When someone else is to blame for an injury, there are more options available than simply filing a personal injury lawsuit. Having a third party mediate the discussion, or arbitrate and come to an agreeable decision, is often a more efficient way to handle the proceedings. Sometimes, people may even settle the dispute informally on their own. Of course, there are times when a lawsuit may be the only option available to receive compensation for pain and suffering, which is when talking to a Chattanooga personal injury lawyer from the McMahan Law Firm of Tennessee could provide you with the help you need to establish a case for a personal injury lawsuit.
The Other Party Must Be at Fault
Although you can win a personal injury lawsuit while being partially responsible for an incident, the burden of proving that the other party was mostly at fault is obviously a crucial aspect of filing a lawsuit. Unlike workers’ compensation for example, which provides benefits for injuries regardless of fault, filing a lawsuit means that you are explicitly stating that a certain party is responsible for damages, and therefore requires evidence. Shifting blame to the plaintiff is a common defense in these types of proceedings.
Proving that someone intentionally performed an action that resulted in injury may be a safer bet in cases like these. However, it should be clarified that a person does not need to act with the intention to harm, just that the harmful action in question was performed intentionally. If someone trips you as a joke, but you break your nose, that person is responsible because they intentionally tripped you, even though they didn’t mean for your nose to be broken.
Negligence is another common situation that designates fault to a specific party. Situations such as malpractice, distribution of damaging pharmaceuticals, and even unsanitary conditions may fall into this category. A pharmaceutical company may not be aware of the long term effects of a medication, and the medication may even pass certain screening processes, but they are still at fault if it is found that their medication has caused an injury. Asbestos lawsuits are another prime example of negligence causing injury. Again, a professional and experienced Chattanooga personal injury lawyer can help you sort out the details of fault in a personal injury lawsuit.
It Doesn’t Have to be Physical
When people hear the word “injury” an image usually comes to mind of something like a broken leg or laceration. But it is possible and often the case that one is injured in another way, such as mentally or even socially. Slander and libel (spoken and printed false claims, respectively), damage reputations which can result in many types of significant losses. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a life-altering condition that can develop as a result of a traumatic experience, and although it is a mental problem it can be considered an injury. Suffering does not have to be exclusively physical to qualify one for compensation.
You Can Only File a Claim Within a Certain Time Frame
You may be familiar with the term “statute of limitations,” which is the time period for which a case can be filed. When a certain amount of time has passed after an injury, you will no longer have the right to a lawsuit. This is why rapid action is important. Not only should you contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury takes effect, but you should also take careful notes and document your grievances so that nothing is lost to time.
Dealing with Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
The Chattanooga personal injury lawyers of the McMahan Law Firm are here to help. They can help determine if you have a case and guide you through the process of getting compensation for your injuries. Call us today or complete our contact form.