Personal injuries are legally defined as all injuries caused by another person’s negligence. This negligence may be intentional or unintentional; that is, personal injury may be caused by another person’s carelessness or irresponsible conduct.
Regarding the nature of personal injuries, they can be psychological, physical or mental. In most cases, they are usually the second (physical) ones. As for the place of incidence of these injuries, let’s say, the context, often occurs in road traffic accidents, but personal injury cases also abound in public and crowded places, homes, businesses and workplaces. Indeed, personal injury has no place delimitation.
And can anyone be responsible for a personal injury? Indeed, there is also no delimitation as to the “authority” of the person who commits a personal injury. This is why medical malpractice cases, especially dental malpractice, are also included in the personal injury category.
In short, a person who has experienced personal injury is able to file a claim against the person, institution or company whose negligence caused the accident.
Now, let’s assume that the injury is of such severity and magnitude that it has physically incapacitated the person who possesses it. What do you do in these cases? When that happens, the person’s partner or a close relative such as siblings, cousins or parents are in charge of running the legal process. With the advice of an expert lawyer, of course; it is not a good idea for loved ones to act alone, since, in addition to lacking legal knowledge and expertise, they are affected by the incident and can make misguided decisions.
Filing a grievance is not an action that takes place on a whim or as a form of revenge. A personal injury lawyer initiates a legal process with the goal of reaching an indemnity agreement. In turn, this indemnity agreement serves to make it possible for the injured person to pay for medical expenses (treatment, consultation with specialists, drugs, etc.); property damage (house, buildings, etc.); and also to compensate for the wages he or she will not be able to receive due to the fact that he or she will not be able to work due to the injury.
However, a compensation agreement should also cover non-economic damages, which are all those that have affected the injured person’s psyche, such as stress, depression, sadness, unhappiness, among others.
And in some very extreme cases, the compensation agreement includes so-called punitive damages. This inclusion is made when the person, institution or company responsible for the injury acted intentionally, in a morally reprehensible and highly irresponsible manner.
In other words, the ultimate purpose of compensation arrangements is to return the injured person to a state that he or she would have been in if the accident had not occurred. In order to do this, it is necessary that those responsible for the incident replace the damage caused.
Rather, in order to reach a settlement agreement, it is necessary to have reliable proof that you are right. To this end, lawyers should consider three aspects:
1) The first is to identify and prove the negligence of the responsible person
2) The second is to prove that the accident caused the injuries.
3) And the third and last is to prove that the injuries resulting from the accident are not minor and that they require an indemnity agreement.
Types of personal injuries
Before proceeding with the details of a compensation agreement, it is important to know the types of personal injury more accurately (as we have mentioned some aspects earlier).
Personal injuries are broadly typified: they can be physical, mental and psychological. Physical injuries, on the other hand, can be mild and progressively increase to become serious and fatal. Mild physical injuries can be scratches or scrapes, while severe injuries are those that affect the eyes, brain, spinal cord, arms, and legs.
While fatal injuries are those resulting in death. In these cases, normal lawsuits can only seek compensation for damages caused before the person’s death. In order to be able to obtain compensation for subsequent damages (such as lost wages), the victim’s family must file a special lawsuit known as a “wrongful death suit”.
On the other hand, there are personal injuries that occur in public places, businesses, workplaces, among others. Causes of this type of injury include: falling objects, fires and even bites.
On the other hand, there are personal injuries that occur in public places, businesses, workplaces, among others. Causes of this type of injury include: falling objects, fires and even dog bites. Each of these injuries is different from the other and it is necessary to review the statutes of each state to know how to proceed and initiate legal action.
Additionally, in the midst of the information society, with the rise of social networks and their growing relevance, lawsuits have arisen for psychological personal injury caused by content considered offensive on the Internet. In fact, for some time now, social networks have been having an impact on the outcome of personal injury claims. That is why one of the recommendations we are making to our clients is to be careful with the content uploading to social networks. Not only is that content being used to initiate legal proceedings, but insurance companies are also using that content to dismiss personal injury claims, minimizing damages to reduce the amount of compensation they must pay.
Indemnity agreement details
But what exactly is the coverage of an indemnity agreement? What are the details? First, what we said earlier about the goal of a compensation agreement should be emphasized: to restore the overall levels of health, activity, work and lifestyle enjoyed by the person prior to the incident. If the injury is very serious, the agreement also compensates for the psychological damage.
However, sometimes the person who was the victim of the accident cannot fully recover from the injury. In other words, the person is not the same again, nor does he or she enjoy the same life as before the injury. In these cases, what is the coverage of an indemnity agreement? We can sinter it in 5 points:
- First, an indemnity agreement covers short-, medium- and long-term medical treatment.
- Secondly, the compensation agreement includes physical rehabilitation
- Third, the compensation agreement replaces lost wages as a result of inability to go to the workplace
- Fourthly, and in addition to the previous point, the compensation agreement covers the training and education programmes necessary to reintegrate the person into the labour market (in a job according to his/her physical capacity, of course)
- Last but not least, the compensation agreement covers psychological treatment in an attempt to reverse the mental and emotional harm caused by personal injury.
As you can see, compensation agreements are of vital importance, since they oblige the person responsible for the accident to pay out the money required to alleviate the consequences of the accident. But keep in mind that reaching a fair settlement is not an easy task and the advice of a personal injury attorney who is familiar with these cases is mandatory.
The calculation of the amount of an indemnity agreement depends on many factors. While we are not going to explore them or talk at length about them, we would like to mention some of the hidden factors.
Indeed, in a personal injury incident, hidden factors may be present: aspects that may have had an impact on the accident but are not visible to the naked eye. In these cases, only expert analysis and review can determine what those factors are and what weight they exerted on the accident.
These hidden factors can significantly alter the amount of a settlement agreement, either positively or negatively. These hidden factors include, for example, defective products (with incidents involving trucks that lacked maintenance being very common within this category; or tools and equipment that had defects).
Mechanical errors are often regarded as other factors hidden in an accident. Basically, mechanical errors occur when a person makes an error while using mechanical equipment (redundancy is valid). Design errors are also part of the hidden factors; these design errors occur when equipment or tools are not manufactured for proper use.
Despite the existence of these hidden factors, we cannot ignore the simple fact that personal injury can be caused by human error. And on very extreme occasions, personal injury is caused by intentional behavior.
In any case, only an experienced and specialized lawyer, with the help of a panel of experts, can locate these factors and calculate their impact on the event.
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