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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 best 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 best 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 best ally.