What Constitutes Personal Injury?
Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind, or emotions; as opposed to damage to (or loss of) property. In order to have a viable personal injury claim, it must be shown that another party’s negligent, careless, or intentional behavior caused or contributed to your injury.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Get In a Personal Injury Claim?
The amount of compensation you can be awarded in a personal injury claim depends on the severity of your injuries and the degree of fault of the other party. To illustrate how a personal injury claim works, let’s take a hypothetical situation:
You are crossing the street, in a crosswalk. A driver who is texting runs a red light and hits you, causing severe injuries, including broken facial bones, road rash, and more. A successful personal injury lawsuit could get you compensation for:
- Your medical bills resulting from the accident.
- Future medical bills caused by your accident: In this case, you are going to need future skin grafts and other procedures due to multiple broken bones.
- Pain and suffering the injuries caused.
- Mental anguish and emotional duress: In many cases, physical trauma can cause non-physical injuries, such as PTSD or panic attacks that will require therapy.
- Costs of physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Permanent injury or handicap: The accident left you with a permanent limp that makes walking difficult and painful.
- Household and vehicle modifications: Suppose the damage to your leg kept you in a wheelchair for several months. You could be compensated for the cost of wheelchair ramps at your residence, and lifts to get your wheelchair into a vehicle.
- Scarring and disfigurement: The accident caused permanent scars to your face, which can affect your social and professional life.
- Lost wages: If your injuries caused you to miss work, you can be compensated for the income you lost.
- Loss of career or earning capacity: Suppose the damage to your leg was so severe that you can no longer perform your usual work duties, such as climbing ladders or standing for long periods of time. If that’s the case, you could be compensated for the loss of your career and the money you would have earned in that line of work.
- Reduced earning capacity: Suppose your injuries allow you to keep working in your former profession, but in a limited capacity, such as only four hours per day.
- Occupational therapy and retraining: You could be compensated for cost of training for an occupation you can work at while sitting down.
- Hedonic damages: Suppose that, in your spare time, you enjoy running marathons. The injuries to your leg will prevent you from ever running again. In such a case, you can seek compensation for loss of joy of life.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in San Diego?
In California, you generally have a maximum of two years to submit your personal injury claim to the court. In order to build an airtight case and successfully obtain damages for your injuries, you’ll need to act quickly. It is highly recommended that you speak with a personal injury attorney if you are considering a lawsuit. We know what steps to take first.