Recovering from an injury is compounded if you’re losing time and money or have a negative prognosis. Additional stress due to medical expenses and the cost of ongoing rehabilitation, in addition to worries about the future, can make it harder to put your life back together. If your injury is because of the actions of another, you need legal counsel fast. A personal injury lawyer in Iowa will typically handle cases involving:
– Wrongful death
– Worker’s Compensation
– Retaliatory discharge
– Burn injuries
– Slip and fall accidents
– Negligence and medical malpractice
– Traffic accidents
You’ve Suffered an Injury That Disrupts Your Life
If you’ve missed work and/or accrued medical expenses because of an injury, you may have a personal injury case that’s viable in court. Injuries don’t just have to be physical. Emotional trauma or mental distress can also be considered personal injuries. For example, some occupations contribute to a high rate of depression, anxiety or other issues by the nature of the work itself. Mental and emotional injury often accompany physical injury as well, which is why punitive damages or compensation for pain and suffering become part of many personal injury awards.
The Injury Was Due to the Actions or Negligence of Another Person or Event
Some incidents, like hit and run accidents or slipping on a wet floor, are very obvious signs of responsibility by another party. However, some cases of negligence aren’t so cut and dried. The legal definition of negligence may differ from state to state, but it generally means that someone failed to exercise reasonable care and caution, and that failure led to your injury.
Sometimes, that’s hard to prove and comes down to how an incident is perceived by a judge or jury. There are four standards that a personal injury case has to meet in order for fault to be determined:
- Duty – The other party had a duty to behave in a particular manner. This includes things like posted clear warnings of danger, driving in a safe and sober manner or clearing obvious hazards like broken pavement or railings, ice and debris.
- Breach – The other party breached their duty by failing or intentionally refusing to remedy the situation before an injury occurs.
- Causation – The failure of the first two elements were the cause of the accident or injury, either directly or indirectly.
- Compensation – The results of the accident caused mental, physical and/or emotional injuries that were sever enough to incur expenses related to that injury, and that compensation can remedy that harm.
Your Damages Are Recoverable in Court
Damages are the amount of money awarded to a plaintiff who can prove an injury, and that the injury they received was due to the actions or inaction of another party. These are usually compensatory (economical) damages, such as the dollar amount for lost wages and medical care. You could also be awarded punitive (non-economic) damages due to suffering, mental anguish or a diminished quality of life.
An injury lawyer does more than just file lawsuits. They can negotiate a netter settlement, protect your rights and offer support in many other ways as you case progresses. If you feel that you have a personal injury case, consult with several attorneys to find the one that can best represent your interests.