Frequently Asked Questions about Personal Injury
Commoners like us are not aware of the INS and OUT regarding law. We can say that we are dumb about it, which is why many of us do not know that we can still file a case if we experience accidents caused by others and we can claim the compensations we truly deserve. To be more knowledgeable about this, here are the some of the most important Personal Injury FAQs:
What is a personal injury?
This is a legal term for an injury that occurred to the body, mind, or emotions that are caused by other people, company, or other entities’ negligence or harmful act.
What do personal injury attorneys do?
These are lawyers who provide legal representation to those clients who claim to be injured, physically or psychologically, which is caused by others’ negligence. Even though they have been trained and are licensed to handle any case in the field of law; they only handle tort law including work injuries, vehicular accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents and more.
What do we mean by Tort Law?
This is a civil wrong which requires people to avoid causing injuries and damage to others. This occurs when an individual’s action or inaction causes harm to another or to others’ property and personal Injury falls under this law.
What is the first thing to do if a person suffers an injury?
The first thing to do is to think of our well-being; we need to seek medical treatment immediately. If our medical need has been addressed, we should seek a legal advice as soon as possible. Because these cases need further investigation and if we delay the consultation with our injury attorney we could cause the loss of evidence permanently, which has a great effect on our potential case.
How will people know if they are eligible for a personal injury claim?
We can find out if we are eligible for a personal injury claim if we talk to a personal injury lawyer. The petitioner must also prove a few things like the following:
- They have suffered damages
- The defendant was negligent
- The defendant’s negligence caused the damage
If the claim is valid, then the petitioner’s personal injury attorney will have to investigate whether the client can collect a claim or not. If the other party does not have any insurance and does not have other assets for compensation, then the claim has no use because the client cannot get any compensation.
Will a person’s claim go to trial?
Well, most law cases end up in a settlement before it could go to trial. So the chances of personal injury cases going into trial are low. Settlement has been an important aspect of any lawsuit and should be considered by everyone with the guidance from their attorney, but we have all the right to go to trial and be heard by the jury and we can choose not to settle our case if we think that we are not being offered with enough compensation for our injuries. Our personal injury attorney will give us their legal advice regarding our chances in trial and their opinions if we should consider the settlement or reject it.
How much will it cost the petitioner?
In most personal injury cases, a lawyer charges a contingency fee. This allows the injured person to seek help from an experienced attorney without the burden of paying the legal fees. With a contingency fee, the lawyer’s fee is deducted from the final settlement in the final decision of the trial. The lawyer’s contingency fee percentage rates from 33% to 40% and can be negotiated to reduce or to have an alternative agreement because in the majority of cases, personal injury lawyers receive 33% of any settlement. For instance, we receive an offer of $30,000 from an insurance company, the lawyer will receive $10,000 and the rest is for the victim.
What kind of compensation will the petitioner get from the Personal Injury Claim?
If we have been a victim of an accident and we have been injured, we have the right to claim for compensation for our losses. There are two main types of personal injury damages:
- Compensatory/ Actual Damages– These are intended to cover all the expenses caused by the injury. Other family members are also entitled to claim in behalf of their loved one in a certain situation. Damage awards include the following:
- Lost wages
- Medical Expenses
- Pain and Suffering
- Impairment of earning capacity
- Property Damage
- Punitive Damages– these are usually awarded to a victim in addition to actual damages when the defendant’s conduct has been malicious. This is intended to punish the defendant for his/her blameworthy conduct to prevent others from acting the same way.
Does the petitioner have to wait for a long time for the compensation?
This is probably the most difficult question to be answered because there are times that a settlement can be obtained quickly with an insurance company without the need of filing a lawsuit if the liability is clear and the injuries are unquestionable. If a lawsuit should take place, then it would probably be delayed by months while the parties are still under investigation. There are cases that are very close to trial, but it will take a year or more after the case is filed. In short, these cases would be settled within a year after a lawsuit is filed, so the complainant should be prepared for the possibility that they may not recover their compensation for years.