A Personal injury lawyer is a legal practitioner who specializes in claims involving injuries sustained in accidents. These attorneys are experienced with the complex legal procedures, confusing medical terminology, and mounds of paperwork involved in such cases. They can help you navigate the unfamiliar terrain of personal injury law and allow you to focus on your recovery.
In most states, an accident victim who has been injured by another person’s negligence or carelessness can file a claim for damages. This can include economic, physical, emotional, and mental suffering as a result of the injury. It may also include the costs of future treatment, loss of income, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The first step in a personal injury case is gathering information and documents related to the accident and your injuries. Your attorney will give you a questionnaire to fill out that helps organize this information. They will also need a copy of the accident report, your medical records, and your insurance policies. They will perform a detailed liability analysis to determine fault and prepare a settlement demand.
If you’ve been injured by a physician or hospital that committed malpractice, your lawyer will review vicarious liability laws to identify all parties who may be liable for compensating you. For example, if your doctor is found to have provided substandard care and you suffer a permanent injury, the clinic employing that physician can be held liable under vicarious liability laws because they were essentially acting as a supervisor.
Your attorney will review your medical records and consult with other medical experts to ensure that you have a complete picture of the extent of your injuries and how they are expected to impact your future life. They will also work with financial experts to determine what your future expenses and lost income will be. This includes the cost of ongoing care, rehabilitation, medication, and future medical equipment.
Many personal injury cases are settled outside of court. The defendant’s insurance company will often offer a lump sum in exchange for your agreement not to pursue a lawsuit. This can be faster than a trial and save you the time and stress of litigation, but it usually means you will receive less money than you would have received at a jury verdict.
An experienced personal injury attorney can negotiate a fair amount for you. They can also recognize when the insurance company is trying to nickel and dime you by offering a low-ball figure. They will have experience with similar claims in your area and know what the average award is for such cases. They will also have the resources to hire private investigators if necessary. This can be helpful in obtaining photos and video of adverse conditions at the accident scene. They can also conduct interviews with witnesses and obtain medical expert testimony. This can strengthen your case and maximize the potential of a successful outcome. In addition to monetary awards for medical bills, lost earnings, and future losses, you can be compensated for non-economic losses. These can range from a decreased quality of life to post-traumatic stress disorder.