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What does a personal injury lawsuit look like?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2015 | Car Accidents |

It would not surprise many that car accidents are a leading cause of personal injury cases. As Ohio roads become more congested with cars and trucks, it is a natural consequence that more and more car accidents will occur.

If you have been injured in a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can assist you in filing and pursuing a personal injury civil lawsuit. One question you may have in this sense is, how does such a lawsuit work?

First, as the plaintiff you will need to attempt to establish blame or liability on the part of the defendant. Your attorney will draft a complaint stating the reasons and evidence as to why the defendant was legally responsible for the accident.

If you are successful in establishing liability, then the next step is to determine the type and amount of damages that are appropriate for the defendant to pay.

The most common type of damages are compensatory damages, which are intended to compensate plaintiffs for the injuries they have received.

In Ohio it is also possible for injured plaintiffs to seek and obtain punitive damages. These damages are not directly linked to the injuries suffered by the plaintiff, but are meant to punish negligent defendants (hence the name “punitive” damages) and to serve as an example to other individuals in a similar situation to the defendant, which is why these damages are also known as “exemplary” damages.

Understanding the different steps that a personal injury lawsuit has and the different kinds of damages that may be awarded to injured plaintiffs is an important reason why it is a good idea to retain a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.