Understanding What Your Rights Are in a Personal Injury Case
Rights are something guaranteed to every American citizen under the U.S. Constitution and the set of Amendments known as the Bill of Rights. But if you’re looking specifically for information regarding your rights regarding injuries you suffered in an accident, you won’t find an amendment or Constitutional language that lays them out specifically. This doesn’t mean that lawyers are playing fast and loose with the concept of personal rights. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. They’re enforcing a type of law that’s known as tort law. The word “tort” is a French word for “wrong”, and a personal injury lawyer Portland enforces these laws on your behalf. Here’s how:
The Basic Idea Behind Tort Law
You’ve been in an accident that was not your fault. Someone else made a poor decision that resulted in your receiving bodily harm. The harm could be as minor as a contusion or a major, potentially life-altering injury. The fact you’ve been harmed is a violation of your implied right to live your life free from injury at the hands of another. The body of law that supports your right to live free from harm is vast and is different from state to state, but the fact is that it’s real and it’s something that you can take to civil court to be made “whole” again.
Civil, Not Criminal
The court system is made up of two branches: criminal and civil. Someone who has caused an auto accident may face criminal charges if the injuries to the other party are severe enough. And if one party engaged in negligence that caused the injuries, they can be held liable in the criminal courts. However, a majority of personal injury cases are held in the civil courts and a personal injury lawyer Portland will get the case assigned to the appropriate courtroom for the proceedings.
The civil courts are there for citizens to redress wrongs against one another. It’s true that anyone can sue another party for any reason at all. But that doesn’t mean the case will be heard by the court. That’s why you need a well-defined case that lays out what happened and shows that your rights have been violated by someone else. This is where a lawyer becomes a valuable ally when it comes to making your case.
Repairing Your Rights
When your rights are violated, you have the option to take a settlement or file in civil court to have those rights repaired. This is known as making you whole. It is strictly a legal term only and usually involves requesting an amount of money to cover your losses that you suffered after the accident. Your personal injury lawyer Portland helps you determine an appropriate amount, then seeks to recover that money on your behalf through settlement or court actions.