Many of our readers in Oklahoma may know someone who has had to file a personal injury lawsuit because of a “slip and fall” incident or because someone was injured in a car accident, for example. These are some of the most common events that lead to personal injury lawsuits. However, just knowing why these types of lawsuits are filed is one thing – it is another to understand the basics about how personal injury lawsuits may proceed.
One legal term involved in personal injury lawsuits is probably the most important to understand: “negligence.” Negligence is typically the reason cited as to why an event that led to an injury occurred to begin with. The term means that the party at fault for the incident, either through act or omission, behaved in a way that was less than the standard that the person should have adhered to. So, for example, a driver who is distracted by a cellphone behind the wheel is negligent in that the person is not operating the vehicle in a safe manner, with focus on the road. Such negligent conduct can lead to serious accidents.
Another important part of personal injury lawsuits is that the injury involved doesn’t always have to be devastating or tragic. It may be an injury that the injured person will eventually recover from, but, in the meantime, that injured victim is going to be facing mounting medical expenses. Why should such a victim bear the burden of those costs if the cause of the injury was another party’s reckless or negligent conduct?
Yet another important fact about personal injury lawsuits is that, for the most part, the vast majority of these types of lawsuits will eventually end in a settlement, not a jury trial. However, sometimes pushing the case to a jury trial is what is needed to prove a personal injury claim.