When discussing trials and court cases, most people probably think about criminal cases where the defendant faces prison time. However, not every trial is for criminal activity, and not every defendant was arrested by the police. Civil cases, unlike criminal ones, are private disputes between individuals, and the state does not have a say in the outcome. Instead of prison time or other criminal penalties, money is usually the biggest issue in a civil trial. While there are many kinds of civil cases, personal injury cases are perhaps the most common.
Personal injury cases can vary from being minor or even downright petty to being extremely serious. Every case is different, and it may be difficult to determine what kind of case you have. The term “personal injury” does not refer to a single type of case. Instead, it can include many different types of cases involving a wide variety of injuries and accidents. Many personal injury cases are due to someone’s negligence, while others stem from the defendant’s intentional act of harm. You need a skilled, experienced lawyer to help you with your personal injury lawsuit.
If you believe you have been harmed because of someone else’s negligent actions, you might be looking at a possible personal injury case. Every case is unique, and you will need an attorney who can handle the unique needs of your case. Our Hammond, IN personal injury attorneys will fight for your compensation in any way necessary. Contact our offices at Wruck Paupore to talk with our staff about a free, private legal consultation. Call us as soon as possible at (219) 322-1166.
Personal injury cases cover a broad spectrum of legal troubles. While many cases involve accidents of some kind, other cases are a bit more complex. The kind of evidence you need to support your case will also vary depending on what your unique problem is.
Some personal injuries may result from intentional torts, or a civil wrong that happens because of the intentional or willful conduct of the defendant. For example, if you were hurt in a car accident, but the other driver purposefully drove their car into yours, you would be dealing with an intentional tort. This kind of personal injury case requires proving that the defendant acted with the intent to cause harm.
Other types of personal injury cases involve defendants acting with negligence rather than on purpose. Negligence cases are very common and often involve more “accidents.” The defendant did not necessarily hurt you on purpose, but they are still responsible for their actions. In a negligence case, the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff and failed to fulfill that duty, resulting in the plaintiff’s injuries. A duty of care can be explicitly agreed upon by the parties or even mandated by law. It can also be implied by the relationship or behavior of the parties.
A strict liability case involves personal injury caused to the plaintiff under circumstances where the actions or intent of the defendant do not matter. It does not matter if the defendant acted with intent, acted maliciously, or took precautions to prevent harm. They are responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries, and the law takes away any questions of duty or motive.
Call our Hammond, IN personal injury lawyers for help determining what kind of case you have and what your legal needs are.
In any civil case, you must prove damages. “Damages” refers to any injuries, losses, or other harm you suffered because of the defendant. There are many different ways you can plead damages, depending on the unique circumstances of your case. However, there are several broad categories of damages to think about when filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Compensatory damages are the most common form of damages and include compensation to make the plaintiff “whole” again. Compensatory damages include bills and other expenses the victim incurs because of the defendant’s actions. For example, in a car accident, a plaintiff might end up paying hospital bills and bills for vehicle repairs. Compensatory damages are intended to make a plaintiff “whole” again, but only in a financial sense. Things like permanent disfigurements or disabilities that can never be truly fixed are still included in compensatory damages, even though a plaintiff might not be physically made “whole.”
Nominal damages are more usual and apply when the plaintiff has suffered very minimal damages. Nominal damages are worth very little money, sometimes as little as just one dollar. The purpose of pleading nominal damages is not to recover money to cover your expenses but to prove a point. If you believe the defendant wronged you, even though you suffered minor damages, you can plead nominal damages.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant rather than compensate the plaintiff. Punitive damages may vary based on the conduct of the defendant. More outrageous or shocking behavior by the defendant may mean greater punitive damages. Many states, including Indiana, place limits on punitive damages. According to Indiana Code § 34-51-3-4, a punitive damages award cannot be greater than three times the amount of compensatory damages or $50,000, whichever is greater.
Contact our Hammond, IN personal injury lawyers today for help understanding what kind of damages you can plead in your case.
Every personal injury case requires evidence to back up your claims. Exactly what kind of evidence you need will depend on what kind of case you have. In some cases, physical evidence from the scene of the accident or incident might be important. In other cases, testimony from experts may be crucial to your lawsuit.
First, you should consider evidence that proves that your accident actually happened. For something like a car accident, a copy of the police report on your accident would suffice to prove that an accident did indeed happen. Next, you’ll need proof of damages. This is necessary to calculate the amount of money your case is worth and how much compensation you think the defendant should pay.
Perhaps the trickiest bit of evidence you’ll need is proof of fault. You need something that demonstrates the defendant is liable for your injuries. This could include eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, or anything else that may be available. Call our Hammond, IN personal injury lawyers to discuss evidence in your case.
If you were injured because of the actions of another person, call our Hammond, IN personal injury attorneys for help. We can help you recover the compensation you need to recover. Call (219) 322-1166 to set up a free legal consultation with us at Wruck Paupore.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.
Advertising Materials / Legal Advertising. Any testimonials or stories set forth on this website are by actual clients and their families. Such testimonials or stories are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as a promise or guarantee as to the outcome of your specific case and may not be typical. Every case presents unique facts and circumstances. You case and expected outcome will likely differ from the facts of the cases listed. The only way to properly evaluate your case is to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney.