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Personal Injury

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Personal injury is a legal term for a mental, physical or emotional harm in contrast to property damage. In Europe and the United States, the term usually refers to cases where the plaintiff alleges his injury is a result of negligence. Costs include physical wounds, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Usually, most of these claims involve work, road traffic and tripping accidents, assault, product liability accidents (where a product proves defective) and holiday accidents. The term personal injury also extends to dental and medical incidents and conditions such as asbestosis, chest diseases, silicosis, vibration white finger, stress, deafness, contact dermatitis, and chronic strain injury as well as any other conditions viewed as occupational diseases.

The plaintiff is often entitled to cash compensation from the defendant, if they prove negligence through a settlement or judgment. The attorney usually charges one-third of the proceeds in the United States, if they settle a case out of court; but the fee can reach 50% if the case goes to court. In England, the plaintiff is not charged a fee if her or his case is unsuccessful.

What type of damages can I claim?

Two types of damages can be requested - special or general. General damages include suffering, pain, distress, loss of consortium and other relatively unmeasurable effects. Special damages, on the other hand, are measurable and may include lost income, medical expenses, and property damages. Personal injury cases may involve both particular and general damages depending on the situation.

Will I win my case?

Everyone involved in any litigation, but especially something like personal injury, has this consideration first and foremost. Several things must be proven for you to win your case and get your settlement. Most importantly you must prove the defendant had a duty to act reasonably in the situation and breached said duty, causing you harm and inflicting monetary damages.

How much will I get?

The amount of compensation depends mostly on the extent and severity of the injury. If you have suffered a serious back or spinal cord injury, lost a limb, got your bones broken or sustained a brain hemorrhage or other brain damage, you're likely to get a very high settlement. Apart from this, you might also receive some compensated for the long-term effect of the injuries, like if you're unable to work because of the injury. You can make a claim for lost profits, if you run your own business or a request for loss of enjoyment of life, if your injury has made it impossible to do something you loved to do before, like playing soccer, hiking, etc.