Accidents happen. That’s what they say, right? Yet the fact that mishaps and accidents are commonplace does not detract from the hurt and confusion that often results when you or a loved one suffers an injury. If you think you need to take steps to protect your legal rights after you have been involved in an accident, you should start by finding out some basics.
What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury case is a legal dispute based on one person suffering harm from an injury or accident for which another person may be legally responsible for. Many personal injury cases never actually make it to court. The issue is resolved by informal settlement before any lawsuit is actually filed. If the case is not settled and a personal injury lawsuit needs to be filed, the injured party needs to engage in civil court proceedings. During the civil court proceedings, they seek a court judgment finding the other party legally at fault.
There are basically two ways in which a personal injury case can be resolved. One is the formal lawsuit. Personal injury cases are different than criminal cases because criminal cases are initiated by the government. A formal personal injury case most often starts with a private individual (referred to as the plaintiff) filing a civil complaint against another person, business, group, etc. (referred to as the defendant). The civil complaint contains an allegation that the defendant acted carelessly or irresponsibly in connection with the accident or injury that caused the plaintiff harm. This is generally known as filing a lawsuit.
In most cases, disputes over fault for a mishap or accident resulting in injury are resolved through an informal early settlement. The settlement will usually be between those personally involved in the dispute, their insuring parties, and their attorneys. This type of settlement tends to take the form of a negotiation, followed by a written agreement requiring both parties to forgo any additional legal action (preventing the filing of a lawsuit) and choosing instead to resolve the matter through the payment of an amount of money all parties involved agree is appropriate in the situation.
If you need to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer because you have been involved in an accident and need to seek compensation for your injuries, please get in touch with Aronow Law PC as soon as possible.