Personal Injury Law Overview
Personal injury law provides protection if you were injured because of the negligent acts of another person or entity. The person who is liable for the injury compensates the victim in successful personal injury cases. There are many different types of personal injury cases, including:
- Accidents: Personal injury laws apply to any situation when an individual’s neglectful actions cause an injury to someone else. Accidents such as car collisions, medical malpractice, and slip and fall are often personal injury cases.
- Defective products: You can file a lawsuit if a consumer product defect results in an injury. There are various defective product cases, including lack of sufficient warning, defective design, and faulty manufacturing processes.
- Intentional acts: If a third party’s purposeful actions cause harm, personal injury laws apply. Examples include trespassing, false imprisonment, and assault.
- Defamation: Personal injury laws apply if a defamatory statement causes harm to someone’s reputation.
Keep in mind this is not a comprehensive list of personal injury cases.
Signs You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
There are specific instances when hiring a personal injury lawyer is in your best interest. Here are eight signs you should hire an attorney:
1. You Suffered a Serious Injury
Minor bruises and cuts and unlikely to hit the other person’s insurance policy limit. However, serious injuries often require expensive surgical procedures, extended hospital stays, and ongoing rehabilitation services. The liable party’s insurance is responsible for paying for your medical costs.
Insurance companies are unlikely to pay for ongoing medical costs unless you file a personal injury lawsuit to receive more compensation. A lawyer may establish liability in your case and assist you in understanding insurance policy limits.
2. You Have a Long-Term Disability
Some injuries result in permanent or long-term disabilities that prevent victims from working. These injuries sometimes come with chronic pain requiring ongoing medical care and medications. Many insurance policies only cover medical costs for a limited period. Filing a lawsuit is often the best choice to receive enough compensation to treat your long-term injuries or replace lost wages.
3. You Suffered an Injury Because of a Defective Product
Products that make false claims, come with incorrect user instructions, or have improper warning labels may cause injuries. It is essential to contact a legal professional if you suspect a defective product caused you harm.
Proving a company or manufacturer is liable for damages is a complicated process. A strong case requires sufficient documentation and adequate evidence. Attorneys are familiar with the evidence-gathering process and may assist you in proving your claim in court.
4. You Did Not Receive Enough Compensation
The responsible party’s insurance will likely offer a low settlement quickly after the accident. It is often difficult to know how much your medical bills will cost soon after the accident, especially if it is a severe injury. It is within your rights to hire a professional and fight for more compensation. An attorney may help you understand how much your damage is worth and assist you in negotiating with the insurance company.
5. You Are Not Getting Compensation for Lost Wages
The majority of Americans do not have enough savings to pay their bills if they cannot work for a short period, even if it is only for a few weeks. Some personal injuries leave victims incapacitated and unable to work for many months. High medical bills coupled with lost wages can put injury victims in a dangerous financial situation. Hiring an attorney to submit a claim for lost wages is within your rights.
6. A Drunk Driver Hit You
The other party is typically liable if drugs or alcohol caused the car accident. Generally, it is easy to prove liability in accidents involving substances. However, you will need representation if the case goes to trial or negotiating with the other party. Working with an attorney may improve your chances of getting proper compensation.
7. Liability in the Case Is Unclear
It is sometimes difficult to establish liability in personal liability cases. Evidence is key to proving negligence and gaining proper compensation. Gathering the appropriate evidence and building a lawsuit against the negligent party requires the help of an attorney. If liability is not clear without going to court, your attorney may decide to file a lawsuit. In these cases, a jury or judge will determine who is at fault in the case.
8. You Have Significant Medical Bills
Personal injury accidents often come with significant medical bills, car repair bills, and lost wages. Contacting an attorney is good if you have substantial expenses and the insurance company settlement is not enough to pay your bills. Insurance companies sometimes provide mediocre settlements to injury victims who do not have representation. Legal professionals know how to negotiate with insurance companies and may help get you a better offer.
Steps in a Personal Injury Case
There are several you should take after a personal injury accident. Keep in mind that many victims settle with the insurance company before filing a lawsuit in court. Lawyers also negotiate with the other party throughout the process and can settle at any point.
- Get medical treatment: Seek help from a medical professional immediately if you’ve suffered a severe injury. Some car crash victims do not experience pain after the accident due to adrenaline, so you should visit a doctor even if you do not think you have an injury.
- Consult a personal injury lawyer: Set up appointments with a few lawyers. Choose one that has experience in personal injury law.
- Your lawyer investigates your claim: Your lawyer gathers evidence and reviews your medical records to see if you have a viable case.
- Your lawyer negotiates with the insurance company: Your attorney may send a list of demands to the liable party’s insurance company to start the negotiation process.
- Your legal team files a lawsuit: Your attorney files a personal injury lawsuit in court if there is no agreement.
- Your lawyer conducts discovery: Each party investigates the case and obtains evidence by opposing the other party in this pre-trial phase.
- Your attorney negotiates: Your lawyer negotiates with the other party to settle.
- Your trial begins: Your attorney represents you in court and cross-examines the other party. The jury or judge then makes a ruling in your case.
You have the right to appeal if the outcome is not favorable.
Contact Judd Shaw Injury
Are you looking for a personal injury lawyer who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve? Look no further than the team at Judd Shaw Injury Law™. We understand the stress of growing medical bills and lost wages. We will work to get you the compensation you need so you can focus on recovering. Contact us today to set up an appointment.