Throughout the course of your day you encounter incidents and events that, had you not avoided them, could have resulted in mild to severe personal injuries. Sometimes, however, these events are unavoidable and you have sustained or caused injury or damage, or both.
In those instances, it is important that you know some basic facts regarding personal injuries and the consequences of them, what to do to whether you are at fault or not, and what your rights are should you yourself be personally injured.
- 1 Key Facts About Personal Injuries
- 1.1 1. Personal injuries can occur anywhere, not just in car accidents.
- 1.2 2. Each personal injury case is unique.
- 1.3 3. Even if you are at fault, you should consult with an attorney.
- 1.4 4. Insurance companies are not always your friend.
- 1.5 5. Choosing the right lawyer can make or break your case.
- 1.6 6. Your cooperation with your attorney is key to a successful outcome.
- 1.7 7. Personal injury compensation is not a “cookie cutter” figure, either.
- 1.8 8. You have the right to choose mediation and settlement or a trial case.
- 1.9 9. Be aware of time limits, deadlines and evidence requirements.
- 1.10 10. You can choose your attorney based on their experience, your comfort level with them, and their terms of payment.
Key Facts About Personal Injuries
1. Personal injuries can occur anywhere, not just in car accidents.
When most people think of personal injuries, they flash straight to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. While these types of injuries do make up a large amount of personal injury lawsuits, personal injury by definition applies to “injury to real or personal property through another’s negligence, willful destruction or by some act of nature.”
In short, this means if you are injured due to someone’s negligence or their willful acts, or by an act of nature, you have a personal injury.
2. Each personal injury case is unique.
There are steps in the process of filing and pursuing a personal injury lawsuit that are similar regardless of the injuries or instances, but your injury is unique to you and you and will not have a “cookie cutter” timeline.
Finding an expert attorney to guide you through what to expect during this process is critical to the success of your case. You can easily research online to find knowledgeable lawyers like MikeLewisAttorneys.com.
3. Even if you are at fault, you should consult with an attorney.
Knowing what to expect should you be named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit is the first step in being able to capably defend yourself. A personal injury attorney knows the ins and outs of these types of lawsuits and can guide you through what to do during this stressful time.
Regardless of fault, you are entitled to and should seek medical attention. Call the police and cooperate at the time of the accident, and take pictures if possible. The more details you can give, the more evidence that your attorney has to defend you.
4. Insurance companies are not always your friend.
By nature, insurance providers want to limit their expenses and increase their profit, so in the case of a personal injury they are going to try to minimize the damage they have to pay out. This is not usually in your benefit. Agreeing to a quick settlement when you work straight with your insurance company can leave you hanging for future medical claims and financial obligations.
Speak with an attorney before you make a deal with your insurance company that may look pretty now, but could be only a fraction of what you are entitled to and could end up costing you largely in the future.
5. Choosing the right lawyer can make or break your case.
Your lawyer’s experience matters. Finding an expert attorney who has substantial expertise in taking personal injury cases to trial and has an overall understanding of legal concerns is crucial to your case. Your lawyer should have significant medical knowledge and excellent skills when it comes to negotiating on your behalf. They should also be able to investigate thoroughly and then push for your success, not give up when obstacles appear.
6. Your cooperation with your attorney is key to a successful outcome.
Everyone understands that involvement in a personal injury lawsuit is stressful, but your attitude in the undertaking of the process is important. Being cooperative with your attorney will help streamline the process.
Cooperation entails complete disclosure and honesty as well as attending your medical appointments and meetings with your lawyer, as well as following through and listening to advice that he or she gives you. Ignoring their suggestions or instructions can end up hurting your case down the line in a way that you do not see but they have the experience and wisdom to be foretelling.
Chances are at some point you will be asking your attorney how much money they think that you will be entitled to. This is not a one-size-fits-all answer, as multiple factors come into play with personal injury compensation.
Your recompense will consist of things such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages, possible property damages, pain and suffering, and more, and as such, each case is unique.
8. You have the right to choose mediation and settlement or a trial case.
Many personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court through a process called mediation. If both parties agree on terms of compensation and other factors, they may decide to make a final settlement, at which time the case is closed, and the details of that particular case can not be used against the defendant in the future.
If a settlement is not reached, however, you can request that your case go to trial.
9. Be aware of time limits, deadlines and evidence requirements.
Going through the process of a personal injury lawsuit on your own can be difficult as there are multiple statutes of limitations, reporting times and other deadlines that you must be aware of.
Collecting evidence to support your claim is also crucial. For these reasons and more, an experienced attorney is highly suggested to take care of your case.
10. You can choose your attorney based on their experience, your comfort level with them, and their terms of payment.
Many personal injury attorneys work on what is called a “contingent-fee” basis. This means that their payment is relying on your successful outcome, which gives you the peace of mind that they are looking out for your best interests so that they get paid as well. These prices vary from attorney to attorney, and you should do your research so that you find one with sufficient experience and a reasonable fee that you feel comfortable with.
Let the Stress Lay in Someone Else’s Hands
Being injured is stressful enough. When you take into account the financial and emotional hardships as well as the legalities that are confusing and ambiguous, this becomes a tangled web of nightmares and worries.
Allow yourself to put the demands of your injury into someone else’s expert hands and find a knowledgeable attorney to guide you through your lawsuit.