“Personal injury” generally means an injury to a person’s body or to the mental or emotional condition of the person, due to the fault of another. Damages for personal injury can include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, lost business income, and physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. At Thomsen Holman Wheiler, PLLC, our Personal Injury attorneys give your “personal injury” case personal attention.
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In Idaho, the fault of the defendants (the persons being sued) must be compared on a percentage basis with the fault of the plaintiff (the injured person) in causing the plaintiff’s injuries. For example, a jury could find the defendant 80% at fault, and the plaintiff 20% at fault. If there are more than one defendants in this example, the jury could find defendant #1 40% at fault, and defendant #2 40% at fault, and the plaintiff 20 %. In that case, if the jury finds that the plaintiff has been damaged in the amount of $100,000, the plaintiff’s verdict will be reduce by 20%, or $20,000, for a total verdict of $80,000. The total combined fault of all parties involved must always equal 100%.
The statute of limitations on a personal injury claim is generally two years. (Some states have longer or shorter statutes of limitations). This means that you file suit within two years of injury. If you do not, then your claim will be forever barred by the statute of limitations. There will sometimes be other time limitations you must comply with in order to file a lawsuit. For example, if the defendant is the State of Idaho, or one of its counties, cities, or other Idaho governmental entities which are political subdivisions of the State of Idaho, even including some hospitals, you must file a “notice of tort claim” with the appropriate governmental representative, within 180 days of injury. If you fail to do so, your claim may be forever barred. You should contact a Idaho Falls Personal Injury Attorney immediately after you have been injured if you believe someone else is at fault.
Some Personal Injury DO’s:
Call an Idaho Falls personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury, to preserve your claim against a statute of limitations and other time limits.
Be as detailed and accurate as possible in giving a description of events to police, if there is an investigation of the accident. Never admit fault – that is a legal question for a judge or jury to decide, and often you will not have enough information at the scene of the accident to know for sure who is at fault.
See a doctor or other health care provider as soon as possible after you have been injured. If you wait, the defendant’s attorney will use that against you.
In speaking with your doctor, be as detailed as possible in your description of what happened an what your injuries and pain are. Being strong and stoic may be a good personality trait, but it will not help your case if you understate your pain.
Follow doctor’s orders and go to every scheduled appointment. If you don’t, the defense attorney will use it against you. If you do your best to get better, the jury will be more likely to want to help you.
If you have suffered a mental or emotional injury, see a mental health professional as soon as possible.
Some Personal Injury DON’Ts:
Don’t admit fault.
Don’t talk to any insurance representative of the other party. Their job is to get away with paying you as little as possible. Simply refer them to your attorney, or tell them you want to talk to a Idaho Falls personal injury attorney first.
Don’t wait to seek treatment of your injuries, whether they are injuries to your body or to your mental or emotional well-being.
Don’t ever lie or overstate you injuries or pain. It will most likely come back to haunt you and harm your case later.