What Constitutes a Personal Injury?
March 11th, 2020 by Attorney John Colvin
As defined by the American Bar Association (ABA), “personal injury” is a legal term used to describe an injury to a person’s body or mind instead of to their property. Through a personal injury claim, a plaintiff (injured victim) may be eligible to recover financial compensation for both economic and non-economic losses from a negligent defendant.
An Overview of the Most Common Personal Injury Claims in Tennessee
Personal injury claims can come in a wide range of different forms. For the most part, these cases are based on the legal theory of ‘negligence’—meaning an injured victim must prove that a defendant was “at fault” for their accident due to careless or reckless conduct. What constitutes negligence will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Some of the most common types of personal injury claims include:
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Commercial truck accidents;
- Motorcycle wrecks;
- Pedestrian collisions;
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Dog bites;
- Workplace accidents;
- Dangerous and defective products;
- Medical malpractice; and
- Nursing home abuse & neglect.
Starting the Personal Injury Claims Process: Four Steps to Take After an Accident
Get Medical Attention & Document the Accident
Regardless of the nature of the accident, you need to start the process by getting yourself professional medical attention. You need to see a doctor to protect your own well-being. Further, you will be denied an opportunity to recover compensation through a personal injury claim if you do not have medical records. The more evidence you have documenting the accident and your injuries, the better.
Consult With a Personal Injury Attorney
You should speak to an experienced Tennessee personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a serious accident. A lawyer will be best suited to review your case, investigate the accident, answer your questions, and explain your options. With guidance from an attorney, you will be able to take the right steps to bring your claim forward.
Identify Defendants & Demand Action
Plaintiffs must identify all defendants who bear liability for their injuries. Most often, personal injury claims are filed against corporations or insurance companies. In general, the process is initiated by building a case and then sending a demand letter to the responsible defendant/insurer. A demand letter is essentially a formal letter telling the defendant/insurer:
- Who you are;
- How your accident occurred;
- Why they are liable;
- How much damage you sustained; and
- What you are seeking in compensation.
An effective demand letter should be drafted by a lawyer. Additionally, in most cases, a demand letter will include a deadline for a response. Depending on the response, the next step may be settlement discussions or legal action.
Consider Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Most personal injury claims are settled outside of court. Of course, there are also plenty of exceptions. You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to get a defendant or insurance company to take action on your case. If you are considering legal action, you must file your claim before the statute of limitations expires.
Schedule Your Free Personal Injury Consultation Today
At the Law Offices of John Colvin, our Tennessee personal injury lawyer is committed to providing top quality, reliable legal representation to victims and their families. For a no-fee, no-obligation personal injury consultation, please contact our legal team today. From our office location in Winchester, we serve injured victims throughout the region, including in Franklin County, Lincoln County, Marion County, and Moore County.