Accidents occur on a daily basis and many times the injuries that result from those accidents are the fault of a negligent party. This can be a very distressful situation for the injured victim, especially when the negligent party has little personal assets and little or no insurance protection. Unfortunately, this can be the case regarding many injuries that happen through no fault of the injured party. The most common occurrences of these injuries either stem from premises or automobile accidents. The rules regarding legal claims for both types of personal injury procedures is the same for the most part, but the dynamics of the cases are always unique. Furthermore, the injured party will be evaluated for personal contribution to the accident whether it is a reasonable assumption of personal risk in a premises liability case or comparative fault in an auto accident. Many injured victims attempt handling an injury claim themselves, but this is rarely a good decision, especially if are seriously injured. It is important to know your legal rights to damage recovery when the claim is being contested.
Your Legal Rights
Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability claims are usually directed primarily at a property owner or a business operator. In cases where the injury occurs on commercial property, both the owner and operator may be liable. Of course, what normally happens is that each one will attempt to deflect blame onto the other in an effort to avoid litigation. Your personal injury attorney will almost always pursue both avenues of revenue regardless of the situation, allowing the court to determine actual responsibility for a reasonable duty of care. Normal claims in a premises liability case will include financial recovery for medical bills and lost wages, along with non-economic damages for pain and suffering. Many novice injured victims do not understand that pain and suffering awards are not necessarily punitive damages and can be included as a central component of any premises liability personal injury claim. You have a right to these damages as well as medical bills and lost income. But, be prepared to be assessed for personal contribution to the accident because it can impact the value of your claim greatly.
Auto Accident Claims
Auto Accidents are handled a bit differently than premises liability. The same personal claims can be made with respect to medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, but physical property can also be a major component of any final settlement. In addition, while your vehicle is being repaired, the insurance company must provide you with reasonable replacement transportation. Physical property claims and personal injury claims can also be settled in separate payments when it is obvious the claim is valid and the company is not contesting the claim. Comparative negligence percentages are calculated for each party in an auto accident. Claimants will then have the total of their eligible damage amounts discounted by their personal percentage of contribution to the accident. This is the area of negotiation where your attorney provides the most value as they argue on your behalf when the insurance adjusters are attempting to increase your percentage in an effort to lessen the total payout on a claim.
It is important to remember that punitive damages may be available when a particular case has an egregious component that indicates gross negligence, such as a fatality or serious personal injury following an auto accident with an impaired driver. Regardless of the material case facts of your injury claim, you have a right to whole financial recovery within the limits of state law, which may limit certain damage award levels. Always remember that having an experienced and aggressive serious personal injury attorney is vital if you are seeking full damages for any injury.