Whether you were involved in a car accident or workplace incident, it is often a struggle to cope with injuries. If you were not the responsible party, then it is natural to seek restitution for your pain and suffering. However, it is not always clear what or how much you are entitled to from a lawsuit.
The first thing you need to figure out before calculating losses is who is ultimately responsible for your injuries. You need to figure out how fault is determined in your state, and if you can file against the at-fault party. Some states will only allow you to file a claim against the at-fault party if they are found to be mostly responsible for the incident leading to your injuries. If you are unsure of your state’s liability definitions, then consider hiring an attorney.
While filing a claim, you will most likely file compensatory damages, which often come down to concrete losses and abstract injuries. It is easy to prove medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and property loss. However, if you wish to sue for pain and suffering or loss of consortium or social standing, then you will likely need expert testimony, likely from your psychologist. While filing for abstract damages is complicated, it is not unheard of in personal injury claims, and plaintiffs often walk away with something.
Anger is natural after an injury, and it is not uncommon for a victim to want to punish the at-fault party. Unfortunately, most courts will not grant punitive damages without cause. Punitive damages speak to intent to do harm, which is not often the case in most accidents. However, if you feel that the liable party did knowingly and with malice cause your injury, then file for punitive damages; just know that proving intent is incredibly challenging, and you will likely need the support of legal counsel.
A personal injury claim can bring about several emotions, from anger to sadness. When filing a lawsuit, it is necessary to not lead with emotion but rather with the merits of the case. If you are not sure how to proceed with your personal injury claim, or if you are unsure of the potential success of your case, then contact a personal injury lawyer, like from Davis & Brusca. The lawyer will help you weigh the potential costs of a trial with what you might expect to recover, which will help you make an informed decision.