The personal injury law is the branch of tort which deals with providing of compensation to the victims who have suffered any physical, psychological or emotional injury due to the negligence of some individual. The negligent individual is held legally for the damage caused to the victim and will be responsible for paying compensation to the victim. Such damages are awarded based on the degree of injury caused and certain other considerations. Monetary compensation is provided to enable the injured to meet the medical expenses, to make up for any lost income and to compensate for the physical suffering, emotional distress or mental anguish caused to the person.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
The civil lawyer who provides legal representation to the client who is the victim of the negligent act. They help the client recover the damages. They help their clients to recover financial compensation for the injuries or mental anguish suffered. The practice of personal injury lawyers typically involves cases of motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective products, workplace injuries and medical malpractice.
WORK DONE BY PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
Personal injury lawyers perform all the tasks that a lawyer usually performs such as drafting pleadings, preparing case briefs etc. Personal injury lawyer specializes in tort law and they advocate for their clients both before and during the trial. The work of a personal injury lawyer includes the following:
Investigating and calculating the claims: They carefully investigate the claims and take up only those cases that they believe have potential for a win. The lawyers are paid on the contingency basis. This means that the personal injury lawyer will get paid only if the compensation is recovered from the party at fault.
Evidence gathering: the work of the personal injury lawyer initiates with the gathering of the evidence to prove the damage caused to the victim by the negligent act of the other individual and to prove that the other individual is liable to compensate his/her client. This also includes—
1. Taking pictures of the property damaged
2.Gathering accident report
3.Gathering of medical reports, bills, medical records,
4.Gathering employment documents and employment reports
5.Collecting property damage reports
7.Procurement of police reports, surveillance footage and witness statements
Negotiation with the Insurance companies : From reviewing the policy details to determining the maximum compensation and sending demand letters for damages, a personal injury lawyer handles all the communications with the insurance company. They ensure that the injury victim does not do anything that might jeopardize his claim.
Pleading preparation: In the situation where the insurance company refuses the claim, the lawyer prepares the complaint against the defendants. The plaint comprises the details of the case, incidents, the legal arguments at lengths, as to how and why the defendant is responsible for the accident. The amount of compensation sought is also written in the complaint. Usually, the defendant is given 30 days to file his reply to the complaint.
Assessing the damage: A personal injury lawyer may initiate the discovery process which includes—
.Sending interrogatories to the defendant asking for certain information,
.Deposing the parties,
.Deposing witnesses and experts
A personal injury lawyer is a specialist in the field whose work includes assessing both short term and long term impacts of accidents on a routine basis in a number of different cases. He assists the victim in making a real, true and accurate assessment of the damages, both immediate and long term including the loss of earning capacity or assessing the lifetime impact where some disability has occurred.
Representing the client: There are at times chances of settlement of the case. In case there is no settlement, the case proceeds to the trial and the lawyer represents his client in the court and argues for him just like any other lawyer would.
TYPES OF COMPENSATION
Chapter II of THE PERSONAL INJURIES ( COMPENSATION INSURANCE) ACT, 1963 explains the compensation payable under the act. “Section 4. Compensation payable under the Act, by whom and how payable.—
(1) There shall, subject to such conditions as may be specified in the Scheme, be payable by an employer in respect of personal injury sustained by a gainfully occupied person who is a workman to whom this Act applies, compensation, in addition to any relief provided under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1962 (59 of 1962), of the amount and kind provided by section 7: Provided that where an employer has taken out a policy of insurance, as required by sub-section (1) of section 9, and has made all payments by way of premium thereon which are subsequently due from him in accordance with the provisions of the Scheme or where by the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 9 or of sub-section (2) of section 10 the employer is not required to insure, the Central Government shall assume and discharge on behalf of the employer the employer’s liability to pay compensation under this sub-section.
(2) The compensation payable under this Act shall be payable in accordance with the provisions made in this behalf in the Scheme.
(3) This section shall be binding on the Government.”
Section 7 of the act prescribes the amount of compensation payable under the act.
“Section 7. Amount of compensation.—
(1) The compensation payable under this Act shall be as follows:—
(a) where death results from the injury, the amount payable in a like case under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923), reduced by the value in lump sum of the amount payable under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1962 (59 of 1962);
(b) where permanent total disablement results from the injury, the amount payable in a like case under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923), reduced by the value in lump sum of the amount payable under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1962 (59 of 1962);
where permanent partial disablement results from the injury—
(i)In the case of an injury specified in the Schedule—such percentage of the compensation which would have been payable in the case of permanent total disablement as is specified therein as being the percentage of disablement;
(ii)In the case of an injury not specified in the Schedule —the percentage of such compensation specified in the Schedule for disablement held by a competent medical authority acting under the Scheme made under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1962 (59 of 1962), to be of corresponding degree;
(iii) where more injuries than one are sustained—the aggregate of the compensation payable in respect of those injuries, so however as not to exceed in any case the compensation which would have been payable if permanent total disability had resulted from the injuries;
(d) where temporary disablement, whether total or partial, results from the injury, the half-monthly payments payable in a like case under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923), reduced in each case, so long as he receives any payment under the Scheme made under the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1962 (59 of 1962), by the amount payable under the said Scheme.
(2) Where the monthly wages of a workman are more than five hundred rupees, the compensation payable under this Act shall be the amount payable under the provisions of sub-section (1) in the case of a workman whose monthly wages are more than four hundred rupees.”
The various types of compensation damages are as follows—
-Compensation for loss of profit
-Remuneration for care and help
-Loss of income
-Loss of earning capacity
-Loss of consortium
-Future loss of profit
-Compensation for loss of pleasant/agreeable business
-Loss of possibilities of a marriage
CASES HANDLED BY PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
The cases the personal injury lawyers deal with are as follows:
-Animal bite injuries
-Motor vehicle accidents
-Nursing home abuse
-Slip and fall accidents
-Spinal cord injuries
-Child daycare negligence
-Wrongful death, etc.
REASONS TO HIRE PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
They are professional
They are better in decision making
They are good negotiators
A personal injury lawyer will explain your rights to your and will guide you through the various options available to you. The most important reason for hiring a personal injury lawyer is perhaps the complexity of insurance law. We all have insurance but not all of us understand it. Also, in these cases, insurance companies are always in a hurry to settle a claim for less than it is worth. At this juncture, a personal injury lawyer can help his client to assess the situation in a better way and not give in to anything less than what he deserves.Hence, you should let your personal injury lawyer take care of the rest for you.