West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

You are delivering a package to a home and trip on a broken step, twisting your ankle. Your friend is out for a walk and an unleashed dog bites his leg. Or maybe your elderly mother slips on a patch of ice outside a restaurant and breaks her hip. All of these accidents resulted in an injury needing medical attention, and all of them could have been prevented. And of course, all of these accidents could result in a personal injury lawsuit.

Personal injury covers a broad range of possible cases, including several of our areas of specialty:

Although these topics may seem unrelated, they all have a few things in common. An accident occurs in which someone is injured, and the injured person goes after the responsible party to pay for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, among other charges. This is a complex area of law, and it requires a skilled attorney to handle the case from start to finish.

All personal injury lawsuits involve two key aspects – liability and damages. It is up to the plaintiff to prove that the defendant is directly responsible for his injuries and that the damages he is requesting will cover his medical bills and other expenses.

Personal Injury Lawyers Charleston WV | The Love Law Firm

What is a Personal Injury?

Generally, there are three common areas of personal injury that most cases fall into. Your case will either be negligence, strict liability or intentional wrongs.

Negligence usually infers that one person’s failure to notice or realize a mistake directly led to your injury. Let’s say a landlord fails to fix tile in an apartment building’s lobby for six months, and you trip on the jagged edge. To determine negligence, the courts usually use a “reasonable person” evaluation, meaning would a reasonable person have noticed this error and taken steps to avoid it. In this case, a good landlord would have fixed the tile long before anyone could trip on it.

Strict liability involves manufacturers and designers. The plaintiff must prove that the way the manufacturer or designer designed the product was faulty, and even if you use the product as directed, it still causes injury.

Intentional wrongs are less common, but they are possible. If a stranger or friend takes a swing and hits you – even as a joke – you can file a suit for battery. If you are in a store and a security officer accuses you of shoplifting and wrongly detains you, you can sue the store for false imprisonment. In the battery case, you can press criminal charges as well, but these are separate from civil suits.

Some of the more common types of personal injury include:

The big takeaway is that you must prove “fault” in order to win your case. You must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions or negligence led directly to your injury. If you were hit by a drunk driver as you legally crossed the street, you would argue that the driver’s negligence regarding his or her state of intoxication.

What Your Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do For You

 

Types of Damages

Damages is just another word for money. When your lawyer talks about how much you will claim in damages, he or she is talking about a monetary amount. When suing for personal injury, there are a number of types of damages that you can ask the judge to grant you.

Here are a few of the most common monetary-related damages:

  • Medical expenses: The defendant must pay your medical bills directly related to your accident.
  • Lost wages: Because your injury stopped you from working, the defendant must pay you the money you would have made had the accident not happened.
  • Cost of living with new disability: If the injury causes you to need a wheelchair, you may need to make adjustments to your home and your vehicle. This could be included in your damages.
  • Repair of property: In auto accidents for example, the defendant might have to pay to replace your car, depending on the nature of the accident.

The other category of damages is non-monetary. For these damages, you still receive a monetary amount, but the amount is not always very clear. Unlike medical expenses or repair of property, there is no easy way to assess how much you should be owed. These damages are:

  • Pain and suffering: You can claim emotion distress as well as physical pain in your lawsuit. To receive for emotional distress, you must prove that the injuries caused life-altering frustration, anger, fear or loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Loss of consortium: Your spouse might sue for this. If you injury leads to the loss of emotional or intangible elements of a marriage, the defendant may have to pay a certain amount.

Punitive damages – damages paid as a punishment – are also used in personal injury cases.

Personal Injury Lawyers Charleston WV | The Love Law Firm

Settling and Winning

In a personal injury lawsuit, you can have one of three general outcomes. You either win the case, settle the case, or lose the case. Of course, you know what it means to lose the case, so we will focus on the first two.

If the judge rules in your favor, you will win the case. The amount of damages to be paid will be calculated based on bills, receipts and other documents that prove payment. The judge will further assess non-monetary damages, and he or she may dismiss certain claims of non-monetary damages if the judge feels that claims were not sufficiently proven.

If you and the defendant settle the claim before it goes to trial, you will have a settlement agreement. You and the defendant will decide on an amount of money to be paid, and after signing an agreement, the defendant will be absolved of any further responsibility or liability regarding the case. Settlements can be reached at any point during the case timeline. Even if you are nearing the end of a trial, you can still accept a settlement.

Before deciding whether or not to accept the settlement, it is best to sit down with your lawyer and go over all aspects of the case. Remember, you have the power to either accept or decline the settlement. In the end, it is entirely your call.

If you feel you have a personal injury suit, we invite you to give us a at (304) 344-5683 or contact us by e-mail for a free initial consultation.

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If you have any questions or a specific case for your Charleston personal injury lawyer, contact us today for a confidential and FREE consultation.

You can reach us at (304) 344 5683, email or by filling out our online form.

 

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