Personal Injury Lawyer Definition and Examples
The people (or their representatives) who suffer injuries by the negligence of another party are entitled to bring personal injury lawsuits. The injuries can be physical or emotional and could result from a range of different causes or conduct. Falls and slips, car accidents and assaults and battery are some of the most frequently occurring personal injuries that may result in legal liability. Personal injury lawsuits are created to locate the person responsible and to make them pay the victim compensation for their loss. Contact Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, L.L.P. in the event that you or someone you care about was injured due to the reckless or careless actions of an individual. Personal Injury Lawyer learn more about your rights, call Westmoreland, Patterson, & Hinson, L.L.P. in Macon, GA.
Personal injuries damage
Personal injury lawyers work hard to ensure that their clients are compensated for the damages to which they are entitled under the law. Some of the items for which injured parties are legally entitled to compensation are lost wages, past and future medical expenses, damages for both physical as well as emotional suffering and pain, as well as damages for disfigurement or impairment. A spouse or close family member of an injured individual may be eligible for damages. This is commonly referred to as loss of consortium damages which are intended to provide the loved ones with compensation for the loss of the injured or deceased individual’s services, benefits, and companionship.
Other types of damages can be awarded, based on the laws of the state in which the suit is filed and the facts of the specific case. This includes “hedonic damages” which are awarded to pay the plaintiff for the loss of enjoyment of activities that he or she once valued but can no anymore participate in as a result of the injuries sustained. Furthermore, “punitive damages” may be awarded if the defendant’s behavior was especially injurious and the judge or jury decides that the defendant must be punished by paying the amount that is greater than the actual damages suffered by the plaintiff. The punishments for punitive damage may help deter the defendant as well as others from engaging in similarly illegal conduct in the future.
“Legal causality” of personal injuries
Not every injured plaintiff is eligible to claim compensation for the injuries he suffers. Beyond the injuries the plaintiff has to prove, with reliable and pertinent evidence that the defendant is legally accountable for the injuries he or she sustained. The plaintiff must establish the causality in both “actual causation” as well as “proximate/legal cause and effect.” It will depend on the particular facts and circumstances of each case to determine the legal causation that can be established.
In certain personal injury cases legal causation could be proven if the plaintiff can show that the defendant engaged in intentional conduct. This occurs when the defendant intentionally or purposely harmed plaintiffs or knew that the behavior the defendant was engaged in would cause substantial harm.
Liability for negligence and strict liability
Other personal injury cases are based on a looser concept of fault called negligence. A defendant may be held accountable for the actions or actions of another in the event that they were likely to cause irreparable harm to other people. The other types of personal injury cases are based upon strict liability. This is a no fault system which permits liability to be established regardless of who was at fault. Products liability cases often involve strict liability. This is when the maker or seller of a defective product gives the product to the consumer.
The defendant can be held liable for actions taken, or for actions not taken. Drivers who fail to stop at a stop light and crashes into another vehicle, and injures the other driver or passengers is held liable for her negligent acts. If a property owner fails to remove the snow and ice from the front steps, a patron may fall and break her leg trying to enter the premises.
defenses against liability in Personal Injury Lawyer cases
Sometimes, even though the actions of the defendant might be questioned, it could not result in damages. If, for example, the plaintiff is aware and is forced to face a recognized risk, then the law provides that the person has assumed the risk of injury and thus the defendant cannot be held accountable. In the example above, if a plaintiff was playing tackle football with a fellow player and fractured his arm and broke his arm, the “assumption” theory may apply. In such a scenario the plaintiff might be denied compensation from his injuries as he knew of the risks inherent in the game and willingly chose to encounter them. The following are possible defenses against personal injury claims.
- Statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations are the laws that define the time frame in which a lawsuit has to be brought.
- Sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity safeguards certain government entities and agencies from civil liability for the actions they engage in the execution of their official obligations.
- Intentional misuse. Injuries caused by a plaintiff’s intentionally utilizing the product, in particular disregard of instructions or warnings, could be a defense in a case involving products liability.
- Comparative or contributory negligence. Contributory or comparative negligence exists where the plaintiff’s own conduct has contributed to the cause of his or her injuries.
- These defenses can be explained by a personal injury lawyer and analyzed to determine if they’re applicable to your particular case.
It’s a horrible experience to be in an accident. In order to seek compensation from the person who suffered the injury and to seek compensation for the injury, a personal injury lawyer must be sought out. Lawyers are professionals qualified to advise you regarding all issues pertaining to the court system. Lawyers are experts in various areas and lawyers who specialize in personal injury are the person who can aid personal injury victims. Accidents mostly happen due to the negligence of an person or another. These can result in serious injuries to the body of the victim and his family.
A person is entitled to file a claim in the courts of law to recover the harm that was resulted from the injury. Legally speaking, the laws governing this kind of personal injury is referred to as tort law. Therefore, a personal injury lawyer who is trying to help a victim of personal injury must be knowledgeable about tort law and out to assist the victim fight the case effectively.
If you are injured by someone else or your loved ones, they’ll be unable to get the amount of compensation they are due. A lot of firms in a particular city specialize in various kinds of legal matters. You will find an attorney for personal injuries who specializes in tort law to assist those who have suffered personal injuries. New York City is home to many law firms and lawyers that are experts in cases involving personal injuries. If you’re seeking the assistance of an attorney for personal injuries in New York City, you need to determine the arte of the lawyer and then employ the services of his or her firm. It is essential to hire the services of only the best lawyers to handle the legal complexities of the matter.
It is understood that before hiring the services of a personal injury lawyer one would like to seek advice from the lawyer. The public is not knowledgeable about the legal issues, and until the time they have to deal with something like this, few people are actually interested in being aware of all elements of a legal case. Speak with a personal injury lawyer and discuss the chances of getting the money you’re entitled to. Compensation can be costly therefore make sure that you have the right information prior to requesting 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 must know the specific circumstances that led to the accident. Only then will he or she is able to prove that the defendant is innocent of the charges. Evidence must be presented to prove that someone is guilty according to the law. Lawyers do not like losing a case for personal injury or another legal issue. He will use all his knowledge of law to get the case to his favor.
How to Pick the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
You must file a lawsuit if you sustained an injury due to negligence by someone else. But, it is recommended to consult an attorney for personal injuries prior to filing a lawsuit. This is the case for people who are seriously injured by the negligence of another person or party. There are a variety of claims made each year that include slips and falls and medical negligence, car accidents as well as personal injury claims arising from defective products that cause injury. The major cause why individuals file a claim in a crash is to seek financial damages in the event of injuries caused by third parties, which is typically derived from the level of injury, loss of salaries and unemployment.
Even as you are looking for a lawyer, you should take into account that not all lawyers are capable of handling a claim. Therefore, you should find a specialist personal injury lawyer. In addition the lawyer must as be aware of how to handle specific injuries such as brain and spinal cord injuries to help strengthen your case. Insurance companies assign personal injury attorneys throughout the trial. You need an attorney who is able to do the same. It is important to find an attorney who has connections to medical specialists to strengthen your case. Choose a lawyer who has dealt with claims that resemble yours and then see what the result was. The preparation of claims requires time. Your lawyer is expected to ease your tension by filing motions whenever necessary and obtaining evidence from witnesses.
When it comes to various types of accident claims you have to have lawyer that has a proficiency in the field. For example, medical negligence, which requires lawyers who are specialist in the arduous medical negligence laws. A claim against a firm for defective products requires a specialist lawyer, not an attorney for medical negligence.
If a person is seeking to make a claim for brain injury or another health issue that requires lifelong medical attention it is recommended that they contact a lawyer who is experienced in these types of instances. These lawyers are able to contact specialists in medical care who can help them present their case. Employing any lawyer who is not conversant with your specific injury could result with a wasted time as well as financial losses. There are lawyers who specialize in fields such as car accidents and medical malpractice, as well as slip and fall, construction accidents, and defective products. Consider which areas of injury your lawyer is experienced in and whether they’ve handled similar cases to yours. Consider also the judgment of your lawyer.
The average person is not able to fight insurance companies when it comes to a legal claim. Therefore, it is wise to choose a specialist personal injury lawyer. They’ll give you the legal knowledge required to win the claim and will be treated with respect during the trial and help you all through the suffering.
Ask the Attorney Questions to Ask during your initial Consultation
It is normal to have many questions you want to ask an attorney for personal injuries regarding your case. It is helpful to note down all your questions prior to your meeting.
When you are creating your list of questions to discuss with the attorney, be sure to include the following questions:
What kinds of injury cases Do You Handle?
Personal injury encompasses a wide variety of situations and injuries. Personal injury claims can arise because of car crashes, burn injuries, livestock accidents nursing home abuse, and many other circumstances.
Ask the lawyer about the amount of experience he has in handling cases similar to yours. It is best to hire an attorney who is experienced in the same field of law which is relevant to your case. An attorney who is familiar with the law and issues that are similar to yours is in a position to help you.
How Much are Your Attorneys’ Fees?
Prior to signing a retainer contract, it is important to know how much it will cost for an injury lawyer.
Many personal injury law firms are compensated by a contingency fee. If you’re successful in your personal injury case the lawyer will not be paid any fees.
The contingency fee represents a percentage of the total amount recovered for your claim for injury. If you choose to hire an attorney, the amount is set by the attorney. The fee is not able to take care of the expenses associated with the case. Find out what the attorney charges you for expenses and costs.
What is your success rate?
A lawyer cannot promise the outcome of your case. Personal injuries are influenced by numerous aspects. A high rate of success does not mean you will recover millions of dollars to settle your personal injury claim or even win your case.
But, it is important to inquire about the success rate of the lawyer. Even though you cannot base your case on another instance, it’s a great idea to hire an attorney who has an excellent success rate. A high success rate can be a sign of the lawyer’s expertise and dedication to fighting for maximum compensation for clients.
What trial experiences do you have?
Ask the lawyer what percentage of cases they settle and if they would prefer to file a lawsuit. A lot of injury cases settle with insurance companies for the other party without the need to file a lawsuit or appear in the court. But, your situation could be among the cases that have to go to trial.
It is crucial to find an attorney that is skilled and experienced trial lawyer. It’s different to go to trial than to reach a settlement outside of court. A lawyer must be confident arguing cases before the jury or a judge.
The court experience is the only method for an attorney to become a competent trial lawyer. If the lawyer does not go to trial in any case You may want to meet with another attorney before deciding which personal injury lawyer to choose for your particular case.
What’s the value in my personal injury case?
It’s normal to are interested in knowing how much money you can receive for the personal injury claim you have filed. The value of your claim for injury depends on several factors, such as:
- The severity and type of injuries
- The total economic losses comprising medical bills and loss of income
- If you have suffered permanent impairments or disabilities
- Claims of comparative fault
- The coverage offered by insurance companies
- The strength of the evidence in the case
Generally, an experienced injury attorney does not tell you how much your case is worth during your free consultation.
A lawyer will be able to explain to you the types of personal injury compensation you may be entitled to and other aspects that can impact the value of your claim. An attorney cannot determine the value of an injury claim without examining it and documenting the damage.
The lawyer may look over the types of damages you could be able to claim. Examples of damages for injury claims include:
- The cost of medical treatment treatments, medications, and medical equipment
- Income and benefits loss and the possibility of earning less
- Emotional, psychological, and physical pain and suffering
- Permanent impairments, scarring disabilities, and disfigurement
A loss of enjoyment from life
The fact that he is unable to place a value on your claim during the consultation is an indication that the attorney is honest and ethical. If an attorney says that they will obtain a specific amount of money in your claim for injury before the attorney does any work on your case, consider consulting with a different attorney to get an additional opinion.
How Much Time Will It Take to Resolve my injury claim?
Personal injury cases differ according to the facts and circumstances. The medical treatment you receive is one of the most important factors in the time it takes to get a case for injury to be settled.
It’s not a good idea to settle a claim prior to the time you’ve completed your treatment and your doctor has released you from any additional treatment. Settlement of a claim for injury before the treatment is completed could result in a lower reimbursement.
Until you have completed the medical treatment you received and completed your medical treatment, it’s impossible to determine whether you’ve sustained permanent impairments. Personal injury claims with permanent impairments are more valuable.
Other factors that could impact the time needed to settle your claim include the complexity of the case and the length of the investigation, the insurance company’s willingness to agree to a fair settlement and whether or not you have to make a personal injury claim.
Kentucky’s statute of limitations limits the time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Accident victims only have one year to file their personal injuries lawsuit following the date of the accident.
It is essential to seek legal advice whenever you can about your accident claim. Waiting too long to meet with a lawyer for free consultations could result in losing your right to file a lawsuit against the party who caused the injury.
The Top Tips to Choose the right Personal Injury Lawyer
Five Steps to Follow during the Legal Selection Process
Here are some steps to follow when looking for and the best the lawyers you can use to represent you in your personal injury claim.
Review their experiences.
A lawyer with experience in personal injury law will be more likely to win your case. This is because they’ve been through everything, and know how to handle even the most difficult challenges, from proving the damages of highly complex, catastrophic accidents to recognizing strategies of insurance companies that manipulate the public.
- An accident lawyer with years of experience is probably familiar with the kind of personal injury claim you’re sending to them.
- To properly assess the level of expertise an attorney has ensure that you ask these questions:
Are personal injuries one of the primary practice areas they focus on as a lawyer as well as a business? (Personal injury might be one of the dozens of kinds of law that general practice law firms deal with. That means that they could only occasionally deal with such cases and could not have the necessary experience.
How long has the attorney and law firm handled these kinds of cases?
Do they have a lot of experience in trial work?
Are they able to establish a good reputation? Are they well-known and respected in the personal injury community? (This recognition might be in the form of professional awards, membership/leadership in personal injury or trial lawyer associations, etc.)
Are they familiar with the kind of case you have to deal with? If you’ve suffered an injury to your brain and are seeking compensation, is the firm able to handle such cases?
Check if they have a proven track record of the success they have had.
Be aware that there are many attorneys with years of experience however do not have a strong track record of success. They may be known for accepting settlements with low amounts from insurance companies or not being able to win the most complex and expensive cases.
Check the results of the case of an attorney and pose these questions:
- Have they consistently recovered multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts for clients?
- Are they able to win cases that result in fatal injuries or even wrongful death, and not only minor injuries?
- Are they the recipients of any settlements or verdicts?
Pay attention to the way they interact with you.
Your judgment is vital. The attorney-client relationship is important therefore make sure you like the way that you are communicating with and dealt with by any lawyer you’re considering hiring.
Pay close attention to these aspects:
- Are they in contact and ready to answer your questions?
- Are they professional and friendly?
- Are they strong communicators? (Do they explain clearly the legal process and call you promptly, etc.)
- Are they willing to travel when needed?
- Do they appear to be genuinely interested in your wellbeing?
Learn about their payment system.
To avoid surprises Make sure you have read the fine print before engaging an attorney.
A few good questions to ask include:
Do they provide a no-cost initial consultation?
Do they work on a contingency-fee-basis? This means you only pay the legal costs of the firm if the case is settled. The legal fees you pay for are deducted from the settlement or paid by the defendant so there is no upfront cost to your representation.
- They might be able to provide a cash advance for costs that are not paid for by the settlement or verdict.
- You may be amazed by the other resources they have available.
It’s crucial to think about the additional services your prospective injury lawyer can provide. Certain law firms for personal injury offer a higher level of assistance with various elements of phases of the case, creating less hassle for you, and a more pleasant overall.
Be sure to ask the following:
- Are they able to refer you to the right medical professionals?
- They can help you find doctors willing to work on abasis of lien, which means that your medical expenses may be recouped from your settlement or the verdict.
- They might be able to assist you with other services like appraisal of property damage and liens negotiation (i.e., negotiating with your medical professionals).