When Should I Work With a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Imagine a scenario where you or someone you love gets injured. The injuries may be the result of an accident or someone else’s carelessness or negligence. Of course, the first priority is to heal the injured person. You might be out of work or facing a long and difficult recovery. It is natural to have a lot of questions. Who will pay for the medical bills? Who is responsible for lost income? When should I work with a personal injury lawyer?
What Exactly Is Personal Injury Law?
Personal injury law, or tort law, protects you if you or your property is injured or harmed because of someone else’s act or failure to act. Oftentimes, insurance companies and hospitals are involved in personal injury claims. There are over 400,000 personal injury claims filed each year in the United States. The most common personal injury cases include:
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
- Premises liability
- Intentional tort
- Workers’ compensation
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
There is no legal requirement to have a lawyer file a personal injury claim. However, it may not be the best idea to file one by yourself. Filing a personal injury lawsuit requires specialized skill and training. Additionally, filing a personal injury lawsuit requires knowledge of the legal system. There are time limits called statutes of limitations established by state law. They can vary based on the injury but restrict the time in which an injured person has to file a lawsuit.
Each personal injury claim is made up of two basic issues that are referred to as liability and damages. Personal injury lawyers are specifically trained on the nuances of evaluating a case to determine things like:
- How much your injuries might be worth
- How to negotiate a settlement to ensure you receive adequate compensation
- How to navigate a claim that involves multiple parties
- What to do if an insurance company refuses to pay
In some cases, you may suffer a long-term injury or become permanently disabled. Significant injuries likely mean that securing a personal injury lawyer is even more important. A lawyer will take the burden off of you. You will have adequate time to heal from your injuries rather than navigating complicated legal issues.
Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost a Lot of Money?
Typically, a personal injury lawyer only gets paid if they recover money for their client. The money can come from an out-of-court settlement or a jury award if the case goes to trial. Out of all the personal injury claims that are filed each year, only about 4% of cases go to trial. The remainder is either dismissed or settled out of court. An out-of-court settlement can be reached by agreement of the parties or by some form of alternative dispute resolution.
A personal injury lawyer typically doesn’t charge upfront fees. Instead, they work on what is called a contingency basis. This means the fee the client ultimately pays to the lawyer is contingent or dependent on the outcome of the claim. Contingency fees are a way to provide access to justice to all people, no matter their financial situation.
A contingency fee is typically a percentage of the amount the lawyer recovers for a client. Most of the time, a contingency fee is about ⅓ of the settlement. In some cases, lawyers use a sliding scale based on the amount of the award. While you may end up paying your lawyer, their representation will likely lead to a larger settlement.
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to a personal injury claim. If you or your loved one has been the victim of personal injury you should be able to focus on recovery from the injury. If you work with a personal injury lawyer, you can let them take charge of getting you the compensation you deserve. If you were involved in any of the scenarios discussed above, you should contact a lawyer right away.
At McManus Law, we know how difficult and emotionally challenging a personal injury can be to an individual or a family. That is why we are committed to working diligently to ensure you get the justice and the compensation you deserve. You should make sure that your attorney is someone you trust and feel comfortable working with. We will thoroughly discuss your personal injury claim during a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us online — call us any time of day at (845) 986-7660 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.