Americans are filing fewer tort lawsuits than they did a decade ago. Studies show only two in 1,000 people file lawsuits after suffering injuries due to another party’s negligence.
These statistics don’t mean people aren’t getting injured today. They are an indication that victims of negligence either don’t know they can demand compensation or don’t know how to go about it.
If you’ve suffered physical injuries or emotional and mental trauma due to another person’s negligent actions, you deserve compensation. A personal injury attorney can help you get damages for your suffering.
Unfortunately, many people don’t know what to expect after hiring a lawyer. If you are one of them, keep reading to learn about personal injury cases and what to expect from injury lawyers in a tort case.
- 1 What Does a Personal Injury Case Entail?
- 2 What to Expect from Personal Injury Lawyers
- 3 Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
What Does a Personal Injury Case Entail?
Personal injury refers to an injury that occurs due to the negligent acts of another person. In this case, negligence means failure to exercise reasonable care. For example, when a dog owner lets their dog loose, and it bites a neighbor, they are deemed to have acted in negligence.
The following are the common types of personal injury cases:
- Automobile accidents
- Animal bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Product liability and medical malpractice
- Abuse and assault
If you’ve suffered any of these or other accidents due to another person’s negligence, you should file a personal injury case and seek compensation.
What to Expect from Personal Injury Lawyers
Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. The lawyer will handle the following issues as pertains to your case:
1. Investigate Your Case
First, the attorney investigates to ascertain liability. They try to find out whether the negligent acts of the other party were the cause of your injury.
During the investigation phase, the injury attorneys go over the accident report talk to witnesses and question the victim about the incident. In other torts such as product liability and defamation, the lawyer looks into the claim to ascertain you have a valid case.
2. Identify Liable Parties
To win a personal injury case, you have to pursue the right party. Not all cases are straightforward when it comes to establishing liability.
For example, if you consumed a defective product, should you sue the manufacturer or the store that sold it to you? What if you get hit by a government vehicle? Will you sue the driver or the state?
A personal injury lawyer goes over the case and identifies the responsible party from whom you should get compensation.
3. Gather Evidence and Documentation
Evidence of negligence is crucial in an injury case. Unfortunately, if you’ve been injured and are recuperating, you cannot gather it on your own.
The attorney collects all the relevant evidence for your case. They also acquire the necessary documentation to file a claim.
Some of the documents collected include photos of the scene, official police reports, medical information, and insurance information. They also approach your employer for accident leave reports and income data.
4. Calculate Damages
The evidence, medical information, and income data collected help injury lawyers to calculate damages. Your lawyer will pursue the liable party for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental trauma
- Loss of work
Experienced attorneys know how to quantify injuries and get adequate compensation for their clients. Check out this post to learn what an injury lawyer can recover for you if you’ve been hurt, suffered trauma, or lost wages.
After quantifying your injuries, the lawyer sends a demand letter to the liable party or their insurer. The letter demands a specified payment from the other party for causing your injuries.
5. Negotiate with the Insurance Company
According to research, only 3% of tort cases go to trial. The rest are resolved through a settlement with the insurance company.
The settlement process is the most crucial step in your claim. In most instances, insurance companies try to offer a lower amount to settle the case. The lawyer negotiates with the company to get you the rightful compensation.
A good injury attorney never settles for anything less than what the client deserves. Also, they assess the available evidence and advice on what amount to accept.
If the insurance company rejects your claim or offers an unsatisfactory settlement, your lawyer may recommend trial.
6. File a Lawsuit
Should your case proceed to trial, the attorney files a lawsuit against the liable party and serves them. They also gather all the necessary evidence and documentation that will be useful to your case.
When a claim goes to trial, your lawyer has to work harder to build a solid case against the defendant. The evidence and witnesses provided should adequately prove the negligent acts of the defendant.
7. Conduct Discovery
After filing the suit, your lawyer conducts a discovery. This is where they exchange evidence with the defendant’s attorney to build their case.
The attorney may also cross-examine the defendant’s witnesses. Discovery is conducted as a pre-trial procedure, and it helps the attorney solidify their case and know what to expect from the defense.
8. Gather Expert Witnesses
In some personal injury cases, expert witnesses are required to prove negligence and damages. These are professionals in various fields, and they include counselors and therapists, medical professionals, forensic experts, and financial experts among others.
They help dispel doubt in your case. For example, a financial expert can quantify lost income after an auto accident. A forensic expert can recreate a crime scene and help prove liability.
Your attorney will assess the case and determine whether there’s a need to involve expert witnesses.
9. Represent You in Court
Finally, injury lawyers represent their clients in all court proceedings. The attorney will argue your case, question defense witnesses, and get you the rightful compensation.
Most personal injury attorneys charge contingency fees. The lawyer’s fees are deducted from the compensation amount. Thus, this motivates attorneys to work hard as they only get paid if their clients win the case.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best thing you can do after an accident. Injury lawyers handle every aspect of the case, from gathering evidence to representing you in court if necessary.
Hire a personal injury attorney today and get the rightful compensation for your injuries. Before you go, check out this page for more tips on personal injury law.