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Personal Injury

How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer for You

By Walton Law APCMay 23, 2024No Comments
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Motor vehicle accidents, including car and truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle collisions, and pedestrian accidents, frequently occur when other people drive negligently and carelessly.

Similarly, premises accidents typically happen when a property owner fails to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition.

In short, when other individuals and entities deviate from the prevailing standard of care, serious accidents and injuries may result.

If you suffered injuries in one of these occurrences due to another person’s negligence, you need to consult a personal injury lawyer in your area right away. Ideally, you want a lawyer on your side who handles these types of cases as a significant component of their law practice.

Additionally, an experienced personal injury attorney can answer all of your questions and protect your legal rights going forward. They can also review your options for filing a successful claim – or a lawsuit in the court system.

While your case is pending, your lawyer will aggressively advocate for you and work to maximize your total compensation award.

Basis for a Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury claims encompass a broad spectrum of incidents where individuals suffer harm due to someone else’s negligence.

Here are some common types of personal injury claims:

  • Car Accidents – One of the most common causes of personal injury claims, car accidents occur when negligent drivers fail to adhere to traffic laws, leading to collisions and injuries. Victims may seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
  • Truck Accidents – Accidents involving large commercial trucks can result in catastrophic injuries due to their size and weight. Negligence by truck drivers, trucking companies, or manufacturers may lead to claims for compensation.
  • Bicycle Accidents – Cyclists are vulnerable road users who are susceptible to accidents resulting from negligent drivers, defective road conditions, or inadequate infrastructure. Personal injury claims may arise from collisions with vehicles, pedestrians, or hazardous obstacles.
  • Motorcycle Accidents – Motorcyclists face unique risks on the road, often resulting in severe accidents and injuries due to negligent drivers, road hazards, or defective motorcycle parts.
  • Pedestrian Accidents – Drivers who speed, fail to yield the right-of-way at the proper time, or engage in distracted driving may cause pedestrians to suffer serious – and sometimes fatal – injuries in an accident.
  • Slip and Falls – Property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises for visitors. Slip and fall accidents resulting from hazards like wet floors, uneven surfaces, or inadequate lighting may result in injuries ranging from fractures to head trauma.

These types of claims can result in serious injuries and medical treatment for victims, including:

If you suffered any of these injuries due to someone else’s negligence, a personal injury attorney in your area can file a timely claim on your behalf and pursue the compensation you deserve.

How to Legally Prove a Personal Injury Claim

In a personal injury case, you must establish liability to secure compensation for your injuries.

The first element is a duty of care. This means that the defendant (in other words, the person accused of causing the injury) had a legal obligation to act reasonably and responsibly in a way that would not cause harm to others. For example, if someone drives a car, they have a duty to follow traffic laws and drive safely to avoid accidents.

Personal injury claims" written on wooden blocks with a judge's gavel nearby on a white background.The second element is a breach of duty. This occurs when the defendant fails to uphold their legal duty of care by acting negligently, recklessly, or intentionally causing harm.

Negligence is often the basis of personal injury cases and involves actions or inactions that a reasonable person would not do under similar circumstances. For instance, if a property owner fails to repair a hazardous condition on their premises, such as a slippery floor, you can hold them liable if you slip and fall as a result.

The third element is causation. This requires establishing a direct link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the accident victim’s injuries.

In other words, the victim must legally prove that the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused their harm. This can sometimes be a complex aspect of a personal injury case – especially if there are other contributing factors involved.

Finally, the fourth element is damages. The plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered actual harm or losses as a direct result of the defendant’s actions. This can include physical injuries, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost income, and other financial losses incurred due to the injury.

Successfully proving all of these elements is crucial for the victim to prevail in a personal injury case. Evidence such as medical records, witness testimony, expert opinions, and documentation of damages can all play a significant role in supporting the victim’s claims and establishing liability on the part of the defendant.

What to Look for in a Good Personal Injury Attorney

When searching for a personal injury lawyer to represent you, find someone who possesses certain qualities and characteristics that can greatly affect the outcome of your case.

Here are some key qualities to look for in a good personal injury attorney:

  • Legal Experience – Look for a lawyer who has significant experience handling personal injury cases that are similar to yours. Experience brings knowledge of legal strategies, familiarity with insurance companies, and an understanding of personal injury law.
  • Knowledge – Choose a lawyer who exclusively (or almost exclusively) handles personal injury matters rather than a general practitioner. Personal injury lawyers are more likely to have in-depth knowledge of relevant laws, regulations, and precedents specific to personal injury cases.
  • Strong Track Record of Success – Research the lawyer’s track record of successful outcomes in personal injury cases. A proven track record demonstrates their ability to secure favorable settlements or verdicts for their clients.
  • Reputation – Consider the lawyer’s reputation within the legal community and among past clients. Positive reviews, referrals, and testimonials can indicate a lawyer’s professionalism, integrity, and dedication to client satisfaction.
  • Strong Communication Skills – Effective communication is crucial in any legal proceeding. A good personal injury lawyer should clearly and responsibly inform you about the progress of your case, explaining legal concepts in plain language, and promptly responding to your questions and concerns.
  • Empathy and Compassion – Dealing with a personal injury can be emotionally challenging. A compassionate lawyer who genuinely cares about your well-being can provide the support and reassurance you need during a difficult time.
  • Strong Settlement Negotiation Skills – Many personal injury cases are resolved through negotiation rather than litigation. Look for a lawyer who is skilled at negotiating with insurance companies and opposing parties to secure fair compensation without the need for a trial.
  • Significant Trial Experience – While many personal injury cases are resolved out of court, it’s still important to choose a lawyer who is prepared to take your case to trial if the need arises. Trial experience demonstrates a lawyer’s confidence, competence, and willingness to fight for their clients’ rights in the courtroom.
  • Resources and Support Staff – A well-established law firm with ample resources and support staff can provide the necessary infrastructure to effectively handle your case, including conducting investigations, gathering evidence, and building a strong legal strategy.

By considering these qualities and conducting thorough research, you can find a personal injury lawyer who can best advocate for you.

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?

A personal injury lawyer plays a crucial role in helping individuals who have suffered an injury due to negligence or wrongdoing by others.

Here’s how a personal injury lawyer can assist with a case:

  • Investigation – A skilled personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident and injuries. This may involve gathering important evidence, such as witness statements, photographs, accident reports, and any other relevant information to build a strong case.
  • Retaining Experts – In complex cases, it may be necessary to retain experts, such as accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, or economists, to provide expert opinions and testimony. A personal injury lawyer has the experience and resources to identify and retain qualified experts who can support the victim’s claims.
  • Gathering Relevant Documentation – A significant part of preparing a personal injury case involves gathering documentation to support the victim’s claims for damages. This may include medical records, bills, employment records, and other evidence of the financial and non-financial losses incurred as a result of the injury. A lawyer can help organize and present this documentation in a compelling manner to maximize the victim’s chances of obtaining fair compensation.
  • Negotiating with the Insurance Company – Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts to injured individuals to protect their profits. A personal injury lawyer can aggressively negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of the victim to seek a fair settlement that adequately compensates for the injuries and losses suffered. Lawyers understand the tactics that insurance adjusters use and can advocate aggressively for the victim’s interests during settlement negotiations.
  • Pursuing Various Litigation Options – If the parties cannot reach a fair agreement through negotiation, a personal injury lawyer can pursue various litigation options to seek justice for the victim. This may involve filing a lawsuit in civil court and representing the victim through all stages of the litigation process, including discovery, pre-trial motions, trial, and appeals (if necessary). A lawyer will use their legal knowledge to present the strongest possible case and advocate for the victim’s rights in court.

By having a knowledgeable and experienced advocate on their side, accident victims can focus on their medical recovery while their lawyer works tirelessly to achieve a favorable outcome on their behalf.

Types of Recoverable Damages in a Personal Injury Case

In a personal injury case, individuals who have been harmed due to the negligence or wrongful actions of others may be entitled to various types of compensation, known as damages. These damages can be categorized into two main types: economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are tangible, quantifiable losses that can be easily calculated based on specific monetary values.

They include:

  • Assorted pills arranged on a one hundred dollar bill, symbolizing the cost of healthcare and medical treatment.Medical Expenses – This covers the costs of medical treatment, including hospital bills, surgeries, doctor visits, prescription medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care related to the victim’s injuries.
  • Lost Earnings – If the injury prevents the individual from working, they may be entitled to compensation for lost income, including past and future lost earnings.
  • Property Damage – In cases involving vehicle accidents or property damage, economic damages may include the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property, such as vehicles or personal belongings inside vehicles.
  • Other Financial Losses – This category encompasses various other out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury, such as transportation costs to medical appointments, home modifications or accommodations, and expenses related to household help or caregiving services.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify in monetary terms. These damages are aimed at compensating the injured individual for the physical, emotional, and psychological toll of their injuries.

Non-economic damages may include:

  • Pain and Suffering – This compensates the individual for the physical pain, discomfort, and emotional distress resulting from their injuries. It takes into account the severity of the injuries, the duration of pain and suffering, and the effects on the individual’s quality of life.
  • Emotional Distress – In addition to physical injuries, personal injury cases may result in emotional trauma, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other mental health issues. Compensation may be awarded to address the emotional effect of the injuries on the individual’s well-being.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life – If the injury limits the individual’s ability to participate in activities they once enjoyed or interferes with their overall enjoyment of life, they may be entitled to compensation for this loss.
  • Loss of Consortium – In cases involving severe injuries or wrongful death, damages may be awarded to compensate the injured individual or their family members for the loss of companionship, support, or services that the injured person provided.

These types of recoverable compensation in a personal injury case aim to help victims recover physically, emotionally, and financially from the effects of their injuries.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Near You Today

If you or someone you love recently suffered injuries in an occurrence due to another person’s negligence, you should consult a personal injury lawyer in your area right away.

Your attorney can review the circumstances surrounding the incident, determine your legal options, and pursue the appropriate claim or lawsuit for compensation on your behalf.