Personal injury law refers to the law that stipulates how a personal injury case should be handled. Personal injury cases refer to legal disputes arising when a person suffers harm from an injury or an accident when someone else may be legally responsible for their harm.
These injuries can arise from anywhere, be it at home, at work, on the playground etc, and the onus is often on the attorney hired to prove that someone else is indeed responsible for the harm suffered. Read on to find out some of the basics of personal injury law.
As opposed to criminal cases that are often initiated by the government, a formal personal injury lawsuit is initiated by a private individual, legally referred to as the plaintiff. The lawsuit may be filed against another individual, a business, organization or even a government agency. The party against whom the lawsuit is filed is referred to as the defendant.
The plaintiff will have to present a convincing case that the defendant indeed acted in negligence to cause them to suffer harm. Of course they can do this themselves or can hire a personal injury attorney to assist them with the case.
The Common Forms of Settlement Involved
While quite a few personal injury cases find their way within the corridors of justice, many of them are actually settled in what is referred to as informal or out-of-court settlements. These are basically mutual agreements struck between the two parties in the dispute.
The two parties would often negotiate sometimes having a third-party as an arbiter or witness and then upon reaching an amicable settlement, they would need to consent to a written agreement stipulating how the matter should be dispensed with. The two parties may choose to negotiate directly or do so through their attorneys and in the event either party breaches the agreement, a formal litigation may be initiated.
Understanding Statutes Limitations
Statutes of limitations refer to the laws that stipulate the duration within which a plaintiff can file a lawsuit and this period of time begins from the time they are injured or discover an injury. These statues are often established by state law and they vary depending on the type of injuries involved.
For examples, in Texas, the statutes of limitation are 2 years for injuries to an individual, five years for sex crimes and one year for slander or libel. Additionally, these statutes can vary from state to state or from country to country. It is important to note, however, that regardless of the location of the defendant, the plaintiff would proceed based on their specific state laws.