Personal Injury Lawyer Definition, and Examples
People (or their representatives) who are injured through the negligence of another person are entitled to make personal injury claims. The injuries can be physical or emotional, and can arise from a variety of sources or types of conduct. Accidents involving slips and falls, auto collisions, and battery and assaults are a few of the most frequent personal injuries that can cause legal liability. Personal injury lawsuits are created to identify the party responsible and to make them compensate the victim for the expenses. If you or someone you know has been hurt by the careless or reckless actions of someone else, you should contact an attorney who handles personal injury cases in Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, L.L.P. located in Macon, GA, to Personal Injury Lawyer find out more about your rights.
Personal Injury Lawyer and damages
Lawyers for personal injury strive to ensure that their clients receive the legal damages they deserve. The legal rights of injured parties include future and past costs for medical treatment and lost wages. They also have rights to compensation for emotional and physical suffering and pain. Sometimes, a family member of the injured person like their spouse can also be entitled to damages. This award, also known as loss of consortium damages is designed to pay the loved ones in the occasion of the deceased or injured person’s loss of benefits, services and companionship.
Other kinds of damages may be awarded based on the state’s laws and the specific facts of each case. This includes “hedonic damages” which are awarded to pay the plaintiff for the loss of enjoyment from activities that they once valued but can no longer participate in as a result of the injuries sustained. Additionally, “punitive damages” may be awarded when the defendant’s behavior was especially unacceptable and the judge or jury decides that the defendant should be punished with more than the actual damages of the plaintiff. Punitive damages can be used to deter others from repeating the same wrongful conducts.
“Legal causality” of personal injuries.
The injured plaintiff may not be eligible to claim damages for the injury that he suffers. The plaintiff must demonstrate with evidence that is credible and relevant, that the defendant is legally liable for the damages. The plaintiff must establish the causality in the two areas of “actual causation” as well as “proximate/legal causality and impact.” It is contingent upon the specific facts and circumstances of each case to determine whether legal causation is established.
In some personal injury actions legal causation could be proven in the event that the plaintiff is able to prove that the defendant was involved in deliberate actions. This means that the wrongdoer intentionally or purposefully caused harm to the plaintiff or was aware that the act in which he or she engaged gave rise to a substantial possibility that harm would occur.
Liability for negligence and strict liability
Other personal injury cases are based upon a looser concept called negligence. A defendant may be held accountable for the conduct or inactions of another person if they were foreseeable that they would cause harm to others. Other types of personal injury cases are based on strict liability, which is a no-fault system under which liability may be established regardless of fault on the part of various parties, including the injured party. The strict liability doctrine is commonly used in products liability cases, such as when the seller or manufacturer of a defective product places that product into the hands of consumers or consumers suffer injuries.
The defendant could be held responsible for any actions that are taken or not performed. The negligent actions of a driver who fails or is not able to stop at a red signal and then crashes into another vehicle, injuring both the driver and passengers, can make him accountable. If a property owner fails to clear the snow and ice from the entrance steps, the patron might fall and break her leg while trying to enter the premises.
Defenses against liability in Personal Injury Lawyer cases
In certain circumstances where the conduct of the defendant, while questionable, may not give rise to damages. For example, if a plaintiff chooses to face a known hazard and acts knowingly and in a manner that is knowingly done and with intent, the law states that the defendant is not accountable. For example, if the plaintiff played tackle football with a fellow player and broke his arm and broke his arm, the “assumption” theory could apply. The plaintiff may not be able to recover from his injuries if he was aware of the risks that were involved in the game, and decided to take them on.
There are several defenses that personal injury claims may be protected.
- Statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations are the laws specifying the timeframe in which a lawsuit has to be filed.
- Sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity safeguards certain government agencies and organizations from liability in civil court for the actions they engage in the execution of their official duties.
- Intentional misuse. Products liability cases may include injuries caused by the intentional misusing of a product or product by a plaintiff particularly if they fail to follow instructions or warnings.
- Negligence that is contributory or comparative. Contributory or comparative negligence exists when the plaintiff’s conduct led to or contributed to his or her injuries.
- An attorney for personal injuries can provide these defenses and more and decide if they are applicable to a particular case.
It is a terrible thing to be involved in an accident. In order to seek compensation from the person who suffered the accident an attorney for personal injuries should be hired. Lawyers are a trained professional who can advice you regarding any issue that is that is related to the court of law. There are many areas of expertise, which is why a personal injury attorney is the person who can assist victims of personal injury. The majority of accidents result from the negligence of a person or an entity. These can result in serious injuries to the victim’s body, as well as his family.
The person who suffers from the injury can submit a claim to the courts of law to recover the damages caused by the accident. This kind of personal injury law is referred to as tort law in legal terminology. The personal injury lawyer who is helping a victim of personal injury must be knowledgeable about tort law and out to assist the victim to fight the case successfully.
If someone hurts you, they won’t be able to claim the compensation they’re entitled to. There are a variety of firms in a city which specialize in handling different types of legal matters. You will find an injury lawyer who specializes in tort law in order to help personal injury victims. New York City is home to many law firms and attorneys who are experts in cases involving personal injuries. If you are seeking the services of an attorney for personal injuries in New York City, you need to determine the expertise of the lawyer and then hire the services of his or her firm. One must hire the services of only the most effective lawyers to handle the legal nuances of the case.
It is believed that before engaging the services of a personal injury lawyer it is recommended to have consultation with the lawyer. The majority of people are not informed about the various legal nuances and till the moment they need to confront a situation like this, few people are actually interested in being informed about all the factors that go into the legal process. Contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury and discuss your odds of getting the money you deserve. Compensation can be costly therefore make sure that you have the information prior to seeking consultations or any other assistance.
A personal injury lawyer must prove that the defendant is at fault for the incident and is responsible for paying compensation to the victim. The lawyer will then be able to show that the defendant is guilty. In order to prove that someone is guilty it is required by law that significant evidence be provided. No lawyer likes to lose a personal injury case or other legal matter and uses all of his knowledge in law to prevail in the legal proceeding to the benefit of his client.
Selecting the the right Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve sustained an injury because of the negligence of another, you must make a claim. However, prior to filing a lawsuit, it’s crucial to discuss with a personal injury lawyer, which assists clients that suffered serious injuries because of the carelessness of another individual or other party. There are numerous types of personal injury claims that are made every year. These include slip and fall automobile accidents, slip and fall injuries, and medical negligence. People file an accident claim to seek financial damages from injuries that are caused by third parties. This usually stems from the severity of the injury, lost wagesand unemployed.
If you are looking for a lawyer to represent your case, keep in the mind that not all lawyers can handle a claim. So, it is important to choose a skilled personal injury lawyer, in addition, the lawyer should as well know how to handle specific injuries such as brain and spinal cord injuries to help strengthen your case. In the course of the trial, insurance companies appoint lawyers who are expert in personal injury law, and so you need a lawyer that is as competent. Find an attorney with connections with medical specialists who will help you prove your case. Look for the lawyer who has handled similar cases in the past , and learn about what they have done. Making a claim takes time and the lawyer must be capable of easing tension by filing motions as needed and obtaining evidence from witnesses, and other such evidence.
In the case of accident claims, you need an attorney who is skilled in the field. For example, medical negligence requires lawyers who specialize in medical negligence laws. In contrast the filing of claims against a company to fix a defective product requires a the expertise of a specialist in that area and is not handled by the medical negligence lawyer.
Anyone who is trying to file a claim for brain injury or other injuries that require lifetime medical attention and, therefore, who are unable to work must always work with an attorney who has expertise in the field of pursuing these claims. These lawyers are able to connect with specialists in medical treatment who can assist them to present their claim. Employing a lawyer who does not have a good understanding of your specific injury could result with a wasted time as well as financial losses. Lawyers are specialist in specific areas like car accidents medical malpractice, slip and fall, construction accidents, and defective products. Take note of the areas your lawyer has experience in and whether they’ve handled cases similar to yours. Also, consider his judgment.
It is by no means feasible for the average person to fight insurance companies in legal claim therefore it is a good idea that you choose a an expert personal injury attorney. They will provide the legal expertise needed to settle your claim, treat you fairly at trial, and help with all the pain.
Personal Injury Lawyer Questions for the attorney to ask During Your Initial Consultation
- You may have many questions regarding your case. It’s best to create a list of all the questions you’re likely to have prior to the consultation.
- These questions should be included in your list of questions that you want to ask the attorney.
What kind of injuries are you able to handle?
Personal injury can be a result of a variety of situations and injuries. Personal injury claims can be triggered because of car crashes, burn injuries, livestock accidents workplace injuries, nursing home abuse, and other scenarios.
Ask the attorney how much time he’s had in dealing with cases similar to your case. It is recommended to choose an attorney with experience in the same area that you are in. An attorney who is familiar with law and legal issues that are similar to yours will be capable of helping you.
What are your attorney’s fees?
It is essential to understand the cost to hire an attorney for personal injuries prior to signing the retainer agreement.
Many personal injury law firms are compensated by a contingency fee. If you’re successful in your personal injury case the attorney won’t be paid any fees.
A percentage of any money you recover for your injury case is the contingency fee. The amount of the fee is decided when you engage the attorney. It doesn’t include the cost for the legal case, therefore make sure to inquire about how the attorney bills for costs and expenses.
How much success do you have? rate?
A lawyer cannot promise the outcome of your case. Personal injury cases are subject to various variables. A great success rate doesn’t mean that you’ll get millions of dollars back to settle your personal injury claim or even win your case.
You should inquire whether the attorney’s success rate is high. Even though you cannot make your case based on a previous case it is a good idea to choose an attorney with an excellent success rate. An attorney who has high rates of success may be able demonstrate their dedication and ability in pursuing the best the compensation they can get to their clients.
What trial experience do you have?
Ask the attorney what percentage of cases they settle and if they would prefer to file a lawsuit. A lot of injuries cases are settled with the insurer on behalf of the opposing party, without the necessity of filing a lawsuit or going to court. But, your case could be one of the cases that have to go to trial.
It is crucial to find an experienced and competent attorney for your case. The process of trial is different from negotiating a settlement outside of the courtroom. The lawyer must be comfortable in arguing cases the presence of a judge as well as a jury.
Experience in court is the only way for an attorney to be a successful trial lawyer. It is possible to meet with another attorney if the attorney refuses to bring cases to trial.
What’s the worth in my personal injury case?
It’s normal to would like to know the amount of amount of money you could receive from your personal injury claim.
Your injury claim’s value is contingent on many variables such as
- The type and severity of the injuries
- The total economic losses comprising medical bills and loss of income
- It doesn’t matter if you suffer from permanent impairments or disabilities
- Accusations of comparative fault
- The availability of insurance coverage
- The case’s evidence strength
A seasoned attorney for injuries will not inform you what your case is worth during your free consultation.
A lawyer will be able to explain to you the types of personal injury damages that you could be entitled to, as well as other elements that may impact the value of your claim. A lawyer is unable to determine the worth of a claim for injury without investigating it and documenting the damage.
Types of damages
The lawyer may look over the kinds of damages you could assert. These are some examples of damages that could be asserted in a lawsuit for injuries:
- Treatment, medication, therapy, and equipment expenses
- Increased loss of income and benefits, including reductions in potential earnings
- Emotional, psychological, and physical suffering and pain
- Permanent impairments, scarring, disabilities and disfigurement
The loss of pleasure in the world
An attorney who claims that he isn’t able to evaluate your claim in a meeting is an indicator that he is ethical and honest. If an attorney promises to recover a specific amount of money for your claim for injury before the lawyer begins work on your case, you should consider meeting with another attorney for a second opinion.
What is the typical amount of time required to settle a claim for injury?
The timeline for a personal injury claim depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. One of the overriding factors that determines the time it takes to settle a personal injury case is the medical treatment you receive.
You do not want to settle any claim until you’ve completed your treatment plan and your doctor releases you from treatment. Making a settlement for an injury claim prior to the time you have completed your treatment may result in a lower the amount of compensation.
It’s difficult for you to tell if you sustained permanent impairments until you have completed your medical treatment. Permanent impairments can increase the amount of compensation for a personal injury claim.
Other elements that could affect the amount of time required to settle your claim include the complexity of the claim, the length of the investigation, the insurance company’s willingness to reach a fair settlement and whether you’re required to bring a personal injury lawsuit.
The statute of limitations in Kentucky limits the time you have to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Accident victims are given one year to file their personal injury lawsuit following the date of the accident.
So, it is recommended to seek legal advice about your injury claim as soon as possible. It is possible to lose your rights to sue the person responsible for your injuries if you delay seeking consult.
5 Tips for Choosing the Best Personal Injury Lawyer
Here are some guidelines to follow when seeking and the best attorneys to represent you in your personal injury claim.
Evaluate their experience.
The more knowledge a lawyer has in the field of personal injury law the more likely they are to win your case. Because they’ve seen it all and have the experience to get over the most challenging hurdles. This involves proving damages for devastating accidents that require an extremely intricate and discerning insurance companies.
- A lawyer who has years of experience is likely already familiar with the type of personal injury claim that you’re sending to them.
- These questions can assist you in assessing the knowledge of an attorney.
Do you think personal injury is one of the main practice areas they focus on in their practice as lawyers and as a company? (Personal injury could be one of the dozen kinds of law that general practice law firms are able to practice. This means they may only occasionally deal with such cases and could not have enough experience.
What number of years have the law firm and lawyer been tackling these kinds of cases for?
Do they have a lot of experience in trials?
Do they have a solid reputation and are they well-known within the community of personal injury? (This recognition might be in the form of professional awards, membership/leadership in personal injury or trial lawyer associations, etc.)
Are they knowledgeable about the kind of case you are dealing with? (For example, if , for instance, you suffered from a brain injury, does their firm have experience winning compensation in brain injury cases?)
You want to be sure they have a track record of success.
There are many lawyers with years of experience, but have not had many successes. They may be known for accepting settlements with low amounts from insurance companies or not being able to win the most difficult and high-value cases.
When you are considering an attorney, look over their case outcomes and ask the following questions:
- Are they able to regularly recover verdicts of multi-million dollars and settlements for clients?
- Are they able to win cases that result in fatal injuries or even wrongful death, and not only minor injuries?
- Did they receive any awards in connection with their settlements and verdicts?
Pay attention to the way they interact with you.
Your judgment is important. The attorney-client relationship is important, so make sure that you are satisfied with the manner in which you are communicating with and treated by the lawyer you’re considering hiring.
Pay pay attention to these points:
- Are they ready and willing to help you with any question that you might have?
- Are they professional and friendly?
- Are they good communicators? (Do they explain the legal process clearly and call you promptly, etc.
- Do they wish to go on a trip with you?
- Do they truly care about your well-being and wellbeing?
Learn more about their payment system.
To avoid surprises, ensure you read all the fine print before hiring an attorney.
Some good questions to ask are:
Do they provide a no-cost initial consultation?
Do they work on a contingency-fee-basis? (This means you only pay the firm legal fees in the event that they prevail in your case. Furthermore, the legal fees are absorbed into your settlement, or repaid by the defendant, so you do not have to pay charges upfront for your legal representation.)
- Can they provide a cash advance to cover expenses prior to your settlement or verdict?
- You might be surprised at the other resources they have available.
Think about the additional resources your prospective injury lawyer could offer. Certain law firms for personal injury offer a higher level of assistance with different phases of the case and can result in less stress for you and a better overall experience.
Be sure to ask for the following questions:
- Are they able to guide you to the appropriate medical professionals?
- They can assist you in finding doctors willing to collaborate on alien basis, so that medical expenses can be taken from your settlement or verdict.
- Do they provide additional services relevant to your case, for example, property damage assessment and liens negotiations (i.e. negotiation of costs with your medical providers)?