You should not pay for the costs of an injury that someone else's negligence caused. Through a personal injury lawsuit, you can claim compensation for your losses. Yet, the personal injury claims process is inherently complex, so you need a lawyer.
Before hiring a lawyer, it may be helpful to learn how personal injury lawsuits work. While you may not be responsible for carrying out each step yourself if you hire a lawyer, knowing the steps can give you comfort throughout the process. If you already know the process, call a lawyer today to get started with filing your claim.
The Nature of Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury law allows individuals or entities to pursue compensation for damages they suffered due to another party's negligence. In some cases, multiple parties cause injuries, making these cases even more complicated. Your best bet is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to file a personal injury tort action successfully.
The Different Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury cases are widely varied. What type of claim you must file will depend on the type of accident you were injured in and sometimes the type of injuries you suffered. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine what kind of claim you need to file, even if you do not decide to work with one.
If you are hoping to work with a personal injury lawyer, here are some common examples of cases they may take.
Car accidents are widespread, and in most cases, drivers can prevent them with a little care. Those victims deserve compensation if another party is at fault in the accident.
This is especially true because automobiles typically move at very high speeds, increasing the risk of serious injury. Larger vehicles, like buses and trucks, can cause injuries to multiple people, all of which are entitled to compensation from the at-fault parties. Even if you are intimidated by going up against a large bus company, government organization, or trucking company, always put your interests first.
Without filing a claim against these people, you stand to miss out on a settlement that can change your life for the better. If you do not have enough money, it will be harder to afford long-term medical bills and more challenging to cope with non-tangible losses associated with your injuries.
When pedestrians are hit by vehicles while on the road, there are many instances where someone will try to blame the pedestrian for the accident rather than the driver, this is okay if the pedestrian made negligent decisions that caused the accident, but if this is not the case for the accident that injured you, you deserve compensation from the at-fault party.
In some cases, this won’t be another driver but other organizations responsible for putting up proper signage and marking crosswalks.
The nature of your pedestrian accident case depends on the circumstances that led to the accident. To get to the bottom of things, work with a skilled personal injury lawyer with a history of success in pedestrian accident cases.
If you are on someone else’s property and suffer an injury due to a slip-and-fall, the property owner may be liable for your injuries. Whether the accident occurred at a person’s home, a commercial business, or a government facility, your rights may have been violated leading up to the accident.
For example, if a restaurant does not comply with their duty of care and allows a spill to persist for an extended period if you slip on the liquid, they are likely responsible for any injuries you suffered.
There are other examples of slip-and-fall cases as well. For instance, if a construction crew used slippery building materials to create a walkway, and you fall, the person who owns or manages that walkway can be liable for the accident and its damages. Regardless of how you were hurt, it helps to speak to a personal injury lawyer to get a clearer idea of your damages and potential courses of action.
Sometimes doctors make mistakes costly mistakes. If you were injured or harmed by a doctor or other medical professional, you can seek compensation from the hospital or their malpractice insurance. Of course, proving that a doctor was negligent is difficult, so you might struggle to win a settlement on your own.
You should be wary even if you can successfully get a settlement offer from the liable party. They may be attempting to get you to settle so they do not have to pay even more if you hire a lawyer. Do not fall for this trick. Medical malpractice lawsuits are serious. Hire a lawyer today to recover full compensation for any harm you suffered due to medical malpractice.
Nursing home abuse
Nursing homes should be safe places where senior citizens and people with disabilities can live their days peacefully. Yet, many nursing homes hire people who do not have the bedside manner and professionalism needed to operate effectively in these environments. Nursing home employees have routinely been found guilty of hurting their clients, causing lasting injuries that may persist until the end of their lives.
In some instances, the abuse is not only physical but also emotional. Yelling at nursing home residents and mistreating them can lead to psychological trauma that may never go away. These experiences stick with a person, dramatically reducing their quality of life.
If you or your family member has been abused or neglected by nursing home employees, you deserve to receive compensation. While the nursing homes may fight to deny any claims of abuse, you have a fighting chance if you know what is going on. Work with a personal injury lawyer today to recover the money you need to repair the harm done by nursing home abuse.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Without a personal injury lawyer representing you, the defendants in your case will attempt to take advantage of you. To do this, they will deny or undervalue your claim to get you to back off or settle for less than you deserve. An effective personal injury lawyer will not let this happen.
Instead, they will fight for your rights and even go to court for you if necessary. Hopefully, they can recover a fair settlement without going to court, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. However, there are steps that they can take to maximize the possibility of acquiring a fair settlement outside of court.
There are a lot of reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer, including:
Investigating your claim
When you reach out to a personal injury lawyer, they will evaluate your claim extensively to ensure that you are a good fit. By doing this, they help people avoid filing frivolous claims that are a waste of time. Knowing that you have a good case can give you more confidence when the time comes to file.
Collecting necessary evidence
Evidence is always necessary to prove a claim. Whether it be medical records or a police report with specific details, your lawyer will help you gather and use all of the available evidence. While you can try to collect the evidence on your own, it helps to have access to someone who knows how to leverage it during the claims process.
Negotiations are easier
If you are not a skilled negotiator, you will not stand a chance against insurance adjusters or lawyers who are on the other side of the table. Fortunately, personal injury lawyers are accustomed to reviewing policy details and claim elements to build their knowledge of the reality of your claim. Once they have all of the necessary information, they can argue in your favor during negotiations, boosting your chances of acquiring a fair settlement.
You have someone to handle court processes.
If you cannot settle outside of court, a lawyer can take your case to court. This gives you another opportunity to recover from your losses. Understand that court cases can be stressful and complex, so you usually do not want to represent yourself. By choosing to hire a lawyer, you minimize the chances that you will lose your case in court. This is important because losing your case can result in you recovering nothing or very little.
Typical Personal Injury Claim Timeline
Now that you understand why you need a lawyer to file a personal injury claim, consider how your claim will likely work. This is a brief timeline of what to expect when you file a personal injury claim.
Seek medical care
If you get injured, you should seek medical care immediately. This is not just to get the treatment you need but also to ensure that there is timely documentation of your injuries. In many cases, insurance companies will claim that someone’s injuries were not as severe as they say because they delayed treatment.
Do not give them this opportunity. Go to the doctor as soon as possible to ensure that the rest of your claim goes smoothly.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer
Now that you have addressed your injuries, you must find legal representation. It helps to look around for different lawyers in your area who may fit your needs. You should always seek a law firm that offers comprehensive support and experience. With a team like this backing you, the chances of successfully filing a claim increase.
Once you have a list of candidates in consideration, select from that group. Do not worry if they come from a large firm or small firm; in most cases, it does not make an enormous difference.
Your lawyer will investigate your claim.
Your lawyer needs to know all of the details about your accident. Getting this information starts with an interview. They will ask you how the accident happened, what injuries it caused, and what treatment you have received so far. The lawyer may also need to know what type of medical treatment you might need in the future.
Be sure to answer every question accurately, as being completely honest is essential. If you are not sure about your injuries or treatments, do not worry. Your lawyer will also gather your medical records and collect any associated bills to increase their understanding of your situation. This process can take months, so start now.
Your lawyer will make a demand.
Quite often, personal injury claims settle before filing a lawsuit. By sending a demand letter once plaintiffs have stopped receiving medical treatment, lawyers can ensure that their demand includes all of the medical costs associated with an injury. If your lawyer sends the demand letter before then, estimates must be used, which increases the chances of plaintiffs receiving less money than they need for treatment.
If the demand letter does not work, negotiations will be necessary. Fortunately, lawyers are skilled negotiators who have received training to reach favorable outcomes for their clients.
Your lawyer files a lawsuit.
If there is no settlement arranged, your lawyer must file a lawsuit. When a court tries your case depends on how soon you file the claim. Therefore, it is crucial to file quickly after negotiations break down.
The case goes to trial.
The first step of a trial is discovery. During this time, both sides will evaluate the opposing side’s claims and defenses. They send a range of questions to each other and wait for answers regarding critical factors, like relevant parties and witnesses.
Following discovery, there is another opportunity for negotiation. Lawyers will begin working on a settlement, but this does not always work. Sometimes a mediator will be hired as a third party responsible for resolving the case fairly.
Finally, the trial starts, and both sides present their cases. Throughout the trial, each party will present evidence, interview witnesses, and perform other actions that strengthen their claims. At the end of the trial, a judge or jury will issue a judgment.
Learn More About How Personal Injury Cases Work
Hopefully, this brief explanation of how personal injury cases work was helpful to you. If you want to know more about the process or have any questions, it is a good idea contact a personal injury lawyer today.