Personal injury lawsuits are a powerful tool in the arsenal of anyone, but as with any complicated legal situation there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions that are common. If you have never filed a personal injury suit but believe that you have a case, there are a number of things you should know before going forward. These range from understanding the purpose and process of personal injury claims to finding the right lawyer who will get you a favorable result. Here is what you need to know before filing a personal injury suit.
Personal Injury Suits Can Protect You
In the media, personal injury suits are often sensationalized as being brought forward by greedy or unintelligent people. This is because the media enjoys seemingly outrageous or amusing stories, but there’s also often a big push from the companies being sued to present their opponents in a negative way. But personal injury suits are, more often than not, not frivolous in the least. If you are injured, you likely have to contend with lost income from time off, medical bills, stress, and change in many aspects of your life. Filing a personal injury suit is one way to relieve some of the financial burden and to concentrate on getting yourself up to 100% capacity again.
Finding a Lawyer is Essential
While there are ways to file a personal injury suit without a lawyer, it’s a simple fact that finding an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential to getting a good outcome. In fact, on average, those who choose to hire a personal injury lawyer get three times the amount of compensation as those who choose to file the suit themselves. A good personal injury lawyer will be able to help you navigate the legal system, ensure that your claim is both significant and reasonable, and will be able to present your case at trial if the insurance company rejects your claim.
Make Your Claim as Soon as Possible
One of the most costly mistakes many people make is that they fail to make their claim as quickly as possible. This leads to difficulty in documenting your injuries, which can severely harm your case. If you’ve hired a personal injury attorney, this is a step where they can prove their worth right away. They will be able to communicate with the insurance companies and legal system on your behalf, which is very helpful when you are likely recovering from an injury.
You Need to Establish Negligence
Just being injured on the property of a company isn’t enough to have a personal injury case. If you are going to move forward with your suit, it is essential that you establish negligence on the part of the entity that you’re suing. Negligence is established when you can prove that the person or entity in question failed to exercise reasonable care for your safety and the safety of others. There are a number of ways that negligence can be established, and some of them can seem odd or obscure to a layman. For example, any New York City injury attorney knows that there are several laws and ordinances that require sidewalks to meet very specific guidelines for safety purposes. Because of quirks in how these laws work, a personal injury suit from tripping on cracks on the pavement can hold both the city and the commercial entity facing that stretch of payment at fault.
There are Two Ways to Win
Most personal injury suits we hear about in the news are the big, flashy ones that go to trial, but there’s more than one way to get compensation for your personal injury claim. The vast majority of personal injury cases, in fact, are settled out of court when the defendant or their insurance agrees to pay a certain amount of compensation to the plaintiff. It is only when these negotiations fail that a personal injury case will be brought to trial. What’s important to remember is that your lawyer will be negotiating with the defendant and their insurance company first, but even if an agreement can’t be reached you still have a way forward. In fact, if your case goes to trial and the jury rules in your favor, the compensation is often significantly higher than the pretrial offer due to taking into account court expenses.