf of the people involved.
Who is Liable if You’re Injured in a Venue?
Understanding your legal options if you’re injured while out having a night of entertainment can be challenging. After all, being inside a sports stadium or a bar and being injured can make it difficult to know who is at fault for your injuries. In short, a person or a venue itself could be held liable for your specific injuries depending on what occurred. As an example, if you are in a bar and a part of the ceiling falls down on top of you, the bar could potentially be held liable if they did not maintain the building.
Likewise, however, if a person is stumbling around and slams into you from an unforeseen direction, causing you to injure yourself as you fall, the specific person, rather than the bar, would be held liable in most cases. With that said, the bar could potentially still be held liable if they overserved the individual, but that is a more specific type of case.
Personal Lawsuit Trial: What Needs to Be Proven?
Winning a personal injury lawsuit can feel impossible because of how nuanced the law can seem regarding the matter. However, bolstering your chances at success in a personal injury lawsuit boils down to just four main principles:
- Duty of Care Must be Established
First and foremost, it must be shown that the party who caused the accident had a duty of care to keep you and others out of harm’s way. In the bar situation outlined earlier, a bar has a duty to keep their establishment in good condition so that no accidents happen. Likewise, a person has a duty to watch how much they drink so that they don’t cause a potential situation.
- Breach of Duty of Care Must Have Occurred
Second, it must be shown that there was a breach of the duty that the defendant had. Following up with the bar example, it would require proving that the bar allowed the infrastructure of the building to deteriorate over time.
- Injuries Must Be Shown
Third, the injured party must show that they suffered some type of injury resulting from the breach of duty that occurred. For example, the roof falling down onto a person needs to cause the injury, not walking outside afterwards and slipping on someone else’s property.
- Causation with Damages Needs to be Demonstrated
Finally, it must be shown that the injuries a person suffered directly correlate with the damages they are outlining, specifically the compensation related to those injuries. This can be proved through medical bills or something similar. The reason for this is that the amount being requested needs to justify the extent of the injuries suffered.
How Much Can Be Won from a Personal Injury Trial?
Before taking the steps to contact a personal injury lawyer, it’s only natural to wonder about how much you can actually win from a personal injury case. While the exact value can vary from case-to-case, the average person walks away from a personal injury lawsuit being awarded around $25,000. With that said, certain personal injury trials, such as medical malpractice lawsuits, can potentially provide the plaintiff with hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Alternative Legal Options to Personal Injury Trial
For some people, pursuing their case in trial may not be the preferred method for solving the situation. In fact, the vast majority of civil lawsuits never reach trial, with the following three alternatives being the most common ways to settle the matter:
- Arbitration: During this process, a neutral third party oversees negotiations between the parties and acts as a judge to resolve the dispute. The decision of the arbitrator almost always cannot be appealed.
- Negotiation: It’s entirely possible that before a case reaches the courtroom, both sides will sit down with their lawyers to discuss a deal. This is a negotiation, with a settlement being allowed to be reached any time before a verdict.
- Mediation: Meditation is a nonbinding verdict by a neutral third-party who simply helps guide the two parties to a solution, but doesn’t make any sort of verdict.
The Bottom Line
Nobody wants to experience an injury that leaves them with medical bills to pay and a slew of other issues that can arise from an accident. However, the unfortunate truth of a night out is that accidents can certainly happen. In the event one does occur, it’s important to know that you have legal options available to you which can provide monetary compensation should the court agree with your side of the events. Reach out to an accredited personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to discuss potential options related to your case.