Facts about Hiring and Dealing with Personal Injury Law Firms
Before delving any further on the topic of getting a personal injury attorney, it is a must that you first know the basics of lawsuits involving personal injury. The Basics of a Personal Injury Lawsuit Cases that are labeled “personal injuries” refer to disputes in the legal system that occur whenever an individual has suffered harm from an incident, with another person or a group of persons responsible for the event.
Through court proceedings, these cases are formalized by personal injury lawyers until one of the two parties is found at fault via court judgment. In most cases, however, the disputes can simply be solved through informal settlements that may not necessarily involve lawsuits. To understand the scenario more clearly, take a look at the two ways the different parties can settle the dispute:
- The formal lawsuit involves a complainant (known as the plaintiff) requiring the assistance of personal injury law firms to help him or her in a case. The defendant, or the person, group, or business that the plaintiff is filing against, shall be required to communicate with the other party via another personal injury attorney or else face the necessary punishment for evading the requirements of the law.
- On the other hand, an informal settlement involves the plaintiff and the defendant coming to terms with each other with regards to the case. Oftentimes, the lawsuit is closed as soon as the defendant agrees to pay the complainant a specified amount of cash enough to compensate for the injury caused. Remember that money is not always the deciding factor when it comes to informal settlements, as there are a few cases where personal injury attorneys solve the dispute through the simple act of amicable resolution.
What To Do If You Have A Personal Injury Case
Be aware of the different instances that are being governed by injury cases:
- Vehicular accidents
- Physical assaults
- Emotional assaults
- Indirect injuries (ex. A person injured because of a slippery floor can file a complaint against the maintenance section of the said building)
- Defective products that prove to be dangerous to the user
It is always a good idea to become aware of the proper steps that should be taken if you find yourself injured by a person or a group of individuals. Consult with trusted personal injury law firms. There are plenty of firms out there, so it is your utmost responsibility to research on which of these you should pay to settle your case.
While searching among possible firms to contact, list down the things that you would need to ask the lawyer you are going to hire. You need to be aware of the law in the jurisdiction your area falls under, your rights as an individual who is injured by a fellow person, the right authority from whom you may ask for compensation, and the expectations of the defendant’s insurance company, should he or she have one.
The good thing is that there are plenty of qualified lawyers out there who are willing to give you free consultation sessions during their free time, thereby allowing you to save more money than expected. One of the best pieces of advice given to people seeking personal injury lawyers is to avoid talking to others. Adjusters of insurance companies, private investigators, and third-party defendants, for instance, may trick you into making a couple of statements on the phone that may be used against you in the court of law.
Time is precious, so it is of extreme importance that you consult with your lawyer whenever you have the chance. You do not want outsiders to meddle with your case when all you seek is justice for the injury done by the defendant.
How to Find Good Personal Injury Lawyers
While finding good personal injury law firms is like searching for a needle in a haystack, finding good personal injury lawyers is like searching for a grain of salt in a sandbox. The latter is harder and, when time is of the essence, more complicated. A good lawyer’s advice is what you need to be successful in your personal injury case. Here are some ways for you to make sure that you’d be able to find the right person to do the job.
- Get as many referrals as possible. You might want to talk with your friends or relatives who in the past have already experienced seeking the help of law firms. Begin asking for referrals from people you truly trust. After all, they are the ones who want you to succeed in your lawsuit, all the more reason for them to introduce you to the best personal injury attorney in town.
- Seek the help of referral services that can give you the names, addresses and contact details of every lawyer within your home town. Since most referral services tend to screen the names of the lawyers to be included in the lists, you’d be assured of the right person to do the job of handling your injury case.
When in doubt, ask other lawyers. An attorney who handles many different kinds of cases might be acquainted with someone who specializes in personal injury lawsuits. Who else would know the best in the field but the fellow lawyers themselves?
How Do You Pay a Personal Injury Attorney?
One question that is often asked in the field of law is: how much are lawyers paid? Specifically, for this article, the question asked is: how and how much is a personal injury lawyer paid? Take note that lawyers have different rates depending on their skills, years of experience, and personal preference; however, the general rule being followed nowadays is that a personal injury attorney should only charge his or her client if and only if money has been recovered from the case.
Once the cash is successfully recovered, the fee given to the lawyer shall be determined via a given percentage. In the industry, the norm ranges from 33% to 45% of the collective sum of money recovered from the personal injury case. In most cases, the amount already covers the fee required by the personal injury law firms. Remember though that everything can be negotiable.
The life of a personal injury attorney is not all about cash, though. In most cases, he or she has to spend his or her own money while preparing and handling the lawsuit. Cash is involved whenever a certain piece of evidence is needed. From medical records, injury exhibits, witness gathering, reconstruction of crime scenes or accidents, and even under-the-counter background investigations of the defendants, all these are most likely paid for using the money of the attorney involved. This is a standard norm practiced in the field, as lawyers would most likely do anything to win his case and elevate his reputation.
Should there be an instance wherein you would need to terminate the services of your lawyer, make sure the two of you come to an agreement in writing. A contract should be signed by both parties indicating that the personal injury attorney should not expect a fee. This way, you won’t be liable of any financial obligations to the terminated lawyer right after you have won the lawsuit using a different attorney. If, on the other hand, the lawyer is the one who drops the client, then it is only natural that the lawyer should have no gains whatsoever from the personal injury case.
Types Personal Injury Claims You May Be Entitled To
Personal injury lawsuits are claims a person can file against a natural or juridical entity that causes harm to you. If the accused is a juridical entity i.e. corporation, then you also include in your complaint the proper person’s who can be made liable i.e. manager, supervisor, actual person who caused the injury to occur.
The Concept of Harm: This includes bodily injury, injury to the mind and emotions. The rationale for the suit is to maintain the “status-quo”. This means to allow the injured person to get back to a state before the injury occurred, and also to compensate the injured person to make up for any loss (present an within the reasonable future) that maybe incurred because of the injury.
Damages: These are the award, usually monetary, given to the injured person, if the suit is won by personal injury attorneys. This includes but is not limited to medical expenses, incidental damage to property, lost earning capacity, pain, mental suffering, emotional distress. The last two are harder to quantify, but are included in computing the amount of damages that the injured party may claim.
Two Types of Personal Injury Attorneys: Generally speaking a lawyer or firm specializes in litigation or defense. If you are the person filing a suit, then you want to hire the former. If you are a person being implicated in the suit then you want to hire the later.
Road Accidents Vehicle accident law suits may involve the collision of at least 2 vehicles or the intervention of only one vehicle. Without going into much detail, any person injured because another person or persons operated a vehicle without due diligence or while under the influence of any substance, can file a law suit. If it is unclear as to who is the person or vehicle at fault, the injured party can file a case against all those who may have contributed to the injury.
Work Related Accidents Slip and fall law suits can be filed against the employer who failed to exercise due diligence in providing workers with a safe working environment. It can also implead a specific person who caused the injury, provided the work environment was the primary cause. Otherwise the employer may request the court to have their name dropped, and have the injured party and the actual cause of the injury litigate among themselves. For example, a poorly lighted corridor with wet floors that caused an employee to slip and break his leg. Work Related Hazards Hazards are different from accidents. In that, it is always the employer who is at fault. This is because the same failed to provide proper facilities or equipment to keep the employee safe. This is given the fact that the work involved is dangerous to the health of the employee. For example, failure to provide safety clothing, helmets, gas masks, etc.
Defective Products Law Suits If the ultimate cause of the injury was not the negligence of the operator of the product, but he defective parts of the product, then the person injured can go after the manufacturer. For example, in a vehicular accident, if the operator of the vehicle was himself a victim of the faulty tires or brake system of the car manufacturer, then the injured party and the owner of the vehicle can go after the manufacturer.
Animal Bite Law Suits The owner of the animal is always liable. Of course a good defense would be that the injured person aggravated the animal. For example, a properly leashed and behaved dog was kicked by the bystander. The dog therefore retaliated by instinctively biting the bystander.
In Closing, The rule of thumb is to classify the suit based on the cause of the injury i.e. vehicle accident law suits, slip and fall suits, animal bite lawsuit. The cause must be the ultimate cause, not merely a proximate or incidental one. In case of doubt, both can be explored in Personal injury lawsuits.