Thousands of personal injury lawsuits are initiated each year. Read on to learn a little bit more about this type of legal process.
What is a personal injury lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit occurs when an individual decides to make a claim for compensation due to an injury or illness (either physical or psychological) which resulted from an accident, or a particular type of event or work environment.
For example, someone who has developed depression or anxiety as a result of workplace harassment, or because of an unreasonably heavy workload, may choose to file a personal injury claim against their employer. Others might choose to make a claim for compensation after being involved in a road accident which left them with significant injuries. In most personal injury lawsuits, claims are made against either the party who is said to be responsible for the injury or the relevant insurance company (although in some cases, claims may be made against both).
Does the person who makes the claim need to hire a lawyer?
Whilst in some types of personal injury lawsuits, a lawyer is not necessarily needed, hiring one can make this process considerably easier and could potentially increase the chance of the claimant achieving a positive outcome.
The claims process is usually initiated by the person who has sustained an injury or illness seeking out the advice of a lawyer who specialises in this subject. Most lawyers will offer a free initial consultation, during which they will determine the legitimacy of the person's claim. In instances where they believe there enough evidence to support the individual's case, the lawyer will then go about collecting documentation which will help to prove the claim and then file it via the appropriate legal channels, in a timely manner.
A lot of personal injury lawyers offer their services on a no win, no fee basis, which means that even claimants who do not have the funds to cover the cost of legal support can still go ahead with their case, as they will only be required to pay their lawyer if they are successful with their claim.
What type of documentation is needed to prove that an injury occurred?
A person making a claim for compensation after sustaining an injury will usually need to provide a significant amount of evidence. This evidence will usually come in several different forms and will vary from one case to the next.
In the case of a road accident, for example, the claimant may need to have photographs of both the location where the accident occurred, as well as photographs of their injuries and any subsequent scars. They may also need to provide a copy of the police report and statements from any witnesses who were present at the time of the accident, as well as invoices and receipts for any medical treatments they underwent.
If a person makes a claim for compensation because they have developed a psychological illness as a result of a specific event or work environment, their documentation may include a statement from their therapist, copies of prescriptions for medications such as antidepressants, and statements from friends and family who have had to assist them with certain tasks because of their illness (for instance, household chores or shopping).
For more information, contact local lawyers, like those from Robert Chrzaszcz & Associates.