What Is a Personal Injury Case?
The Forzano Law Firm specializes in numerous legal services, including personal injury law. We are known for our comprehensive and meticulous approach to each case, treating our clients’ concerns with the utmost care and professionalism. Our experienced Brooklyn personal injury attorneys are here to help you navigate the complex personal injury process to ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
What Is a Personal Injury Attorney?
A personal injury attorney is a legal professional who offers representation to those who claim to have been physically or psychologically injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, company, government agency, or other entity. The role of a personal injury attorney is to provide legal advice, represent clients in court, and manage the personal injury claim process. This professional works tirelessly to negotiate personal injury settlements in their clients’ best interests.
What Is Personal Injury Law?
Also known as tort law, personal injury law permits an injured person to seek recompense for all losses stemming from an accident or other incident. The purpose of the personal injury system is to allow the injured person to be financially compensated or “made whole” after suffering harm due to someone else’s careless or intentional misconduct.
What Are the Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?
Negligence is a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would exercise under the same conditions. For a claim to be successful, a personal injury attorney must establish the following four components of negligence:
- Duty refers to the legal obligation one person owes another to adhere to a reasonable standard of care and avoid causing harm. For instance, drivers are expected to drive safely, and doctors are responsible for providing competent medical care.
- A breach occurs when one party fails to meet the established duty of care. For example, a drunk driver is breaching their duty to drive safely.
- Causation establishes a cause-and-effect relationship between the breach of duty and the harm caused.
- Damages refer to the harm suffered by the victim, which can be physical, emotional, or financial.
Examples of Personal Injury Cases
One example of a personal injury case is a car accident where one person texted while driving, causing them to rear-end another vehicle. Here, the duty is the expectation that everyone must drive safely, the breach is the act of texting while driving, causation is established as the distraction leading to the accident, and damages are the injuries and vehicle damage sustained by the victim.
A more complex example might involve a medical malpractice case. Suppose a doctor misdiagnoses a patient’s condition, resulting in unnecessary treatment that leads to further health problems. In this case, the doctor’s duty is to provide competent medical care. The breach occurs when the doctor misdiagnoses the patient. Causation is established as the misdiagnosis leading to unnecessary treatment and subsequent health issues. Damages may include physical injury, additional medical bills, and other losses caused by the unnecessary treatment.
In both examples, a personal injury lawyer plays a critical role in gathering evidence, proving these elements, and advocating for just compensation for the victims.
Why Do People File Personal Injury Claims?
Filing a personal injury claim aims to seek financial compensation for the injuries and losses you’ve suffered due to another’s negligence. The outcome of your claim can help you get back on your feet financially after a serious accident while holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
The damages awarded may be economic, noneconomic, or punitive in nature. Here’s a closer look at each one.
Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case
The purpose of economic damages is to financially restore the injured party to the position they would have been in had the injury not occurred. They cover tangible costs and losses, often easily quantifiable and supported by bills or receipts, including:
- Medical expenses: This is often the most significant economic loss. It includes the cost of immediate medical care, ongoing treatment, rehabilitation, and any future injury-related medical expenses.
- Lost wages: If an injury causes you to miss work, you’re entitled to compensation for the income you would have earned.
- Loss of earning capacity: If your injury results in a long-term or permanent disability that affects your ability to work, you may be compensated for this loss.
- Property damage: If your vehicle or other personal property was damaged, you should be awarded the repair or replacement cost.
To ensure full compensation, keep detailed records of all expenses related to your injury. A personal injury attorney can guide you through this process and help you understand what you can claim under economic damages.
Noneconomic Damages in a Personal Injury Case
These damages compensate you for the non-monetary aspects of your injury, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
Unlike economic damages, noneconomic damages are subjective and don’t have a set monetary value. Therefore, they are often the subject of much dispute and require the expertise of a seasoned personal injury attorney to secure fair compensation.
Punitive Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Punitive damages are considered punishment and are typically awarded when the defendant’s behavior is egregiously careless or intentionally harmful. Punitive damages are not awarded in every personal injury case, and the laws governing them vary widely from state to state. A Brooklyn personal injury lawyer can help you understand when and how these damages might apply to a case filed in New York.
Contact the Forzano Law Firm
The personal injury lawyers at the Forzano Law Firm understand the challenges of pursuing a personal injury claim. That’s why we provide personalized and thorough legal representation, carefully considering each detail of your case. We are seasoned negotiators and won’t hesitate to take your case to court, if needed, to secure a fair personal injury settlement. If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, call the Forzano Law Firm at 718-372-1397 to get your case resolved by a dedicated and experienced Brooklyn personal injury attorney.