Sometimes you can handle a personal injury claim by yourself through insurance or a Small Claims Court if your injuries are minor. However, hiring a personal injury lawyer can make a big difference in processing your claim and handling all legal aspects of the accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident, bitten by a dog, or slipped and fallen on someone else’s property, then it might be time to seek the advice of a qualified legal professional. This article discusses when to hire a personal injury lawyer, and how to find one near you.
A personal injury lawsuit is a legal dispute that occurs when someone suffers harm or an injury as a result of someone else. If someone else is legally responsible for your accident, then you may have a personal injury lawsuit on your hands.
The person who is responsible for your injuries will need to have their insurance company pay for your medical bills, including pain and suffering bills and other ongoing medical expenses. If your personal injury lawsuit involves medical malpractice, then you may want to hire an attorney to work with the insurance company and hospital lawyers.
A personal injury lawyer can help you formalize your case by representing you in a civil court proceeding. Court sessions are designed to find others who are legally at fault through a court judgment, which may include disputes that can be resolved through informal settlements before a lawsuit is filed.
There are two possible outcomes of a personal injury lawsuit, which occurs when you need medical treatment for an injury involving property damage or a car accident. We’ve listed them below:
A formal lawsuit occurs when a private person (known as the plaintiff) files a civil complaint against another person, corporation, business, or government agency (known as the defendant).
Formal lawsuits are not the same as criminal lawsuits, which are initiated by the government. These lawsuits allege that the plaintiff acted carelessly or irresponsibly, causing injury or harm to the defendant. Filing a formal lawsuit usually requires the help of a personal injury lawyer.
An informal settlement refers to settling a dispute over an injury or accident before it goes to court. Informal settlements are settled early among the people who were involved in the dispute, as well as the attorneys representing both sides.
A settlement refers to a negotiation and a written agreement where both sides agree not to take any further action, such as filing a lawsuit. Instead, people who agree to an informal settlement agree to resolve the dispute through an agreed-upon payment, usually by the person who is responsible for the injury or accident.
A plaintiff only has a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. This is known as a statute of limitations. Most of the time, the period of time dictated by the statute of limitations will begin when the plaintiff becomes injured or first discovers their injury.
They must find a personal injury lawyer within that time frame to sue for damages and lost wages. Once the plaintiff starts the lawsuit, they are no longer limited to a timeframe to present their case or have the other person’s insurance pay you out if you win the case.
State laws are responsible for regulating statutes of limitations, and they vary depending on the type of injury and state you are located in. For example, the statute of limitations for a person who becomes injured in Texas is two years. A person who suffers from a sex crime has a statute of limitations of five years and one year of slander or libel.
Personal injury laws mostly take place through court decisions, unlike other areas of law that are controlled by statutes, including penal codes through criminal cases. Personal injury cases are also controlled by treatises that are written by legal scholars.
Some states will summarize personal injury development laws in written statutes. However, for practical purposes, court decisions will remain the primary source of the law for any case that arises from an injury or accident. A personal injury lawyer can help explain these rules to you.
Personal injury lawsuits are designed to help cover compensation (also known as “damages) for the harm that you have suffered in an accident. The idea behind compensation is that the person who was hurt does not have to deal with the financial burden of someone else’s negligence.
There are several types of damages you can collect in a personal injury lawsuit. Some are economic and refer to specific costs that you have to deal with after an injury. Others are non-economic and refer to more subjective damages. The amount available and what is limited depends on where you live and where the injury took place.
Here are some common types of compensation that you can get from a personal injury settlement:
If you were involved in a personal injury accident, then you might need help paying your medical bills. This may include hospital says, testing, treatment, and outpatient care to treat your injuries.
Medical bills may also be required on a more permanent basis, especially if you suffered permanent or serious injuries. This may include therapy or injection shots for pain, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
Injured persons can face thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Ideally, your personal injury settlement should cover all of this.
If you were injured and had to miss work, you should be compensated for it. This includes if it was just a small matter of time when you had to go to a doctor’s appointment or maybe you were taken to the hospital and had to take a few days off.
Your settlement should cover these days that you had to miss work. It should also cover you if you can no longer work because you were permanently injured. Lost wages should be covered by your personal injury settlement.
Pain and suffering damages are determined by the depth of the pain and suffering you’ve incurred as a result of someone else’s negligence. This may include the type of injury you have and the medical treatment needed.
Pain and suffering damages can exceed a million dollars in a trial with a jury. However, to get this type of compensation, you’ll need to have as much evidence as possible to prove that the impact of the accident caused by someone else qualifies you to get more money.
You will need to supply medical records that can show your diagnosis, prescriptions, hospital stays, and clinical visits to help determine the type of coverage you’ll get. This only works if you are proactive about your treatment and seek medical treatment from your physician in a very detailed manner. It helps to take pictures and videos of your injuries and keep written records of your symptoms each day.
By gathering enough information to accurately represent your condition, you will be providing to the courts or insurance adjuster that you need additional money for the pain and suffering you’re enduring. Keep in mind that in court, there is no single standard measure to assess a dollar amount for pain and suffering. However, you can receive a multiplier calculation on the internet if you research the topic.
A jury could determine that you are eligible for pain and suffering based on only subjective factors, such as the plaintiff’s testimony and even whether or not they like the plaintiff. However, having written records and other evidence can help boost your chances of getting more money for these subjective factors.
Emotional distress refers to the type of compensation that you get when you have been injured in an accident and experience mental and emotional damage. It’s based on the theory that a person’s injury doesn’t just pertain to their physical injuries.
Someone who sustains a personal injury accident could experience anything from depression and anxiety to severe emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. This depends on the severity and nature of the accident.
Getting compensated for emotional damage support requires you to work with a therapist and gain accurate records from them. Most of the time, you will also need to be diagnosed with a specific condition.
Wrongful death damage refers to civil actions that can be filed by the survivors of anyone who has been killed in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. This is because survivors of someone who has died are left without the support, love, and income of their deceased family member, and they can be awarded compensation from the courts.
Compensation for wrongful death can be awarded to ease the financial burdens linked to the loss of a loved one. It’s designed to cover the costs of lost income, other bills, and funeral expenses that survivors must face due to the death of their loved one. This compensation can also help cover other aspects of wrongful death areas, such as the unnecessary and sudden loss of someone’s parent or spouse.
The law generally refers to “lost parental instruction, guidance, and companionship” for children who lose their parents to an accident caused by someone else. This brings us to our next type of personal injury damage.
You might be entitled to loss of companionship or loss of consortium if you or a loved one are in an accident and suffered an injury to an extent that you can’t continue with a complete relationship with your spouse or partner. This applies if the person affected by an accident is either you or your loved one. It also encompasses the death of either you or your loved one due to an accident caused by someone else.
Punitive damages refer to making an example of the defendant. Claimants in some states could be entitled to punitive damages, which refers to an award that punishes the person who injured you if their actions were severely dangerous. This damage is different from other types of compensation for damages, which are designed to help the injured person pay for medical expenses.
A punitive damage award punishes the person who injured you, and it also serves as an example for others who engage in the same activity. The actions of the defendant must either be intentional or as a result of willful misconduct for the courts to award this type of compensation.
For example, if an insurance company of a defendant behaves poorly or in bad faith, or a medical professional commits malpractice, you might be entitled to punitive damages. It should be noted that not every state allows for these damages. Those that do have caps on how much a person can get from punitive damages.
Before attempting to handle your own personal injury claim, it’s important to know what could go wrong if you mishandle the case. Handling a personal injury case wrong could complicate the claim process and prevent you from getting the financial help you need.
If you’re not sure how to handle a personal injury claim, then consider contacting a personal injury lawyer right after your injury to determine if it’s worth the cost. We’ve listed a few examples of personal injury cases that you might be able to handle by yourself without an attorney’s help.
1. When you live in a no-fault state
If you live in a no-fault state, then you cannot sue unless your injuries exceed a certain level. This is usually determined by location, the nature of your injuries, or how much it costs to treat them.
No-fault claims limit you to recovering lost damages from your own personal injury protection coverage by yourself. This means that hiring a personal injury lawyer might not be worth it.
However, you might want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer in a no-fault state if your injuries are severe enough to determine if you are eligible to step outside of the no-fault system.
2. When you were in a car accident with minor injuries
Auto accident claims are one of the primary reasons for hiring a personal injury lawyer. However. if you were in a car accident with minor or no injuries, then you might not need to hire a lawyer.
If someone rear-ended you at a low speed and caused minor injuries to you or your car, then you might be able to handle the claim by yourself.
As long as the injuries sustained to you and your passengers are minor, and you only require a few medical visits, then your insurance company should be able to handle this.
Specifically, your insurance should be able to cover the costs of repairing your vehicle and medical visits. If you are satisfied with the service you receive from your insurance company, then there is no need to seek legal advice or call a personal injury lawyer.
3. When you’re confident you can learn about the settlement and legal process of a claim
Settling a personal injury claim by yourself can be hard. There is a lot of information to process, especially when it comes to auto accidents. If you’re comfortable with the legal aspects of a personal injury claim and don’t feel like you need to seek expert advice, then you might not need a lawyer.
However, researching this information on your own can be time-consuming and frustrating. Many people do not have the time or energy to do it, which is why hiring a personal injury lawyer can help.
If you find yourself getting frustrated researching personal injury claims and car accidents - especially fault and legal liabilities, compensation for different types of damage, and state laws that may affect your case - then it might be time to hire a legal professional.
4. When you’re confident you can negotiate with an insurance adjuster
You might be able to handle a personal injury claim by yourself if you are comfortable negotiating with an insurance agent. You’ll need to reach a settlement that you feel is far.
If your personal injury case goes to a Small Claims Court, then you can use the information you researched to represent yourself in the legal process. If not, then consider hiring an attorney.
5. When you’ve already received the maximum amount available
Insurance companies will only pay you the maximum amount on your policy limits. For example, if the person who injured you has a maximum insurance policy of $100,000, and you’ve been offered a $100,000 settlement, then you won’t need to hire a lawyer to try to get more money for you.
Any additional money than what the insurance company offers would need to come from the person who injured you directly. If they have assets or money, then it might be worth hiring an attorney to try to collect additional money if you believe you deserve it.
However, if the person who injured you does not have assets or additional money, then you might want to accept the insurance money without hiring an attorney.
When you make a claim against an insurance company, they will have attorneys representing and fighting for them. Lawyers spend years studying the law, and they are the most reliable professionals to turn to when you need legal advice.
If the insurance company or party you filed against takes you to court or has legal representation, then you might want to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you deal with these tricky situations. Here’s when to hire a personal injury lawyer.
1. When your injuries are more severe than you thought
Many people will avoid hiring a lawyer if they only have minor injuries after an accident. If you got into a car accident, and only bruised your arm or suffered a few small cuts, then you might not need legal representation.
You might not need to hire a personal injury attorney if the insurance company of the other party involved offers to pay for your medical bills and give you money on top of that.
However, you may still find it beneficial to speak to a lawyer even if your injuries seem to be mild. Keep in mind that minor injuries at first may turn into more severe ones. This happens a lot.
For example, if your injuries turn out to be worse than expected, and you already accepted an offer from an insurance company, there is nothing you can do. In this instance, hiring a lawyer right away would have been a good idea because they could have advised you to wait until you know the full extent of your injuries before accepting an insurance offer.
2. When you’re entitled to “pain and suffering damages”
If your case goes to court, then you might be eligible to receive pain and suffering and emotional distress compensation for damages that occurred during your accident. This means that a settlement that does not include these damages might not be complete.
A personal injury lawyer can explain all of this to you. They can also help you receive a fair settlement that includes everything you’re entitled to, including pain and suffering damages.
3. When you suffer from serious injuries
You absolutely need to hire a personal injury lawyer if you sustain serious injuries during an accident. This is because your lawyer can help make sure you receive the full range of benefits you’re entitled to.
Lawyers are experts when it comes to negotiation, and this skill can help maximize your recovery. Keep in mind that insurers and defendants will take your claim more seriously if you hire an attorney. Otherwise, the defendant’s insurance company may try to get you to reach a settlement that is less than what you are entitled to.
You can hire a personal injury lawyer to handle several different types of negligence cases. Examples include truck or car accidents, aviation accidents, legal or medical malpractice, wrongful death cases, child daycare negligence, and more. Negligence occurs when a person else does not use care to avoid causing injury or loss to someone else. Most of the time, negligence occurs when one person injures another.
Here is an example of a negligence case. A vehicle driver or motorist carelessly operates a vehicle and causes damage to another driver or pedestrian. This may occur either by crashing into them or hitting them while they walk on the sidewalk. Here are some other examples of negligence that quality for the help of a personal injury lawyer:
Other types of personal injury cases may include elderly miscare, defective products, or workplace accidents. This brings us to our next section.
Here are some common examples of personal injury cases that a lawyer can help you with:
Motor vehicle accidents refer to trucks, cars, boats, and motorcycles, as well as other vehicles that might injure another person. Most of the time, these accidents occur as a result of someone else’s negligence, and the damages from these accidents can have deadly or lifelong impacts. This includes accidents that might not seem like they are that bad when they happen as many injuries become worse over time.
A personal injury for a motor vehicle lawsuit would be able to help provide compensation for immediate medical bills, such as those that occur from the crash as well as future medical expenses, including rehabilitation. You can also collect damages for lost wages if you were hurt and unable to return to work. If you lose the ability to work, then you can collect for compensation as well as for the emotional and physical damage you’ve endured because of the accident.
For example, if you are a motorcyclist and you were hit head-on by a drunk driver who was driving in the wrong lane, and you sustained life-altering injuries, then you would be eligible for lifelong expenses as medical bills and loss of earning potential can add up quickly.
Slip and fall accidents are a bigger deal than you may think. Most people don’t just fall without a reason. If you slip and fall on someone else’s property and sustain an injury that could have been avoided if the property owner had taken better care of their facility, then you could earn compensation for this.
Here are some examples that may occur during a slip and fall accident:
These types of accidents may result in an injury that lingers, which leads to costly medical bills and time away from work to go to your doctor appointments. An attorney can help cover these costs and lost wages by using photos, videos, and medical records to prove that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries. You should not have to suffer because someone else did not keep their property safe for visitors.
Birth injuries and complications are especially hard for family members. A mistake made by a medical professional can cause injuries to a newborn that may be long-lasting or permanent, such as paralysis, cerebral palsy, or brain issues. This is a tragedy for both parents and children involved, and it puts major financial stress on the family.
A personal injury lawyer can help you get the money you need to support your family and newborn if your child was injured during birth due to the lack of care by a medical professional. Compensation for birth injuries may include tangle and intangible damages, such as permanent medical bills lasting the entirety of the injured’s life and loss of life’s enjoyment for your child.
For example, if your child was injured due to a delayed C-section, then you may be entitled to compensation. Compensation doesn’t make up for the injuries your child has sustained, but you are entitled to help when it comes to paying for medical bills and taking time away from work to care for your child who was injured by someone else’s mistake.
A wrongful death case is an unnecessary tragedy. Getting compensated for these types of terrible personal injury accidents can fall under a few different categories, as long as they are caused by someone else. You might be entitled to compensation for current and ongoing medical bills as well as lost wages that you can get in any personal injury case.
You might also be entitled to wrongful death compensation if you are the survivor of someone who died due to someone else’s negligent behavior. In these instances, a plaintiff can seek compensation to cover funeral expenses. They can also seek compensation to account for the enduring and sudden loss of household income due to the death of someone who contributed financially.
Wrongful death compensation also takes into account pain and suffering damages as well as loss of companionship. These benefits cannot bring your loved one back, but they can bring you some peace of mind after a sudden loss as well as provide financial relief if it’s needed. It’s important for survivors of deceased loved ones to act immediately to gain the most compensation for their claim. This can be difficult to do while you are grieving, but it’s the best way to ensure you’ll get the justice you deserve. An attorney can help you with the details during these sensitive times.
Spinal cord and brain injuries are some of the worst types of injuries you can sustain from a motor vehicle and other personal injury accidents. Personal injury cases that involve brain and spinal cord injuries may cause permanent physical damage or mental damage in the form of paralysis, cognitive impairment, and more.
If you or a loved one has been injured by another person or company, then you are a victim of their carelessness and entitled to compensation. Trying to hold these parties accountable on your own can be hard, especially while you are dealing with serious injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
A personal injury lawyer can work tirelessly for you. They will use evidence such as photographs, videos, medical records, and other documents along with medical expert depositions to support your claim and get you the money you need to cover damages, such as present and past medical bills, lost wages, time away from work, pain and suffering, and loss of life’s enjoyment.
Burns and injuries sustained due to a fire can be dangerous and life-altering. If you or your loved one sustain injuries due to a fire or a chemical burn due to unsafe working conditions or an apartment fire that occurred from a landlord who did not take proper safety precautions, then you may be entitled to compensation. Apartment fires may occur because a landlord did not install or maintain proper fire safety equipment or measures, such as faulty electrical wiring. This can lead to lifelong injuries that require costly medical care.
Burns can be caused by a scalding beverage or a chemical burn. Even if your injuries heal quickly, you have the right to hold the negligent party accountable for hurting you. Some burns may result in lifelong trauma or scarring, which can also result in costly medical bills for ongoing treatment. You may also have to miss work because of the injuries you sustained. This - coupled with pain and suffering damage that you may have to deal with for the rest of your life - makes you entitled to compensation.
Whether they happen to you or a loved one, life-changing injuries make you feel angry, but you are not helpless. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help compensate you and hold the other person responsible for hurting you. If you have suffered a burn or fire injury, then consider hiring a personal attorney who specializes in burns and fire damage.
Dog and animal bites might not seem that bad at first, but they can become serious later on or leave lasting scars. If someone else’s pet attacks you, then you can file a lawsuit against the owner and maybe even their homeowner’s insurance.
Dog bites and animal bites are part of a personal injury case that allows you to gain compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress support from the accident that injured you at someone else’s hands.
The amount that you are entitled to for a dog or animal bites may depend on the state and jurisdiction. Most of the time, the owner of the animal is responsible for the actions of the animal, whether or not they were aware of their animal’s aggressive behavior. However, in some states, the law will determine the degree of liability on several factors, such as whether or not the person bit provoked the animal. A court of law may also look at where the accident happened.
If you are injured due to inadequate security practices when you shop at a store, go to a concert, park in a parking garage, or go somewhere public, then you could be eligible to receive compensation. This type of personal injury case also includes death due to lack of security.
In most cases, if you or a loved one is injured or dies on public property due to lack of security, then the property owner will be responsible as long as you can prove that they should have provided security but failed to do so. You would not file the lawsuit against the person who shot, injured, or raped you, but rather against the landlord or property owner.
The property owner’s liability will be determined by factors such as how foreseeable the offense was and if it was preventable. For example, if you were injured during a robbery in a dark parking structure due to lack of security, then the property owner might be responsible. Additionally, if you were attacked in the hall of your apartment because a door or gate should have been locked but it wasn’t, and an outside party entered, then you would be entitled to money.
Here are some other examples of lack of security negligence involved in a personal injury claim:
Sometimes, such as in the case of a mass shooting, assigning blame to a party can be tricky. A personal injury lawyer can help you get to the bottom of complicated cases, such as a mass shooting. Other cases are easier to address, such as an injury due to lack of security measures in a public space or your apartment complex.
Your personal injury lawyer and their legal team are at the frontline of your case. They are responsible for getting you the money you deserve in a personal injury lawsuit. When you first meet with a personal injury lawyer, they should assess your case to determine the best way to fight for you.
This will require your personal injury lawyer to do the following:
Each case is personalized and will require different things from your personal injury lawyer. He or she will use this information to go up against the defendant’s attorney to get you the money you deserve - as much as possible.
If the insurance company or big corporation that you are filing a personal injury lawsuit against won’t budge, then it’s imperative to hire a lawyer to represent you. Personal injury lawyers are trained, experienced, and ready to take your case to court.
They will represent you against the biggest insurance companies and corporations whether you’re in settlement or at court. Lawyers are trained to win over the initial low-ball offers that you will get if you don’t have professional representation behind you.
As the client in a personal injury case, there are several things you can do to help your lawyer win your case. First, don’t admit fault for your injury. This goes against once your lawyer is trying to do - win your case and get you as much money as needed to pay for your medical expenses.
Here are some other things you can do to ensure that you win your case:
One of the main reasons why many people do not hire a lawyer is because they have insurance or the defendant has insurance. You might think that the insurance company is going to look out for your best interest. However, most of the time, insurance companies are not on your side.
For example, your primary goal is to get the most damage coverage possible to compensate you for your medical and auto bills. However, insurance companies want to make sure they pay out as little as possible so that they make more of a profit than you do.
Hiring a lawyer is a good idea because they have been trained to fight for you and go head to head against insurance companies. They know all the “tricks” that an insurance company will try to pull, and they can defend you better than you can defend yourself in a court of law.
In fact, insurance companies know how to intimidate victims in a personal injury claim. That’s what they do for a living. They may tell you things like you were to blame for the accident, you can’t prove the long-term physical and mental impact of your injury in court, or your doctor’s assessment isn’t adequate enough to settle your claim and you need to get an assessment by one of their approved healthcare professionals.
If the insurance companies tell you any of these things, it’s imperative to hire a personal injury lawyer who can defend you. Insurance companies will use every tool they have to tie up your claim to make you desperate enough for money to pay your medical bills and living expenses that you will settle for an amount that is much less than what you really deserve.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer with a reputation for winning against insurance companies can help make sure you don’t settle for less. People who have been injured in an accident or who have filed a worker’s compensation claim need a lawyer with a reputable firm on their side to win their case. Doing so ensures that you will have a much better chance of winning the amount of money you deserve. Insurance companies know that picking a fight with an experienced lawyer will cost them more money in legal fees than what the claim is worth to them.
Keep in mind that legal fees are only present if the injured person has hired a lawyer that will fight for them. If you do not have an attorney, then the insurance company won’t have to factor in legal fees to their cost-benefit analysis. This means that hiring a lawyer isn’t only beneficial - it’s imperative to your case.
Another reason why people do not want to hire a lawyer is that they are afraid of paying large amounts of money in legal fees. However, almost all personal injury lawyers work on what’s known as a contingency basis.
This means that your personal injury lawyer will not be paid money or legal fees unless you win or settle your case outside of court. A contingency fee agreement allows the lawyer to collect compensation out of your damage award or settlement.
Most of the time, your personal injury lawyer will be paid a percentage of the money you get. For example, your contingency agreement with your personal injury lawyer might state the following:
The amount of money that you are charged generally ranges from between 15 percent and 40 percent of your overall settlement. For example, if you settle on $50,000 from your lawsuit, then your lawyer will get between $12,500 and $20,000. Your lawyer should be able to go over this with you before you hire them.
Remember that a personal injury lawyer won’t charge you unless they win your case. Do not hire a lawyer who wants you to pay upfront fees as these are not necessary and could be a red flag that someone is trying to rip you off.
In addition to helping you understand legal terms, research shows that hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you get more money. A 1999 study conducted by the Insurance Research Council found that the average claimant will get a settlement 3.5 times larger with the help of a lawyer than without one.
This makes a huge difference if you are in a personal injury settlement because the amount of money you’re edible for by law depends on several factors, such as:
A lawyer can help you navigate these tricky scenarios as they know the law better than anyone. It’s always best to hire a personal injury lawyer if your injury claim is complicated or you are dealing with an insurance company. A lawyer can help make sure that the insurance company pays you everything you’re entitled to. You have the right to a lawyer anytime you get hurt.
When picking out a personal injury lawyer, it’s imperative to find one with a proven track record. Find a lawyer that has experience winning personal injury cases, and can provide references that speak to their performance. It also helps to hire an attorney that only specializes in personal injury cases. This ensures that they will have focused the majority of their career handling cases just like yours, and they are more likely to win major settlements.
When searching for a lawyer near you, don’t just pick the closest one. The right attorney for you may require you to travel, but it will be worth it in the end to win your case. For example, you might find that the right attorney for you is out of state. In some cases, your attorney will travel to you, but you will want to find out during the hiring process. Never pay any upfront fees for a lawyer until they win your case. Be wary of any lawyer that asks you to cover upfront fees.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when searching for the best personal injury lawyer near you:
1. Pick a lawyer or law firm that represents plaintiffs only and does not defend insurance companies
It also helps to choose a law firm or lawyer that limits their practice to personal injury claims and related issues, such as civil sexual assault claims, lawsuits against the makers of drugs, and workers' compensation. Don’t pick a law firm or lawyer that claims to be a “jack of all trades.”
In other words, if you are saying to yourself, “I need an injury lawyer,” then go with one who does just that and nothing else. It’s very hard for lawyers to know all aspects of the law. Narrowing down your search to personal injury lawyers only will help ensure you get the best representation possible.
2. Determine if the firm or lawyer is respected by other lawyers in the community
Community respect is important when it comes to picking out a lawyer. Many good law firms or lawyers will have a national reputation, so ask around about the lawyer you intend to hire.
You may want to ask around about a personal injury lawyer before hiring them. Consult the internet to seek out people who have personal experience with the law firm. You can also ask for examples of cases they have won.
3. Check out the reviews
Personal injury lawyers or firms should have good reviews to back up what they claim to do. You should be able to see real-life cases of people who were satisfied with their work and settlement outcome. Be sure to check out a lawyer’s reviews before hiring them.
4. Determine if they are experienced
Is the lawyer you are interested in experienced in handling a wide variety of personal injury claims? Many people want someone who has experience and is more likely to win your case than someone who is just starting out or doesn’t handle personal injury claims exclusively.
5. Determine if the lawyer has time for you
This sounds like a silly thing to consider, but it’s important to determine if the lawyer has time for you. In many cities, attorneys will use their personal image to market their firm. However, you may never work with or even meet those lawyers.
Instead, they will assign you a team of junior lawyers to handle your case. Before you hire a lawyer or law firm, make sure that the lawyer you want is the one you get - and that you’re not dealing with a team of inexperienced lawyers.
After you have been injured, there are several steps you’ll need to take to set up a personal injury lawsuit. You will want to start by consulting a medical professional and consider a personal injury lawsuit. Follow these steps if you have been in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or another type of personal injury accident.
1. Contacting a personal injury lawyer
Immediately following your accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Ideally, your personal injury lawyer should be able to come to the scene of the accident or meet you at the hospital if you have a serious injury. This ensures that your lawyer will be there every step of the way and will have all the details they need to win your case. Contacting a lawyer right away will also help determine if your case is eligible for a lawsuit.
2. Forming your case
Once you find a personal injury lawyer and sign a retainer agreement, your lawyer and legal team will help you start to form your case. They will look over every aspect of your case, including your injuries and the circumstances that caused them. They will also obtain evidence and the necessary legal documents, such as your employment history, wages, family circumstances, and other documents needed to support your claim.
Next, your attorney will send out a demand letter to your insurance company or to the person who injured you detailing your case. This letter will include the damages you’ve experienced and your lawyer will start to set up your settlement negotiations.
3. Filing your lawsuit
If you are unable to come to an agreement with the person who injured you or your insurance company, then your lawyer will need to file your lawsuit. If this happens, your lawyer will switch gears from obtaining a settlement to getting ready to go to court over a personal injury lawsuit to get you the most money possible.
During a discovery period, both sides of a lawsuit provide documents and other evidence as requested. This is when your personal injury lawyer will go after every piece of documentation and evidence that the other side of the lawsuit has provided to help support your settlement.
4. Going to trial
A trial is the final step of the personal injury lawsuit journey. It occurs when a case can’t be settled outside of court. Cases that go to trial will appear before a jury and a judge. You will need a personal injury lawyer when your case goes to trial. A personal injury lawyer will argue your case and present evidence that shows you are entitled to compensation. He or she will include interviews with expert witnesses and provide other doctors necessary to win your case.
You can reach a personal injury settlement when your lawyer and the opposing lawyer come to an agreement over the damages that you need to cover lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses. Your settlement amount may vary depending on several factors, including the severity of your injury, the type of accident you were in, whether or not you are employed, and other financial responsibilities you may have due to someone else’s destructive behavior.
Your personal injury lawyer will fight for your case at no charge at first. There are no upfront fees associated with hiring a personal injury lawyer. However, they will take a portion of the money you get from your settlement. Keep in mind that settling a personal injury case can be lengthy. Your lawyer may not accept the first offer, but may go back and forth with counter offers with the opposing party to get you the amount of money you deserve. When you finally settle your case, it could take up to six weeks to get your money.
Most of the time, your settlement money is not taxable. Settlements that are made in a personal injury lawsuit are not taxable under federal or state law. However, there are some exceptions to this rule depending on the circumstances of your claim. For example, if you experience an emotional injury that did not arise from a physical injury, then this money might be taxable. Hiring an attorney can help you determine what portion of your settlement is taxable (if any).
Many personal injury cases settle, especially if you hire a good personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies and opposing parties may try to bully you into settling for an offer that falls short of what your settlement should be worth. A good personal injury lawyer will stand up for you. They should have court experience and be willing to go to court if needed. Finding an experienced lawyer can help ensure that you don’t get a low-ball settlement offer.
Q: When should a personal injury lawyer be used?
A: You should hire a personal injury lawyer if you are involved in an accident in which you get hurt, even if your injuries seem minor at first. This is because many injuries become serious as time goes on, and you may need help covering medical bills. You should also hire a personal injury lawyer if you share fault for your injuries or someone else’s. Most of the time, you can recover money if someone else is to blame for your accident, and a lawyer can help with this.
Q: Is it worth getting a personal injury lawyer?
A: There are certain types of injuries and accidents that almost always require an attorney. However, you may want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer anytime you are involved in an accident in which you or someone else gets hurt. A lawyer can help you understand the legal aspects of your obligations if you are at fault. They can also help you get the maximum amount of money from an insurance company if someone else is to blame for your injuries. In these cases, hiring a personal injury lawyer is worth the money.
Q: How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?
Personal injury lawyers do not charge for your case unless they win. The percentage that they take from your settlement will vary depending on the lawyer. However, most personal injury lawyer fees are between 30 percent to 40 percent, with 33 percent being the average.
Q: What types of cases does a personal injury lawyer handle?
A: A personal injury lawyer handles cases that involve negligence, such as car or truck accidents, plane accidents, legal or medical malpractice, child daycare accidents, and wrongful death cases. Most people hire a personal injury lawyer if they are in a car accident or get hurt on someone else’s property.
Q: What does a personal injury lawyer do?
A: A personal injury lawyer helps people who have been injured in a car accident recover financial losses. This money can help pay for medical treatment, and make up for pain and suffering, cover lost wages, and provide additional compensation for your injuries.
Q: How is a settlement paid out?
A: You can get paid for a personal injury lawsuit in a single lump sum or as a series of payments. These are usually paid out in the form of a structured settlement, which can be tailored to meet the needs of the person hurt. Once agreed upon or settled, these changes cannot be made.
Q: What are the three types of damages?
A: The three types of damages that you can go after in a personal injury lawsuit include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Q: Why does it take so long to negotiate a settlement?
A: Settlements can take a long time (several weeks to months) because it takes a while for both parties to come to an agreement. Both parties need to agree upon a number before they will settle. In most cases, parties will refuse offers and make counteroffers, which can delay the time it takes to settle. Insurance companies do not want to pay more than they have to, and injured persons do not want to accept less money than they think their injuries are worth.
Q: How long after a settlement do I get my money?
A: Many legal proceedings can take months or even years before they are settled. For this reason, many people are anxious to get the money from their settlement. While your lawyer can help you determine how long after a settlement you will get your money, it usually takes around six weeks after settling.
Q: How much should I ask for a personal injury settlement?
A: It’s a good idea to ask around 75 percent to 100 percent more than what you would be satisfied with. This means that you won’t be disappointed if you have to settle for lower. For example, if you think your settlement is worth $1,500 to $2,000, then ask for $3,000 to $4,000. If you think your settlement is worth $4,000 to $5,000, then ask for $8,000 to $10,000. You may have to settle for less if you do not have a lawyer. Most of the time, a lawyer can get you more money, but you will need to pay your lawyer after you settle.
Q: Should you accept the first settlement offer?
A: If you are representing yourself, it’s never a good idea to accept your first settlement offer, especially if the settlement involves financial reimbursement for pain and suffering, an injury, or property damage. Instead, it’s a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer before settling as they can get you more for your claim.
Q: What happens if I reject a settlement offer?
A: If you decline an offer, then it no longer exists and you can’t accept it later on. Most of the time there will be a follow-up offer, but you cannot count on this. Keep in mind that declining a settlement offer means that your case will probably go to trial. Consulting a personal injury lawyer can help you make these big decisions.
Q: What is a fair settlement for pain and suffering?
A: The amount of money you’ll get for pain and suffering depends on several factors, including your case details and how good your lawyer is. However, a typical payout for pain and suffering does not usually exceed $15,000. This is because many pain and suffering claims involve small injuries. The severity of your injury usually plays a big role in determining how much money you’ll get for pain and suffering. Generally, the more severe your injury is, the more you’ll get paid. Therefore, pain and suffering associated with smaller injuries is not something you will be well compensated for.
Q: What is a good settlement offer?
A: The value of your settlement offer depends on several factors that may be specific to your case, including the extent of your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more. Many personal injury cases settle for an average of around $3,000 to $75,000. Your lawyer can help you determine your potential earnings before settling. He or she should also be able to tell you what a good settlement offer is, depending on your case.
Q: What are the five elements of negligence?
A: To receive compensation for your personal injury claim, you will need to prove that five elements of negligence caused the damage. These five elements include the following:
Q: How much is a neck and back injury settlement?
A: Neck and back injuries can be very serious, which makes them one of the highest-paid types of personal injury claims. In some cases, back and neck injury settlements can be worth millions, depending on the nature of the accident, how seriously you were injured, and how extensive your medical bills are. Minor neck and back injuries tend to go for much smaller amounts, such as $10,000 to $100,000. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer can help you determine how much your case is worth before it goes to court.
Q: Why is personal injury law important?
A: The most important part of a personal injury claim is for a lawyer to help clients get the compensation they need and deserve to help them get better, or at least to make up for lost wages and suffering. Personal injury lawyers must follow a strict set of principles regarding their approach to ensure they are exceeding client expectations. Personal injury law helps people who have been hurt, and it can be the difference between earning the help you deserve and not receiving enough treatment.
Q: How are personal injury damages calculated?
A: If you’re wondering how personal injuries are calculated, then you’ll need to factor in a few things, including the details of your injury and accident. Most of the time, your personal injury damages are calculated by the severity of your injuries, whether the case settles in a court, and the underlying details of the accident that hurt you. The extent of your medical treatment also dictates how your personal injury damages are calculated.
Q: What kind of damages is emotional stress?
A: You may experience emotional stress as a result of your accident caused by someone else’s negligence. If so, you may be entitled to compensation that can be used to help you get treatment for emotional stress. Emotional stress refers to monetary damages that encompass the emotional harm that you suffered. For example, if you had sleepless nights or stress in your family relationships due to the accident, then you may be able to get compensation.
Q: How do I prove emotional stress?
A: Proving emotional stress is harder than providing physical damage because you can’t always see it. For example, if you endured sleepless nights and strained relationships due to your accident, this can be hard to prove. However, there are ways you can prove emotional stress in a court of law. You’ll need to provide documentation for your daily activities and how the accident caused damage to them, including symptom onset and duration, the intensity of your emotional stress, and any physical damage that may accompany it. You may also need to prove that the root cause of your emotional stress was the accident you were injured in. Lastly, validation from medical professionals can help prove your emotional stress. You may need to get doctor’s notes and records from them showing that you are seeking treatment for your emotional stress
Q: Does a personal injury settlement count as income?
A: According to the IRS, the full amount of your personal injury settlement is only non-taxable if you did not take an itemized deduction for medical expenses related to your sickness or injury. If your settlement is taxable, then the tax benefit amount needs to be reported as “other income” on line 21 of Form 1040 under Schedule 1. If you have questions about whether or not your settlement is taxable, then ask a lawyer.
Q: Why are personal injury lawyers necessary?
A: A personal injury lawyer is necessary because they can get you the money you deserve if you have been injured by someone else’s negligence. They have been trained to fight insurance companies for you if your case goes to court, and they will ensure you don’t settle for a lesser amount.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is necessary if you have suffered severe injuries due to an accident. There are some instances in which you might not need a lawyer, and we highlighted them in this article.
However, a personal injury lawyer can help ensure that you get all the money you are entitled to. Don’t settle a claim without talking to one first. When picking out a personal injury lawyer, make sure they have a good reputation, experience, and time for you.