When you suffer an injury as a result of another person’s negligence, one of the things you will contemplate is whether to hire a lawyer or handle the case by yourself. While it is not mandatory to seek legal counsel, there are certain cases when it is advisable to do so. The tricky part about personal injury cases is even when the case appears cut and dry, certain laws may make it very complicated. In light of this, it is wise to seek legal counsel especially when facing the following circumstances:
Permanent disability or long-term injury
Head injuries, limb injuries and other severe injuries can leave you incapacitated. Your physical capabilities may diminish as a result of the accident. In such situations it can be difficult to ascertain exactly how much the claim is worth. Calculating damages gets complicated especially if the treatment is ongoing for the foreseeable future. In such delicate matters, it is prudent to seek legal expertise. Compensation in permanent disability cases is normally determined based on the gravity of the injuries. The monetary figure is derived from the medical bills, time taken to recover, the type of injuries incurred and adjustment that need to be made as result of the injury. It is not possible for the courts to arrive at an accurate figure, the best they can do is make an educated guess. When this happens, you want to ensure that the guess falls in the highest range. This is why it is good to work with a personal injury lawyer who can foresee costs that you may not be in a position to.
Statistics show that medical malpractice ranks as the third leading cause of death in the US. Sadly, the amount of medical malpractice payouts does not match the resulting injuries and deaths. If you have been a victim of an injury from incompetent, negligent or unprofessional conduct by a healthcare practitioner, you should receive full compensation for your damages. The medical and legal rules surrounding these cases are complex. In most cases, the defense will put up a strong case to avoid paying a claim. In addition to this, proving negligence and liability is complicated. Medical malpractice lawsuits are best handled by legal experts who have extensive experience, and the necessary legal and medical background.
Most manufacturing and production plans are chemical based. It is very easy to get exposed to chemicals through air, water, soil or through food. Toxic exposure claims are complex and often hard to prove. In most cases, the plaintiff needs to obtain proof through scientific data. The complex part when it comes to proving toxic exposure liability is that the companies involved have built walls to protect their interests from legal exposure. Bringing down these walls requires great skill and expertise. In most cases, toxic exposure cases can also have a political angle or influence.
When the insurance company refuses to compensate
In some cases, insurance adjusters can refuse to pay the injured party. While most cases are settled out of court, sometimes insurance companies are adamant on paying. In such situations, you can be sure the insurance company will put up a fight. Personal injury lawyers have dealt with insurance adjusters before and they understand how they operate. An experienced lawyer will also put up a strong case before the jury. Left on your own, you may not have the legal experience or know-how to handle the insurance company.
When you do not have a legal background
Personal injury cases are bound by complex laws and regulations. The theory of personal injury and the practice of it is very different. Reading handbooks on personal injury does not mean that you can take on the insurance adjusters. In addition to this, insurance companies will hire experts to represent them in any claim. They also have the financial muscle and legal resources. This means that they have an upper hand. The best way to level the playing field is getting an experienced personal injury lawyer on board. Again, insurance companies have been known to intimate and strong arm persons making claims. This further emphasizes on the need to seek legal expertise.
Another complication arises when determining the value of a claim. Not all costs are straightforward. General damages may include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of guidance and mental anguish. You need a legal expert to ensure that you are fully compensated for any damage caused by the accident, whether emotional or physical.
Statute of limitations complications
Personal injury claims are bound by a statute of limitations. There is a stipulated time frame in which claims must be made. A legitimate claim can be nullified because of not filing within the bounds of time. Again, Personal injury cases differ from state to state, this means you need a lawyer who is familiar with “common law” in the state where the accident happened.
Proving liability is not easy even when the case appears straight-forward, as a result it is in your best interest to seek legal aid. Most lawyers will charge on a contingency basis, this means that you get to pay after the settlement amount has been paid. Thousands of claims go unpaid, the main reason is that victims shy away from making claims. While personal injury claims can be taxing, hiring a lawyer makes an otherwise strenuous process much smoother.
Do you need to speak to a personal injury lawyer in your area? The answer is, as you might expect, a bit more complicated than it seems on its face. While you will always want to speak to an attorney if you were involved in an an injury that was the fault of another person and has involved damages for which compensation can be given, figuring out if those two elements apply can be difficult. Fortunately, understanding how a good personal injury lawyer can help you is the first step towards determining if you should call his or her office.
What a Personal Injury Lawyer Does
Before you talk to an attorney, it’s a good idea to understand what he or she will be doing for you after an injury. More than anything else, an attorney is a legal resource. He or she will give you advice and let you know what might happen next, but will ultimately do what he or she can to work towards your personal goals. With years of experience and schooling under his or her belt, a good attorney not only understands how the law might apply to your individual situation, but knows what the likely outcomes will be as you move forward.
A good lawyer is also the person who will help you figure out what to do at every step of the process. He or she will give you advice about potential settlements from insurance companies, how to deal with processes like mediation, and even what you’ll need to do if and when the case goes to court. As your representative, the lawyer is both an extension of your will and the person who is best qualified to help you figure out what you need. With a lawyer’s help, you can better deal with everything that’s thrown at you during this often-lengthy process.
Are You Injured?
The first, and perhaps most important, thing you need to consider before you contact a personal injury lawyer is whether you were actually injured in an accident. As odd as it seems, there are many people who think that the mere occurrence of an accident is enough of a reason to go to court. In reality, one must stop and consider if any real harm was done. When one looks at harm, one must stop and consider whether that harm is something that is actually legally actionable.
Generally speaking, the harm caused must be something that is connected to the accident and must have caused some kind of damage that can be compensated. If your leg was broken and you now have medical bills piling up, for example, you have an injury that might require compensation. If you were in an accident and it ruined your day, however, you likely do not have a cause for bringing a suit. If you are unsure if your injury is the kind of issue for which compensation is usually given, it is a good idea to go ahead and contact an attorney.
Was Someone Else the Cause of the Accident?
It’s also important that you stop and consider whether some other party was the cause of your accident. There are various reasons why another person could be liable for the injury caused to you – they might have been negligent in the upkeep of a store, been driving recklessly, or they may have even set out to cause you harm. It is necessary for your harm to be the fault of another person for you to get compensation, so don’t push yourself to go to an attorney if your accident completely your own fault.
This is not to say, however, that you shouldn’t talk to an attorney if you are partially to blame for an accident. In many cases, you can still get compensation as long as you were not more at fault than the other party. Figuring this out can be a long and difficult process, and it’s absolutely something that needs the help of a lawyer to figure out. If you are unsure who was at fault or unsure if the court would side with you, it’s usually a good idea to talk to a lawyer.
Do You Feel You Need Help?
More than anything, it’s important that you work with an attorney if you have any questions about what you should do next. There’s never a bad reason to go in and ask a few questions, and the worst that can happen is that you may be told that you don’t have a case. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and make sure that you have all of your questions answered before taking any other sort of action. You might be surprised by what is – and is not – something for which you should seek compensation.
If you have been injured in a way that demands compensation, you should always call an attorney. If you are not sure if your injury can be compensated or you are not sure who was at fault, you should still talk to an attorney. The best part about getting an initial consultation is that you are not required to take any sort of action. You can go in, gather the information you need, and make an informed decision. While a lawyer can help you after you have been injured, his or her initial contribution will be to help you determine if you actually need his or her help.
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