Lawsuits resulting from a car accident are known as personal injury lawsuits. A personal injury lawsuit is a type of civil lawsuit. Here is how the two relate and how they differ:
The Civil Lawsuit
A civil lawsuit is a form of litigation wherein one party seeks to hold another accountable for a wrong incurred. If the plaintiff, or instigator of the lawsuit, is able to prove he or she has been unduly wronged, the court will typically require the defendant to pay a certain dollar amount as remuneration. The sum paid called punitive damages. On average, the amount of punitive damages awarded in a civil lawsuit is $50,000.
Civil lawsuits can be brought by an individual or business. For instance, an employee might bring a lawsuit against his employer after incurring a workplace injury; or one driver in a car accident may hire a personal injury lawyer to sue the other driver in an effort to receive compensation for medical expenses incurred. Civil lawsuits brought for personal injury complaints such as those resulting from a car accident are known as personal injury lawsuits.
The Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit typically begins with the filing of a personal injury complaint, or petition. These complaints are filed with your state’s civil court system and can be handled on your behalf by local attorneys or personal injury lawyers. While your personal injury lawyer may file the complaint with the court, most personal injury lawsuits are resolved through settlement before a court hearing is even required. Some will reach settlement before a lawsuit can even begin.
Common Reasons to Instigate a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Two common reasons individuals choose to file a personal injury complaint are for workplace injuries and car accidents. Employees slipping and falling on slick floors account for 85% of all worker’s compensation claims. Nearly a quarter of those incidents resulted in over 31 days away from work. What may begin as a seemingly benign accident can result in not only extended periods away form work and lost pay but also high medical bills. In the most severe cases, permanent disability may also occur.
Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, with over 8 million visits occurring each year. Of those falls, 12%, or over 1 million visits, were categorized as slips and falls on wet floors.
Car accidents are a second leading cause of personal injury lawsuits. Over 2 million passengers were injured in a car accident in 2013 alone. An additional 21,132 passengers lost their lives a in car accident that year. As most of us know, distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents. At this moment, around 660,000 drivers on the roads across America are using their cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. Similarly, it’s estimated that people drive drunk 300,000 times every day, but less than 4,000 arrests are made. Victims of car accidents caused by distracted or impaired drivers may seek remuneration through a personal injury lawsuit.
Civil lawsuits are not inexpensive. Personal injury lawyers may work on a contingency basis, meaning their compensation will come out of the remuneration you receive at the end of the suit. The contingency fee will depend on a variety of factors, such as when or if settlement occurs. A personal injury lawyer may also cover expenses incurred during your case, which he or she will then deduct from the settlement received. Again, the expenses will depend on your lawsuit and situation. The annual cost to each U.S. citizen of civil lawsuits filed in any given year is estimated at $809. For the U.S. economy as a whole, this cost reaches an annual amount of $233 billion.
For victims of workplace injuries or car accidents, lawsuits can be an opportunity to receive just remuneration. A lawsuit levied by private parties is known as a civil lawsuit. When that lawsuit involves personal injury to the plaintiff, it’s called a personal injury lawsuit. If you feel you may be entitled to compensation for personal injury incurred while on the job or due to a car accident, seek the counsel of a personal injury lawyer for guidance on how and if you should proceed.