The person that has assumed the role of victim in a personal injury case claims to have been victimized. Naturally, a victim has encountered someone that has ignored the victim’s rights. The law does not ask any victim to mimic the behavior of a saint. For that reason, the law provides the plaintiff with certain rights.
The plaintiff’s rights
• The right to sue
• The right to have a claim heard and judged in court
• The right to receive compensation for damages, which can come in the form of settlement or money won in a lawsuit.
The sorts of incidents that might force a victim to file a claim for damages
• A traffic accident
• A premises liability case
• A wrongful death incident
• An example of medical malpractice
• A dog bite
• Discovery that a purchased product is defective
• A long term disability claim
Some of those incidents can create special problems. Other cause problems such as those that gets associated with most accidents. The victim must provide the court with evidence that reveals the full extent of any claimed damage.
Kinds of damages claimed in a personal injury case
• Medical expenses
• Property damage
• Lost income
• Pain and suffering
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Family member claims (applies to wrongful death incident)
A plaintiff places a monetary value on each claim. A defendant has the right to introduce evidence that could lower that amount of compensation requested by the plaintiff. For example, a defendant might claim that a part of the medical expenses covered treatment for symptoms related to a chronic condition, one that has affected the plaintiff’s life for some time.
The message in the defendant’s right
Because a defendant can weaken a plaintiff’s claim by suggesting that an existing problem caused at least part of damages claimed by the plaintiff, the legal system encourages victims to consider filing a lawsuit. The legal system provides any victim with the right to go after the responsible party. Failure to take advantage of the right can place a burden on the forgiving victim.
If that burdened victim is an adult, it seems logical to assume that he or she should have to bear the added burden. Still, an adult might forgive the responsible party in an accident that involved one or more children. In that case, the forgiving adult should consider how fair it is to add to any child’s burden, one that might have to be carried for quite some time.
In other words, a consideration of the defendant’s right and the plaintiff’s right does not always take into account the rights of all the victims. Granted, the court has tried to make up for that fact by giving a child added time in which to file a claim. Still, that provision assumes that the child’s parents will see some wisdom in choosing to take advantage of that added time. That is the right time to talk with a personal injury lawyer in Burlington.