Few industries are as surrounded by misinformation as personal injury law. Unfortunately, far too many people believe the misconceptions out there and fail to seek restitution when they can, or they may approach the process incorrectly and end up with nothing. Whether you've already been injured and are considering a lawsuit or you're just trying to understand the basics just in case, there are some key factors that you need to know. Here are some of the things that you should understand in advance.
Knowing If You Have A Case
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of personal injury cases is knowing whether or not you even have a case that's worth pursuing. You can have a general idea of whether or not you have grounds for a personal injury case without talking to a lawyer. For example, were you hurt by someone else's negligent actions? Were you a victim of a car accident where another driver was at fault? These are indications that you might have grounds for a personal injury suit.
However, if you really want to know for sure, the best thing you can do is reach out to a personal injury law attorney. Many will even offer a free consultation to discuss your situation and help you determine if you have a reasonable case.
Understanding The Cost
Don't let your concerns about money keep you from looking into a possible personal injury lawsuit. Many people shy away from the possibility because they don't have the money to pay a retainer to the lawyer.
The truth is that you don't need to pay a retainer fee in most cases. Most personal injury lawyers will take these cases on contingency, which means that their payment comes as a percentage of your winnings. If they get you a settlement, they take a portion of it. If you don't get anything from the case, they don't get anything, either. If your attorney takes your case on contingency, it's because they believe it has merit.
Assessing The Potential
When your personal injury lawyer decides that the case has merit, the next thing to think about is how much you might actually win. Knowing how much your case is worth can help you to understand what you're working for, especially since the negotiation, settlement, or court hearing process can be daunting.
You will likely be entitled to reimbursement of all of your medical expenses, lost wages for the time that you've spent out of work recovering, any other financial damages that you suffered as a result of the injury, and more. There are often punitive damages that can be awarded as a result of a personal injury case, and you could also seek restitution for pain and suffering, long-term quality of life issues, and so much more.
Appreciating The Value Of Legal Support
You might think that you don't really need to have a lawyer for a case like this. After all, you're perfectly capable of negotiating a settlement on your own with the insurance company, right? While this may be true, you'll likely be selling yourself short if you do so. You could be costing yourself significantly by going it alone.
Working with a lawyer means having someone on your side who knows the law and knows how much they can push, what the insurance company can and cannot legally do, and what constitutes a fair offer based on experience.
Most settlement offers are drastically lower initially than they should be because the insurance company's goal is to settle without spending any more money than they absolutely have to. That's why you need an attorney. That legal support ensures that you get what you're actually entitled to, even if it means taking it in front of a judge.
These are some of the most important things to know when it comes to dealing with personal injuries and the aftermath. Talk with a personal injury lawyer near you today for more help.