Personal Injury -- Plaintiff Law

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Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

It is important to seek legal counsel after you are injured in an accident. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. A personal injury attorney can analyze the subtleties of your case, work with insurance companies, and negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Most attorneys take personal injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don't pay their fee upfront, so there is little reason not to seek out an experienced personal attorney to represent you.

Can You File a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer?

Even if you can estimate the value of your personal injury claim, you will still have to understand the legal procedures involved. Insurance companies exist to make money, and they are very good at finding gaps in a person's legal knowledge. It is essential to get the help of a qualified attorney who can guide you through the process. Because personal injury law is different in each state, consult a personal injury expert in a city near you to get the best advice about your unique circumstances.

What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer helps people who have been injured because someone else was negligent. Personal injury in legal terms refers to an injury to someone's physical, mental or emotional health. If you suffered a personal injury because of another person's actions or because they failed to take precautions to prevent the injury, you may have a personal injury claim. The party responsible for your injury may be required to pay your medical bills and compensate you for lost present and future income.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer does not necessarily mean your claim will go to trial. In fact, most personal injury claims don't. Insurance companies often try to settle outside of court because settlement is generally faster and less costly than trial.

Beyond simply coordinating your legal case, personal injury lawyers can also help you get medical treatment. They can help complete paperwork related to your injury claim and negotiate with insurers and opposing counsel. An experienced attorney can hire investigators and expert witnesses to bolster the credibility of your claim.

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Hiring an attorney to explore your legal options is crucial to protect yourself and your family after suffering an injury. However, if the injury you have suffered is not severe, you may handle the process independently. If you do not require extensive medical treatment, you may prefer settling the claim on your own through small claims court. For example, small claims courts in Florida will handle claims up to $8,000.

Personal injury lawsuits need to be filed with the court within a specific timeframe, known as the statute of limitations. That timeframe is 1-3 years in most states, though some states have statutes that run to 4-6 years. Make sure to file your personal injury claim before the statute of limitations for your state expires. If you fail to file in time, you may never be able to recover damages in a lawsuit based on that claim.

How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawsuit can get complicated fast. Medical records may need examination, and expert witnesses may need to testify. Resolving the case can require a lot of time. The person or company from whom you wish to recover damages likely has legal counsel on their side. It is vital to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to protect your rights and interests.

You can search LawInfo's legal directory to find a licensed and legitimate local personal injury attorney to discuss the merits of your case. Consider the specialization and resources of the attorney's firm, search out reviews from past clients, and come to office consultations prepared with questions to find an attorney best suited to you.

How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge?

Usually, personal injury attorneys who predict that a case is valuable will take it without accepting payment upfront. They generally work on contingency, meaning if you recover monetary damages for injury, they receive a percentage of the award.

However, some attorneys choose to charge hourly or charge a flat fee for services. Additionally, some attorneys' out-of-pocket costs are not included in attorneys' fees. These costs can include fees for filing, deposition costs, hiring expert witnesses, medical record examinations, and other expenses.

What Percentage Do Lawyers Take for Personal Injury?

Contingency fees average between 25% and 40%. If the case resolves quickly before going to trial, most attorneys take a smaller percentage. If you agree to a contingency fee with your attorney, the agreement must be in writing, and the attorney must provide you a signed copy.

Is It Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you are seriously injured or aren't sure about the eventual outcome of your injury, you should consult an attorney. Serious personal injury cases can become very complex. An attorney can predict the value of your case and meet all the requirements and deadlines necessary. The other party, especially if it is an insurance company, will try to get you to settle for as little as possible. But statistics show that insurance companies pay more than twice the compensation to people represented by an attorney.