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Personal Injury Lawsuit: Proving Your Side

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personal injury law firm billingsA common question asked by personal injury clients is “Does filing a personal injury lawsuit require me to go to trial?”

More than likely not. Although there is the possibility that a trial will take place, more than 95% of personal injury lawsuits settle without a trial. A settlement doesn’t always happen the same way. Sometimes a settlement will happen during meditation, or even right after a lawsuit is filed. But sometimes a settlement won’t occur until just before trial or after a plaintiff has given his disposition. It isn’t necessary to stress about having to go through a grueling trial, but be aware that it could happen.

If a lawsuit actually does go to trial, the plaintiff/victim will need to provide a burden of proof in order to win the lawsuit. What is a burden of proof? In criminal cases, it basically means that you have to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a more difficult thing to prove than civil personal injury lawsuits where the plaintiff/victim only needs to prove that they are more than likely right – over 50%.

When a lawsuit goes to trial, both the plaintiff and the defendant are even on a judicial scale. During the trial, the evidence is brought out to help prove each sides case. The evidence isn’t always a physical piece of evidence like photos or documents. Evidence can also be witness and expert testimonies, or plaintiff/defendant testimonials. The evidence is meant to help the arguments of either side and encourage the jurors to side with them.

The justice scale is tipped each time evidence is shown during the trial. The scale tips in the plaintiff/defendant’s favor more as he/she provides more evidence. However, some evidence is much stronger than others and really have more of an effect on the scale of justice. So, the scale isn’t necessarily going to tip in each parties favor as they present evidence. If the plaintiff provided very strong evidence that tipped the scale in his direction, the opposing party would have to present evidence of a much stronger nature to tip the scale back to their side. The winner of the trial is the party that has provided stronger evidence and ends the trial with the scale tipped more in their favor.

This type of scenario is common in lawsuits that are trying to prove negligence on the defendant’s part. This happens in auto accidents, bicycle accidents, and other similar types of accidents. Some personal injury lawsuits begin with the defendant already presumably at fault. In these types of cases, the plaintiff has no need to provide a burden of proof. He/she only needs to prove damages made to them.

Personal injury lawsuits should not be handled on your own. It is extremely important to consult with personal injury attorneys’ that know the laws regarding different types of personal injury lawsuits and what you will need to prove to win. Having a consultation with a personal injury attorney can make the difference between winning a lawsuit and failing to provide enough evidence to prove your case and losing.

In Billings Montana, reach out to the professionals at Tourtlotte Law Firm. Our team is experienced and ready to help you win your case!

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Could My Situation Warrant A Personal Injury Suit?

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The first step in any personal injury claim is figuring out that you even have grounds for a claim in the first place. As simple as this may sound, it can actually become quite complex in some situations. For specific cases, you should set up a consultation with a lawyer in your area to help you determine if you have a viable case. Our experienced legal professionals at Tourtlotte Law Firm in the Billings area specialize in personal injury law and are here to help. Before all that, however, it is valuable for you to at least know the basics of a personal injury case and what amount of compensation you can typically expect to receive depending on the case.

The Four Types of Personal Injury Cases

personal injury lawyer billingsAccidents-

Personal injury rules apply in situations where someone acts in a negligent manner, and that carelessness causes harm to another person. Examples include car accidents, slip and fall incidents, and medical malpractice, among other types of cases.

Intentional Acts-

Personal injury laws apply in situations in which the defendant causes harm through their purposeful conduct. Examples of this include assault and battery.

Defective Products-

In some situations, a defendant can be liable for a personal injury claim even if there was no negligence or intentional wrongdoing on their part. Examples of this include certain types of product liability claims arising from a defective product.

Defamation-

Defamation is defined as a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone’s reputation. It is also published “with fault” meaning as a by-product of negligence or malice. If someone releases a defamatory statement towards you, they may be liable for a personal injury suit.

How Much Compensation Am I Likely To Receive?

Figuring the actual amount of dollars that go into a personal injury claim can be a complicated and imprecise process. Nonetheless, the first step in negotiating a personal injury claim is to calculate a reasonable amount of money you would accept to give up your legal claim. A common formula is employed to do this, but the specifics can get quite complicated. To keep things simple, there are the variable that go into the equation.

  • Medical Expenses
  • Property Damage
  • Lost Earnings
  • Future Lost Income
  • Estimated Future Medical Expenses
  • Non-Economic Factors (money for pain and suffering)
  • Multiplier For General Damages

By taking all these factors into consideration, you will be able to obtain an initial estimate for what a future settlement may be worth. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t consider your plugging these figures into an equation on your own the final word. Consult with an attorney so they can help you estimate the amount correctly. An attorney will likely be able to help you add in factors you may not have considered. Our team of legal professionals at Tourtlotte Law in Billings has done this for countless clients over the years. Let us do it for you! If you have a potential personal injury claim don’t hesitate to call and schedule a free consultation.