What Is a Personal Injury Case?

An unexpected injury can seriously affect your finances, leaving you with lost wages, medical bills, and other injury costs – not to mention your pain and suffering. In many cases, you have the option of pursuing personal injury compensation for all of these losses. 

An insurance company or other at-fault party can be held financially responsible if your personal injury lawyer can successfully build a case.

Before you assume that injury expenses are your responsibility, it’s always a good idea to consult a Lakewood personal injury lawyer to learn whether the accident leaves you eligible for filing a personal injury claim.  

Understanding Personal Injury Law

Understanding Personal Injury Law

When someone commits a crime, they can be arrested and sentenced by a court. This type of law is known as criminal law. Personal injury law falls under a different type, known as civil law. Civil law allows you to hold someone else accountable for how their actions have harmed you, even if no crime was committed. 

Personal injury law is, in large part, based on the concept of negligence, which posits that all people and companies owe a duty of care to others. This is a basic responsibility for the safety of other people. When a person or company’s actions neglect to consider the basic safety of others, it’s regarded as an instance of negligence. 

If a personal injury lawyer can prove negligence, the negligent party can be held financially responsible for the costs of the resulting injury. You can then file a claim with the responsible insurance company and negotiate a settlement. If the negotiation fails, you can then try filing a lawsuit in civil court. 

Not all personal injury cases are based on negligence, but it is the most common cause of action.

Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

The most well-known type of personal injury case is a car accident claim. Just about everyone knows that after a car crash, you can file an injury claim with the insurance company. However, people often don’t realize that you can also file an injury claim after many other types of accidents as well.  

Personal injury lawyers handle many types of personal injury cases. Some of the most common include the following: 

What these accident types have in common is that there is usually an insurance policy in place designed to offer compensation in the event of an injury. Obtaining personal injury compensation simply requires going through the steps of proving negligence, filing a claim, and negotiating a settlement for the injury costs. 

Types of Personal Injury Compensation 

Personal injury compensation can provide you with money for nearly any type of injury expense related to the accident. This money is split up into a few categories. One form of personal injury compensation is known as economic damages. The category is composed of injury costs that have a dollar value you can provide proof of. 

Some of the most common examples of economic damages include: 

This category generally covers any type of expense or financial loss triggered by the accident. 

You also have the option of seeking non-economic damages. This payment category compensates you for the non-financial damage done by the accident. Many states (including Colorado) place limits on how much non-economic compensation you can recover in a medical malpractice case. Common examples of non-economic damages include:

When a personal injury claim can’t be settled through negotiation, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and seek a court ruling. In some cases, a judge may also order a third type of damages, known as punitive damages. These are relatively rare and are reserved for cases involving extreme negligence or intentional harm.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Helps Your Case

On the surface, a personal injury claim looks straightforward. The injury is covered by an insurance policy, so obtaining compensation should simply require submitting a claim. Unfortunately, that’s not how the process unfolds. 

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They work hard to keep payouts small. A successful personal injury claim typically requires having a personal injury lawyer handle the process for you. As a lawyer works on your case, they may need to: 

Most personal injury cases end at the negotiation stage. Lawsuits involve a time commitment and expense that most insurance companies prefer to avoid. However, in some cases, a lawsuit eventually becomes necessary to recover a fair compensation value.

Regardless of whether a case goes to court, personal injury lawyers are able to leverage their knowledge of insurance law and personal injury law to fight for fair compensation. Allowing a lawyer to handle the personal injury claims process increases your chances of securing a higher compensation value. 

Personal Injury Lawsuit Time Limits 

You have a limited amount of time to seek compensation for an injury. If negotiation is unsuccessful, your final option is to file a lawsuit. However, every state sets time limits on how long you have to file in court. For example, Colorado sets two-year time limits (three years for motor vehicle accidents) on personal injury cases based on general negligence, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. 

In most situations, this time limit begins on the date of the injury or death. However, if the injury isn’t discovered until later, it may be possible to have the deadline extended. It takes time for a lawyer to go through the process of investigating, building a case, filing a claim, and attempting negotiation. 

Waiting to contact a lawyer puts your case at risk of running out of time if a lawsuit becomes necessary down the road. That is why it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.

Consult an Experienced Lakewood Personal Injury Lawyer Today

If you’ve been injured in Lakewood, CO, your injuries might leave you eligible for a personal injury claim. Before you assume that you’ve been left to shoulder the injury costs on your own, it’s a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your options. 

Matos Personal Injury Lawyers is a top-rated Colorado personal injury law firm. Our case results show that we routinely obtain winning compensation for the clients we represent, and we’re ready to discuss how we can help with your case. 

Call us today at (720) 912 7274 to schedule your free consultation with a Lakewood personal injury attorney.