Do You Have A Personal Injury Claim?
If you have been injured, either physically or emotionally, in a factory accident, by slipping on a shopping centre floor, by the neighbour’s dog or by a product with a manufacturing fault, then the odds are you have a legitimate personal injury claim.
The one overriding factor in all of the above examples that will determine the success or failure of the personal injury claim, is that the damage or harm has to have been caused by someone else’s negligence and this negligence has to be proven in a court of law, if necessary.
Contact a personal injury lawyer
First and foremost, it is crucial that you contact a dedicated personal injury lawyer, or medical malpractice attorney should it be a medically-related case, who will determine whether it is feasible to pursue a personal injury claim.
The legal process is a daunting prospect for the layman and individuals simply do not have credible knowledge of the law to make an informed decision as to the prospects of a personal injury claim succeeding or failing.
Another imperative for the claim to be successful is that you, the injured party, are able to identify the party responsible for the damages and that your personal injury lawyer is confident he can prove their responsibility.
May be eligible for compensatory and punitive damages
If your personal injury claim is successful, you may be eligible for compensatory damages for loss or expenses incurred, as well as punitive damages in certain cases.
Your attorney will have to show proof of your medical costs, lost wages and/or property loss or damages. It is even possible to claim monetary compensation for emotional trauma, mental anguish, disfigurement, pain and suffering, as well as pocket expenses like transport to and from the hospital, for example.
Bear in mind, however, that the legal process is generally a drawn out affair, demanding a significant investment by you, the injured party. Personal injury claims can take months, even years to settle and very often you will have to appear for depositions and provide viable evidence to the opposing party.
In certain cases, often medically related, the court may impose punitive damages and these damages are in effect fiscal punishment. If, for example, a leading prescription drug manufacturer keeps ‘mum’ about possible crippling side effects of the drug simply because it is afraid of how it might affect sales, the court may award punitive damages as a stern rap over their knuckles!
By: Kayla Reid
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DSC Attorneys is a Cape Town-based law firm of specialist personal injury attorneys who professionally handle all personal injury, medical malpractice and road accident claims, as well as covering banking law, insurance law and property law, amongst others.
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