Millions of dollars worth of claims are offered to the survivors of injuries, every year. Car accidents, workplace negligence, and slip and fall are some of the most common reasons for sustaining an injury. Usually, a claim is made to either an insurance company or with an at-fault party who is believed to be responsible for the injuries. Since these cases tend to be not-so-easy, personal injury lawyers are usually involved.
We consulted a number of experienced personal injury attorneys who have been practicing for several years. And the most remarkable thing that most of them came up with was that many of their clients didn’t really understand the difference between bodily injury and personal injury. During our research, we also came across this article explaining the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer, which happens to include the true claiming process for bodily as well as personal injuries. Let’s take a stroll through what the experts have to say in this concern.
In layman’s terms, personal injury refers to the damages and losses incurred by an individual due to an unfortunate accident. It can include all sorts of losses such as property damages, assets damages, loss of income, or even moral and physical damages to the body. Whereas, on the contrary, bodily injuries refer to only the physical pain and trauma that an injured goes through.
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Experts suggest that when filing a claim, be it against an individual, a group of individuals, or even an insurance company, it is necessary to specify these injuries separately. But, at the same time, it is important to include both of these in the claim, especially, when the injuries have been caused due to the other party’s negligence.
Legalities Involved in the Process
When filing an injury claim, experts suggest that the legal framework has some set guidelines about how the claim should be handled and what shall be included. More importantly, the legal framework is in place to ensure that justice is served for both, the injured and the at-fault party.
- Statutory Limitations
Every province handles personal injury claims differently, and therefore have different statutes of limitation. For example, some provinces may consider damages to your vehicle or your house within the same category as that of other damages, while other provinces may consider them as a separate legal claim altogether. But, every province does have a limitation to the period for filing the claim. In other words, an injured can file for a claim within a certain period of time. For most of the provinces, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is about a year. However, this period may vary with respect to the losses and damages included in the claim. Notably, for bodily injuries the time to file the claim is a year, but not for other damages such as the damage to personal belongings. Experts suggest getting in touch with the local authorities or the insurer to understand the legalities better.
- Liability of Claim
Determining the liability of a claim is not that easy since every province makes use of a separate legal framework. Generally, the jury or the judge tries to estimate the plaintiff’s share in sustaining the injuries. For example, in a road accident, the jury may determine either partial or complete fault of the defendant, which would mean that there’s a share in fault by the plaintiff as well. In such cases, the compensation might be reduced for the plaintiff, or if found completely defaulter, might even have to pay the compensation instead. Additionally, such a mistake could even lead the plaintiff into more legal trouble. A legal attorney could help plaintiffs get the facts and figures in place so that they don’t end up in legal tussles.
- Legal Documentation
Another issue with both bodily injury claims and personal injury claims is the process of filing for compensation. The legal formalities are not so easy for a common man to fulfill, which ultimately either results in rejection of the case or ruling out the case unjustly. Through their years of experience, Nova Scotia personal injury lawyers suggest that plaintiffs must begin their filing procedure under the careful supervision of a legal attorney. The reason being these experts know the in and out of every possible outcome and therefore can help avoid unnecessary troubles and suffering.
- Offering the Compensation
Lastly, the decision for determining the claim value and compensation to be made rests with the court or the jury. The decision-makers consider several factors including the cause of injury, the extent of loss, and of course, the effect on the quality of life of the injured when ruling the case. It is noteworthy that for personal injury claims, the compensatory relief stands a much higher value as compared to bodily injuries which usually only include medical expenses. Notably, in a personal injury claim, the compensation offered includes loss of income, medical expenses, support values, and even the future losses for the plaintiff. All of these claims usually inflate the net compensation value for the plaintiff.
If the legal experts are to be believed, it is the personal injury claim that is more justified considering the loss to the plaintiff is not only just physical. Many of the injury survivors often struggle with mental trauma long after they’ve recovered from the bodily injury. In fact, it is not only the injured who suffer, but also their family and friends, who lose quality companionship.
In light of these differences, it is, therefore, best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help understand the steps to be followed. Moreover, a lawyer could also guide the plaintiffs through the legal loops and help them utilize these in their favor thus promising a favorable relief for their clients.