Mark Roman | September 17, 2019 | Personal Injury
While most people are familiar with the concept of a civil lawsuit, there’s often some confusion about what the term “personal injury” actually means – and how it can apply to your own life. As personal injury lawyers with more than 60 years of combined experience, we can take on a wide range of claims and help you seek compensation for your losses. We’ll also clearly explain the core legal elements of your case so that you understand the strategy, as well as the chances of success.
In this blog post, we’ve provided a quick breakdown of the main concepts and terms in personal injury law. For answers to more specific questions about your claim, don’t hesitate to contact Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers today.
Give us a call at (727) 877-1212 for a free consultation!
What Is Personal Injury?
Personal injury claims are a form of civil complaint that allow an individual (called the “plaintiff”) to seek monetary compensation for their financial, physical, and emotional losses. These losses must have been incurred because another party (called the “defendant”) was acting in a negligent and wrongful manner.
Typically, these claims are filed after the plaintiff suffers a single life-altering incident, such as a car accident or an accident on a construction site. However, there are also instances where victims can file a personal injury lawsuit for losses sustained over a long period of time: For example, taking a defective medication that eventually causes cancer.
As a result, there are many different claims that may fall under the category of personal injury, including:
- Medical malpractice
- Sexual assault or abuse
- Slip and fall accidents on another person’s property
- Motor vehicle accidents
- DUI car accidents
- Defective product injuries
- Toxic chemical exposure injuries
- Discrimination or civil rights abuses
- Children’s injuries
These are just a few examples of personal injury claims, as there are thousands of possible claim variations. In order to have a lawsuit, however, you must be able to demonstrate that you were injured in some significant way. You can also file a lawsuit on behalf of an injured person, provided that they are a close relative, partner, or spouse.
What Does Negligence Mean?
Negligence is the central argument of nearly any personal injury claim. In order to commit negligence, the defendant has to have a “duty of care” towards the plaintiff. This duty of care can vary depending on the situation at hand. For instance, a doctor has a clear duty of care to provide a prompt diagnosis for their patient. If that doctor delays their diagnosis and ultimately harms the patient, they can be held accountable for that oversight.
On the other hand, if there is no fault for your accident, you can’t file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. For a successful claim, you must be able to identify the party liable for your injuries, and show that they had a duty of care to protect you.
What Are Damages in an Injury Claim?
Damages are the losses described in an injury claim – and they don’t have to be related to your physical well-being alone. Ranging from emotional and psychological trauma to lost future wages, there can be any number of damages cited in a personal injury lawsuit. The point of damages is to make the victim “whole again,” most often by covering their financial costs.
Here are a few of the most common damages you may receive:
- Medical expenses: Losing financial resources because of ongoing medical treatments, surgeries, and visits.
- Pain and suffering: Losses related to extreme physical or mental pain, as well as emotional trauma.
- Disability and disfigurement: Losses related to the struggle of dealing with a life-altering disability or injury, or a disfiguring scar.
- Loss of consortium: Losing the companionship of a partner or family member due to their injury.
- Wrongful death: Losing a loved one permanently because of another person’s negligence.
- Lost income: Losing the ability to work during the time of recovery and recuperation, or losing the ability to work in the same industry for the future.
In some rare cases, the plaintiff may also be awarded “punitive damages,” which are given in cases of extraordinary negligence. These are additional fees that are intended to “make an example” of the defendant, and they are often significantly higher than the total damages awarded for compensation.
Ready to Fight for Your Rights
Do you think that you have grounds for a personal injury claim? Our team at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers is ready to help you determine whether you have a case – and then take action on your behalf. Tried and tested, our attorneys will fight for a favorable outcome and try to maximize your compensation. We’ve successfully recovered over $100 million in settlements and verdicts over the years, and we’ll strive to get similar results for you.
Contact the Clearwater Personal Injury Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Clearwater. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655