Personal Injury Cases and Obtaining Compensation

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After an injury, prompt medical care is often needed. From there, the question becomes how to pay for all of the injury-related expenses. If the injury was caused by someone else’s neglect or direct action, it may be possible to obtain compensation from the person who caused the injury. When this is the situation, it is considered a personal injury case. While insurance claims can be filed in many situations, that won’t always lead to the injured person receiving enough money to cover all of their expenses. If this is possible, the person may need to file a claim for compensation and will likely want legal assistance to have a better chance of receiving full compensation for any injuries.

Is a Lawyer Needed?

It is not usually required for the injured person to hire a lawyer, but it is a good idea. Most people have little to no experience with the legal system. Even if they know quite a bit about personal injury cases, it’s still better to contact one of the Personal injury lawyers in Pittsburgh for help. Along with getting help understanding the legal system and going through the process of filing a claim, the injured person will have enough to worry about while recovering from their injuries. It’s much better to pass off the case to someone more knowledgeable, so there’s the chance to get a larger amount of compensation and more time to recover without the added stress of a potential court case or negotiations.

What Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Cover?

Personal injury cases cover a wide range of accidents and injuries. Common cases include car accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, dog bites, and construction or workplace injuries. Any situation that results in someone being injured due to the neglect or direct action of another individual can be a personal injury case, and the injured person can file a claim for compensation for all accident-related expenses.

Personal Injury Cases

What Does Neglect Mean?

Neglect is when someone doesn’t do something they should have, and an accident occurs as a result. In a car accident, if someone is texting while driving and causes an accident, they have neglected their duties to pay attention to the road and drive safely. Their neglect was the cause of the accident and the victim’s injuries. In a medical malpractice case, the doctor can act with neglect if they fail to check for interactions with medications or make a mistake while performing surgery because they didn’t pay attention.

What Does a Direct Action Mean?

Personal injury cases can also occur as a result of direct action. If someone is upset while driving and decides to attack another driver, they are directly injuring the victim through their actions. This is often seen in road rage accidents where one driver intentionally moves their vehicle to push someone off the road, causing an accident. The person who caused the accident did so through direct action, so they are liable for the accident.

What Does Liability Mean?

In personal injury cases, the person who caused an accident or injury is considered the liable party. The accident wouldn’t have occurred if it wasn’t for their actions or inactions. In a slip and fall case, if the store didn’t clean up a spill in time or block it off to prevent someone from walking through the spill and someone falls as a result, the store could be held liable. This part of a personal injury case can become complicated, as it’s not always clear who is liable. If there is damage in a store that causes someone to fall, the liability may fall with the store owner for not having it fixed or the building owner if they are responsible for the upkeep of the building.

How Much Money Can be Obtained?

The amount of compensation the injured person can obtain will depend on the severity of their injuries and other expenses included in the compensation. Using a car accident as an example, compensation could include money to cover hospital bills, future medical care for severe or permanent injuries, and car repair bills. The compensation may also include coverage for lost wages and similar expenses, depending on how long it takes for the person to recover or whether they can return to their job after the accident.

Is it Worth it to File a Claim?

Unless the injuries are minor and the medical bills are small, it is likely worth it to file a claim. Medical bills can get expensive quickly, and other expenses like time off work to recover can start to add up. In these situations, it’s much better to file a claim and attempt to receive compensation for all expenses related to the accident to avoid having to pay for them out of pocket. Someone who is injured can speak with a lawyer to find out how much their case is worth and whether it’s a good idea to file the claim.

What Happens After a Claim is Filed?

Frequently, the liable party and the injured party will, through their lawyers, negotiate to try to come up with a settlement. If the negotiations are successful, the injured person can receive the funds agreed to in the settlement. If the negotiations are unsuccessful, however, the case may go to court. The injured person should not accept any settlement without legal advice, as once a settlement is accepted, it may not be possible to request more money to cover additional medical costs or other expenses.

Do All Cases Go to Trial?

Nearly 40 million people are injured each year, but only a tiny number of cases make it to trial. Studies have shown that most cases end with a settlement. Other cases may be dismissed due to a lack of evidence or because of missed deadlines. Of the few that do go to court, success depends on a number of factors. If a case is going to go to court, it’s crucial to have a lawyer to help show that compensation is needed and show how much compensation is fair for the injuries sustained.

How is the Lawyer Paid?

One of the biggest questions many people will have is how they will pay their lawyer. Most lawyers that handle civil cases will require a deposit upfront before they begin working, but personal injury cases work a little differently. In personal injury cases, the lawyer works on a contingency basis. What this means is that the lawyer receives their payment as a percentage of the total amount of compensation received.

The compensation amount requested will account for the legal fees, so the injured person will still have enough money left over to cover medical and other expenses. If the lawyer is able to obtain a settlement, the injured person will pay the lawyer and can use the rest of the funds to cover their expenses. If the lawyer is unable to receive a settlement, the injured person will not have to pay for the legal services.

It is important to remember that the fees paid on a contingency basis only apply to the lawyer’s fees. There may be other expenses during the course of the case that the client is responsible for, though these should be minimal. The lawyer can let the person know if they will need to pay anything upfront or if everything will be covered at the end of the case once a settlement is obtained. In most cases, other expenses can be taken from the settlement to avoid having to pay anything while the case progresses.

When Should a Lawyer be Contacted?

It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Evidence of neglect can start to disappear quickly, so fast action is required to preserve it. After a car accident, for instance, there may be video surveillance footage from nearby buildings. Many times, the footage is automatically recorded over after a period of time to conserve storage space, so it will be gone a few days or weeks after the accident. Calling a lawyer right away can mean this evidence is obtainable.

Often, insurance companies for the liable party will try to get the injured person to accept a settlement right away. If the injured person accepts the settlement, they may find out it’s not enough to cover all of their expenses from the accident, and they will likely not be able to request more compensation in the future. It’s always a better idea to hire a lawyer first and let them review any settlement offer to avoid this situation.

If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s actions or neglect, you may be owed compensation. This can cover every expense related to the accident, from medical bills to lost wages, and may help minimize the amount of money paid out of pocket during the recovery. To make sure the full amount of compensation owed is received, it is crucial to work with a personal injury lawyer. Contact a lawyer today to discuss your case and the options available to handle it.

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