Personal injury lawyers are attorneys who specialize in tort law. They represent individuals who’ve been physically or psychologically injured or who’ve suffered property damage through the negligent behavior of careless or unscrupulous third parties.
Certain acts and behaviors are so unacceptable that the government of the United States has deemed them crimes and imposes penalties upon those who are convicted of committing them. Civil law, in contrast, is concerned with legal remedies that apply to disputes between private individuals. Tort law is a practice area under civil law.
Personal injury lawyers handle many different types of cases:
• Motor vehicle accidents: The most common types of cases that personal injury attorneys handle involve vehicle accidents. Plaintiffs typically file lawsuits to recover the costs of present and future medical bills. They can also sue to be compensated for lost wages.
• Premise liability: Property owners are obligated to keep their premises reasonably safe. If they don’t, and a person slips, falls or otherwise injures himself or herself on that property, the owner may be liable.
• Malpractice: Malpractice refers to the negligent commission of professional duties. It is often used in a health care context where it’s known as “medical malpractice,” but can also apply to lawyers and other professionals who fail to render proper services.
• Defamation: Defamation is an injury to a person’s reputation that arises when a third party makes negative statements about that person that are demonstrably false.
• Intentional torts: Intentional torts such as battery can almost always be prosecuted under both criminal and civil codes. Intentional torts do not reflect negligence but the willful resolution to do someone harm.
Many law firms that handle personal injury cases offer free consultations, and it’s almost always worthwhile to take advantage of that offer. A professional from that law firm will review the facts of your case and give you a candid opinion whether it might be worth your while to move forward with it. At the same time, you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and to clarify any legal terminology or concepts you find confusing.
Ask Yourself These Questions
Most personal injury lawyers will not charge you an upfront fee although they may ask you to cover the cost of any materials they put together to support your claim. They will, however, take a contingency fee if the case is settled in your favor that is typically between 33 percent and 40 percent of any amount you are awarded. That’s why it’s important to ask the following questions before you hire a personal injury attorney.
• Is your injury serious?
If your injury was minor and did not require hospitalization, partnering with a personal injury attorney may not be a worthwhile investment of your time. You can probably handle any insurance claims on your own.
• Was your injury caused by another person’s carelessness?
If negligence was not a factor in your injury, a third party cannot be held liable, and a personal injury attorney will not be able to help you recover damages.
• Have you been contacted by the other party’s insurance adjuster?
If you’ve been in an accident caused by another person’s carelessness, and that party’s insurance adjuster asks you to supply statements, medical records or other materials pertaining to that accident, never hand over any materials until you’ve consulted with a personal injury lawyer. In most instances, even a request for this information can be seen as a tacit admission that the insurance carrier understands its client’s involvement.
Insurance companies don’t make money by treating the victims of accidents fairly. They make money by minimizing the amounts they have to pay out to victims. This is one instance in which it is absolutely in your interest to partner with a personal injury attorney.
Were you recently injured in an accident? This may have happened at your job or on the highway while driving your car. It may have happened at a restaurant, public park, or at the home of a neighbor. Regardless of where it happened, you have the right to file a personal injury claim with a qualified local Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
You Don’t Want to File Your Claim Without Expert Legal Aid
The last thing you ever want to do is try to file your personal injury claim without the help of an experienced legal professional. The insurance company you are fighting will certainly have a high powered lawyer of their own who will do everything they can to discredit you.
Insurance companies are in the business of taking in money via premiums. They will seize every opportunity to avoid paying you anything beyond the merest pittance. If they can avoid paying that to you, they will. Your bet is to hire a qualified and experienced attorney who knows how to get them to cough up the money they owe you.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you really want to win your case and get the money you need to reclaim your financial health, you will need to engage a professional legal attorney. The main benefits that come with hiring a personal injury lawyer after an injury can be quickly summarized in the following manner:
Your Personal Injury Attorney Knows How Much to Ask For
One of the biggest benefits that you receive when you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you is the knowledge regarding just how much you need to ask for. This figure will be calculated after taking a number of very important factors into consideration.
The first thing to consider is the amount of your medical bills. You may have required surgery followed by physical therapy and other forms of treatment and rehabilitation. You may have been prescribed special medications to speed your recovery. Finally, you may have spent a considerable amount of time recovering in a hospital bed.
Another factor to consider is the wages that you have lost from your job while you were recovering from your injuries. You may have used up all of your allotted sick and vacation days. You may even have been fired from your job after missing too many days.
As a result, you now have car, home, and other payments that need to be met. You may be struggling to find a way to meet these financial obligations without having to go into bankruptcy. Your personal injury attorney can calculate all of these costs in order to arrive at a fair and suitable figure to ask for in damages for your claim.
A Personal Injury Attorney Understands the Legal Process
You don’t normally need to be in court every day of the week. You therefore have no reason to know the ins and outs of the legal process. This is where the expert aid and counsel of a personal injury lawyer will come to your rescue.
Your lawyer will understand the legal process for you. They understand how to gather up the evidence and documentation that you will need to present your case in a strong and persuasive fashion. They understand how to rebut the claims of the lawyer for the other side. And they know how to get you the full amount of the settlement you need.
Your Lawyer Knows How to Win Your Case
Your lawyer will naturally be financially motivated to assist you. In many cases, they only get paid when you do. This means that they have a natural incentive to make sure that they do all in their power to help you win your settlement.
Not only will your lawyer be motivated to help you win, they will also be incentivized to help you get your full amount in a timely manner. Again, this is because the sooner you get paid, the sooner they also receive their commission. If you want to wrap your case up in a quick and profitable fashion, a lawyer is your ally.
How Will The Value Of My Claim Be Determined?
One of the first questions people have after how to file a claim, is what is the value of their claim? According to San Diego personal injury lawyer Joel Farar, each car accident claim is unique as are the factors involved in each accident. Determining value is not always easy and can depend on many different things.
The determination of the value of a claim usually begins with the following:
- Were there injuries and what is the extent?
- Was there property damage and how extensive?
- How much are the total medical bills?
- Is there permanent injury resulting in disability or disfigurement?
- Is there a loss of income due to an injury? How much? For how long?
- Was there a loss of life?
- Is there an inability to cope? PTSD?
- Is there a loss of an unborn child or living children?
- Extent of the loss of property
- Injury or death to passengers
All of the answers to these questions have a value. No one could ever compensate someone for the loss of a loved one. The closest anyone can come to compensation for such a loss is a monetary value for the pain and subsequent suffering that results, and no amount can ever seem sufficient for that.
Claims have been paid out in the millions for permanent injury and death and lesser impact claims can be quite high in some cases. The extent of fault involved is also a factor considered in cases involving fatality where the deceased was partially responsible. Court costs are also factored into a settlement and one party may be responsible for both claims in the event they are found fully responsible for an accident.
Your settlement may have more value if your injuries are severe and your pain and suffering are great. The following are a few of the things which give a claim a higher value:
- If death has occurred
- If permanent brain injury has occurred
- The more painful the injury
- The severity of a disability
- The invasiveness of medical treatment
- The length of time for medical treatment
- Permanent visual disfigurement
- If there were aggravating circumstances such as drunk driving
Some people think they can navigate the often complicated and sometimes tricky process of settling a claim on their own because they want to save attorney’s fees in order to get more compensation. This is unwise because the average person doesn’t understand the law and has no power to fight against insurance companies who will attempt to pay as little as possible on a claim.
Since an attorney only gets paid if they win your case, they will fight for the highest value settlement possible, and they have the knowledge and resources to litigate the toughest claims.
In most settlement cases, an attorney receives 1/3 of a settlement for their time, expertise, and work in court on your behalf. Without the representation of an attorney, you can expect to receive an extremely low, quick payoff that many people take thinking it is the they could receive. The worst thing anyone can do is attempt to settle a claim without an experienced attorney.
There are costs involved in litigating a claim which must be paid from any settlement received: attorney’s fees, various case costs such as court filing fees, medical record retrieval, investigations, and medical expenses or medical liens.
The federal government and the State allows doctors and hospitals to recover costs for services provided and owed. This is called the right of subrogation and the right to recover will be pursued through the settlement award.
An attorney can advise a claimant on the possible value of their claim only after knowing all the facts of their case. Negotiating with insurance companies and other entities can also raise the value. If you have been involved in an accident and you are seeking compensation for your injuries, it is always to consult with an attorney to learn the value of your claim and to receive the highest settlement.
What to Do After A Construction Vehicle Accident
This article is by Nima Haddadi, a top rated Los Angeles DUI Lawyer. Construction vehicle accidents are among the most devastating. Most people involved in a construction vehicle accident are driving a vehicle much smaller than the construction vehicle, so there’s more damage, more serious injury, and there’s a lot more on the line legally. Road construction is everywhere, and it’s not always easy to navigate. There are often flag pole holders standing in the road, construction vehicles coming onto and getting of the road, and sometimes the cones and other warning signs in place in a construction zone are hit by other cars and knocked down, and other drivers don’t realize they were there. When a construction vehicle accident occurs, drivers want to know what they should do next.
Most Common Causes of Construction Vehicle Accidents
Construction vehicle accidents happen all the time, and they’re rarely good news. They can happen for a variety of reasons, and it’s up to the police who arrive on the scene of an accident to determine what caused an accident.
– Driver error
– Truck equipment failure
– Weather issues
– Poor loading techniques
– Negligent hiring practices
If a driver fails to properly drive a vehicle this size, it’s considered driver error. The negligence of the driver is the cause behind the accident, and there are numerous causes of negligence. It could be a driver who is suffering from fatigue, one under the influence, or one who is distracted while driving. This can all lead to an accident, and cause serious damage.
Equipment failure in a construction vehicle has nothing to do with the driver, but it might have everything to do with the manufacturer error involved in creating this equipment. There are many complex pieces in a truck like this, and each one of them might fail at any time. Mechanical issues are a common cause of construction vehicle accidents, and there’s nothing drivers can do to prevent this.
Weather issues are dangerous when construction vehicles are on the road. The most common cause of accidents involving construction vehicles in a situation like this one stems from the inability of a truck to brake correctly. These are big, heavy, complex machines that need ample time to handle situations like this one, and it means they often need good weather conditions and ample time to brake. When weather has the roads slick, it causes issues.
There are people hired to place loads on construction equipment, and there’s very specific protocol associated with this kind of equipment. What happens is a driver is required to ensure all loads are properly fastened and secured, and each one is good to go. If it’s not, the equipment can cause issues while driving. It can fall off the truck and cause terrible damage.
Hiring is another issue. When a company does not follow proper protocol hiring drivers and trucks. They sometimes hire someone without checking references, making sure their trucks and their drivers are in compliance with regulations and law, and accidents happen.
This is why it’s so difficult to determine who is at fault when a construction vehicle accident occurs. It’s not easy to figure out what happened, what went wrong, and who is to blame following this type of accident.
The easiest and thing to do for yourself following a construction vehicle accident is call a personal injury attorney. The complexity of a lawsuit like this requires knowledge of the law, and someone to help you understand what to do at each step. The first is to see the doctor to have your injuries checked out. There are many things that might happen involving a construction vehicle lawsuit, and being prepared with doctor notes, medical records that are created immediately following an accident, and other documents are all paramount.
An attorney with experience handling personal injury cases is your resource when an accident occurs. This is what helps you get through the issues you’re facing by helping you understand the laws. You are entitled to damages following this type of accident, and we can help you determine what you’re entitled to and how you can win your case.