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If you have been injured in an car or truck accident, involved in a workplace injury, a victim of medical malpractice or are just looking for legal advice about your situation, we recommend that you speak with a lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the important legal concepts and ramifications surrounding your issue, and give you advice about a recommended course of action. The process of finding and working with the right lawyer can sometimes seem to be uncertain, but a short meeting with an attorney can often set your mind at ease and guide you towards a positive resolution.
Before you begin, there are some key issues you may want to consider as you start your search for an attorney. First, it is to your benefit to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your legal issue arises. If you wait to contact attorney, you could miss important deadlines that can affect your case or proceedings. Next, understand why you want to meet with a lawyer. Layout out the goals you hope to accomplish with them and understand the different billing methods that attorneys use. And finally, it is important to establish an open line of communication with your attorney as go through your legal process so that you are aware of unforeseen issues or complexities that may arise.
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Personal injury law applies to cases in which a person or persons are injured through the negligence, intention or fault of someone else. It is meant to compensate those who were injured by the fault of others. The most common types of personal injury cases arise from motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents (also known as premises liability), dog bites, defective products (also known as products liability), defective drugs, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. Workers Compensation claims also often arise from personal injury and are dealt with in a separate area of law.
How do I know if I have a good case?
The three elements to proving a good personal injury case in most jurisdictions are:
1). Fault. The adverse party must have been negligent or reckless in the actions which resulted in your injury. Usually "negligence" means that a person did not exhibit the level of care exercised by a reasonable person in adhering to their legal obligation to behave or refrain from behaving in a particular manner. In medical malpractice cases, the doctor must have been negligent in rendering the medical treatment. Likewise, in determining whether a doctor was negligent, a court will apply the standard of how a reasonable person in that profession would behave. Products liability claims usually encompass design defects and defective manufacturing.
2). Causation. The negligence, recklessness or intention of the adverse party must have been the proximate cause of your injuries. For example, if you were experiencing just as much back pain before being involved in a car accident as you were after the accident, it may be difficult to prove that the car accident was the cause of your pain.
3. Damages. In order to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that you were in fact injured. This is done through testimony of medical experts, submission of medical records and bills, and the testimony of the injured party and their witnesses.
Should I hire a personal injury lawyer?
In order to correctly assess whether you have a case, you should always speak to a personal injury lawyer. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you whether your case is worth pursuing and what to expect during a lawsuit. If they take the case, they will be able to help you get compensated for your past, present and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and disability.
How should I choose the right personal injury lawyer?
In evaluating a personal injury lawyer, the most important factors to consider are experience, fee structure, and simply whether you like that lawyer or not. Typically, less experienced are more appropriate for smaller, more simple and less serious cases. However, there are many excellent attorneys who have only practiced for a few years and are capable of taking large and complex cases. The vast majority of lawyers take personal injury cases on contingency meaning they only collect if you collect. Typically, the lawyer will take between 30-50% of the total amount you are awarded in a settlement or judgment, depending on how much work they put into it and whether they have to take the case to trial.
How should I proceed?
Sustaining an injury can be very stressful and traumatic. If you have been injured and wish to file a personal injury lawsuit, it is prudent to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who will be able to guide you and possibly represent you in order to obtain the compensation you deserve.