Personal injury cases may include slip-and-fall mishaps, automobile accidents, defective product claims, and medical malpractice. No matter how the accident happened, you could seek compensation if someone else’s negligence was the cause of your injury. Filing a personal injury claim can be challenging, however.
If you need assistance understanding the laws or filing a personal injury claim, the attorneys at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help. Our personal injury attorneys serving Oklahoma will get to work handling every aspect of your case, fighting for the justice and compensation you need.
What It Takes to File a Personal Injury Claim
Filing a personal injury claim means making a formal request for compensation for injuries and expenses resulting from another person’s negligence. In some cases, you may settle before the claim goes to court. An attorney from our team can see the case through from the initial filing to the settlement or final court award.
A personal injury claim will contain all the details about your injury, the cause, and all expenses resulting from the injury. It will also include information regarding your projected future costs, lost work, and other damages you suffered due to your injury.
What Are Recoverable Damages in an Injury Case?
You can recover several types of damages after a personal injury accident. These include the costs and losses you would not have incurred had you not been harmed by another person’s negligent actions.
Medical costs directly resulting from your injury may include medications, special equipment, prosthetics, appointments, physical therapy, and transportation to and from medical facilities.
Additional medical assistance such as in-home care, other rehabilitative care, or treatment from a specialist is also considered a medical cost. Suppose you need a wheelchair ramp or other modifications to your home. Those costs can also be included.
Property Loss or Damage
Property loss damages could include repairing or replacing your vehicle if you were involved in an auto accident. If you lost other items such as family heirlooms due to the injury, they could also be included.
Lost wages include any wages you lost due to hospitalization or your time spent in recovery. You may have needed to use vacation time, personal time, or you lost other benefits due to your injury. This can constitute lost wages.
This category of damages also makes provisions for future losses. Suppose your injury requires you to accept a lower-paying position due to your reduced physical abilities. The difference between your previous and new wages is considered under lost wages.
Pain and Suffering
In cases where injuries may create pain and suffering, a separate damages category includes compensation for physical pain, mental anguish, reduced quality of life, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Losses in this area do not come with a price tag, but they may have had a significant impact on the plaintiff’s life. Monetary compensation is not a replacement for these losses but serves to defray their effects.
Understanding Punitive Damages
The court has an option to award punitive damages as a punishment for the defendant. These damages are usually reserved for cases of malicious intent and are only rewarded in rare, exceptional cases.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney in Oklahoma?
You, as the plaintiff, can file a personal injury claim without a personal injury attorney. However, there are many benefits of having legal counsel by your side.
Personal injury laws can be complicated. Trying to decipher the laws while also recovering from an injury can be overwhelming. Conversely, an attorney has experience evaluating personal injury claims and assembling the necessary documentation to support your case.
An attorney from our team understands all the areas where you may be eligible for compensation. We can also negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company on your behalf. While it is not necessary to have an attorney, the benefits are often palpable.
What does Comparative Negligence Mean?
Comparative negligence determines a percentage of fault when both parties involved in an accident bear some responsibility. If both the plaintiff and defendant acted negligently, a jury might assign a percentage of fault.
If the determination concludes that a plaintiff is 25 percent at fault and the defendant is 75 percent at fault, damages would be awarded to both parties based on those percentages.
How does that Affect me?
In states with a comparative fault law, accident victims may claim compensation if their portion of fault does not exceed the specified percentage.
How Is Negligence Determined?
To demonstrate that the other party was negligent and owes you compensation, you must establish that four elements existed in your case – duty, breach, causation, and damages. Your lawyer can make your case for negligence based on evidence.
The plaintiff (you) must present proof that the defendant had a duty or obligation to keep you safe. Drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely on public roadways, for instance.
To breach the duty of care means that the defendant failed to perform their responsibility. Reckless driving is a breach of the duty to operate a vehicle safely, for example.
Satisfying this element requires proof that the defendant’s breach of duty was a factor in causing your injury. For instance, reckless driving resulting in an accident may constitute causation. Without reckless driving, there would have been no accident.
Proof of damages includes medical expenses, property loss, lost wages, and other losses outlined earlier. If the injuries are a direct result of the accident, this element is satisfied.
How Would a Personal Injury Attorney Help You?
The most significant benefit of a personal injury attorney working on your claim might be the peace of mind that comes with legal help. While you are busy healing, an attorney can be busy doing all the legwork to develop your claim. That includes:
- Accumulating evidence to support your claim
- Calculating your losses
- Negotiating on your behalf
- Being your voice in court proceedings
- Advising you of important laws that may affect your case
- Advocating for your best interests through every step
Affording a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Case
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, there are no upfront legal costs. Our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis. That means we don’t get paid unless you receive a settlement or award.
Under this contingency-fee agreement, we will deduct our legal fees as a percentage of your final compensation.
Get a Free Case Review for Your Personal Injury Claim Today
Each state independently sets the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. The personal injury attorneys at Ben Crump Law, PLLC are ready to begin work on your Oklahoma case. Contact us today for your free consultation.