What Exactly is a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to a person’s body, brain or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property. The most common types of personal injury claims are traffic accidents and tripping accidents, also called “slip and falls.”
A plaintiff in a personal injury matter pursues a defendant because the defendant committed a tort that caused the plaintiff to suffer damages. A “tort” is a civil wrong that unfairly causes someone else to suffer loss of harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act. The most common tort in personal injury claims is negligence.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is a failure to do an act which a reasonably careful person would do, or the doing of an act which a reasonably careful person would not do, under the same or similar circumstances. If a person is liable for negligence, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation, in the form of damages, through a settlement or judgment.
What Damages Can be Awarded in a Personal Injury Claim?
Juries are instructed to consider three different things when determining damages: the injured party’s noneconomic losses, economic losses and physical impairment.
- Noneconomic losses or injuries include physical and mental pain and suffering, inconvenience, emotional stress, and impairment of the plaintiff’s quality of life.
- Economic losses or injuries include lost wages, damage to one’s ability to earn money in the future, medical bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
- Physical impairment includes such things as disfigurement, scarring and permanent injuries.
There are statutes, called a statute of limitations, that limit the time in which a personal injury claim may be brought. In Colorado, a claim for negligence must be filed within two years. If the claim arises from a motor vehicle accident, the statute of limitations is often extended to three years. If the statute of limitations expires, the personal injury claim is forever time barred. As a result, it is often best for an injured person to speak to an attorney as quickly as possible.
At TKLO, we specialize in personal injury law and are proud to represent injured people in need of help. We litigate traffic accidents, premises liability cases and insurance bad faith matters. Know that at TKLO, you will be provided with a top notch injury lawyer.