Benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer
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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.