A personal injury claim allows a person who’s been injured by someone else’s negligence to seek compensation for their injury. In legal terms, this means the plaintiff is seeking compensation from the defendant.
This article explains the most common outcomes of a personal injury claim, and the types of compensation they provide.
Sometimes, the injured party changes their mind and decides their case isn’t worth pursuing. There are many different reasons a person might decide to do this. But regardless of the reason, dropping a case will have the same results:
Most personal injury claims never reach trial. In fact, 95% of personal injury cases end in an out-of-court settlement.
A settlement is a formal contract between the plaintiff and the defendant. It outlines an agreement where the plaintiff agrees to drop the lawsuit in exchange for monetary compensation. Settlement agreements are usually presented to a judge, who makes it legally binding.
One caveat is that no two settlements are alike. Even the exact same injury can have different effects on different people, and that injury will be compensated in different ways. But in practice, most settlement awards do the following:
If a case goes to trial, there’s two ways it can turn out. The first way is that the injured party wins. A victory in court for the injured party means that they’ll receive compensation for their injuries.
This compensation will cover common factors like medical treatment, lost wages, property repair/replacement, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Depending on the nature of the injury and where it occurred, there may also be other effects. For example, a doctor who is found guilty of medical malpractice may lose their medical license.
If the defendant wins at trial, the injured party won’t receive compensation for their injury. In addition, they must pay the taxable costs of the defendant. These costs may include:
Whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, if the judgment in the personal injury case goes against you, you can appeal the decision up to 30 days after the ruling.
However, attorney Robert P. Garven warns that "the trial court's decision is presumed to be correct: it is your duty to prove to the appellate court that there was an error. Depending on the nature and strength of your proof, that may be difficult to do."
Your appeal will go to a higher court, which will reconsider your case and either overturn or uphold the existing verdict.
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