A personal injury occurs when a person has suffered some form of injury, either physical or psychological, as the result of an accident or medical malpractice.
Injury or bodily injury is damage or harm caused to the structure or function of the body caused by an outside agent or force, which may be physical or chemical. Personal Injury also refers to damage caused to the reputation of another rather than physical harm to the body. A severe and life-threatening injury is referred to as a physical trauma.
Physical trauma refers to a physical injury. A trauma patient is someone who has suffered serious and life-threatening physical injury potentially resulting in secondary complications such as shock, respiratory failure and death.
The most common type of personal injury claims are road traffic accidents, accidents at work, tripping accidents, assault claims, accidents in the home, defective product accidents and holiday accidents. Indeed, there are a multitude of types of accident and the term personal injury also incorporates medical and dental accidents (which lead to numerous medical and dental negligence claims every year) and conditions which are often classified as industrial disease cases.
Industrial disease type cases include asbestosis and mesothelioma, chest diseases (e.g. emphysema, pneumoconiosis, silicosis, chronic bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic obstructive airways disease), vibration white finger, occupational deafness, occupational stress, contact dermititus, and repetitive strain injury cases.
Where the accident was the fault of someone else, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation from the person whose negligent conduct caused the injury. At least in the United States this system is complex and controversial with critics calling for various forms of tort reform. Attorneys often represent clients on a “contigency basis,” in which the attorney does not charge for services until the case is resolved.
In England and Wales, under the limitation rules, where an individual is bringing a claim for compensation, court proceedings must be commenced within 3 years of the date of the accident, failing which the claimant will lose the right to bring their claim. However, if the injured party was under the age of 18 at the time of the accident, then they have up until the day prior to their 21st birthday to commence proceedings. Legal Aid for personal injury cases was largely abolished in the late 1990s and replaced with “no win, no fee” arrangements.
Structured Settlements in Personal Injury Cases
Often, the use of a Structured Settlement is desired by the injury victim to help protect them financially after an injury settlement.
Structured Settlements provide injury victims with tax benefits and enable proper financial planning for future needs of the injury victim as a result of the injury