Are you considering filing a personal injury claim but have no idea where to start? It can be overwhelming trying to understand the complicated process and terminology that comes with these types of claims.
For this reason, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions people have about personal injury cases so you can better understand what is involved.
What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims?
The following are some practice areas Lafayette personal injury lawyers handle the most:
Car accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases. A car accident claim can occur if a party sustains injuries due to another driver’s negligence.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents involve negligent behavior from property owners or managers, which injures someone who is on their property. These often occur when safety regulations aren’t followed. Examples include property maintenance issues like cracked sidewalks or broken stairs.
Defective Products (Product Liability)
Defective product cases arise when someone is injured or becomes ill because of a defectively designed and/or manufactured product.
The basis for these claims is usually the failure to adhere to safety regulations and standards or faulty warnings.
Accidents that occur in the workplace are usually handled under the workers’ compensation system. This is no-fault insurance that provides compensation to ill and injured workers. There is no requirement to prove that the employer was negligent in these situations.
Wrongful death suits can be filed on behalf of deceased individuals when their death was caused by someone’s negligence or an intentional act. While money can’t bring back a loved one, these cases allow family members to obtain justice and compensation for their loss.
How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
After suffering an injury, it’s normal to wonder whether you have a personal injury claim. Can you hold someone responsible for what happened?
To figure out if you have a valid claim, consider taking the following steps:
Evaluate the Circumstances of Your Accident
Key factors to consider when evaluating the incident include:
Breach of Duty: Did the party responsible for your injury fail to exercise a reasonable degree of care, such as a driver failing to signal before turning?
Causation: Was your injury directly caused by another party’s actions or by a hazardous condition?
Intentional Misconduct: Did the harm you suffered occur due to an intentional act, such as an assault or battery?
Identifying the Potentially Responsible Parties
To have a valid personal injury case, you must be able to identify the party or parties responsible for your injuries.
Some commonly responsible parties in personal injury cases include:
Drivers: In car accidents, the at-fault driver can be held responsible for your injuries.
Property Owners: When injuries occur on someone else’s property due to hazardous conditions, the property owner may be liable.
Manufacturers: If a defective product causes your injury, you can hold the manufacturer responsible.
By identifying the potentially responsible parties, you can collect the necessary information for your claim and build a stronger case.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
The most important step you can take is to contact a personal injury attorney. They can help you determine if you have a claim or not.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Personal Injury Claim?
The damages that can be recovered are broken down into three categories:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
- Emotional distress
These damages are awarded in some cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, reckless, or malicious. They are intended to punish the offender while also discouraging such behavior in the future.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
In most personal injury cases, attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay the attorney unless you win your case. Here’s how it works:
No Upfront Costs: Hiring an attorney on a contingency fee basis means you won’t need to worry about paying any upfront fees or retainers. This makes it much more accessible for the average person to seek legal representation. The attorney receives a percentage of any money you’re awarded.
Aligned Interests: Working on contingency, your attorney is highly motivated to win your case since their payment hinges on obtaining a successful outcome for you. This aligns your goals with your attorney’s, ensuring that they will work diligently on your behalf.
No Financial Risk: If your case is unsuccessful, you won’t owe your attorney any fees.
How Long Do Personal Injury Cases Take to Resolve?
A personal injury case can take anywhere from a few months to several years. Factors that affect the timeline include the severity of your injuries, the willingness of the insurance company to provide a fair settlement, and the court’s calendar.
For example, if you have multiple medical treatments or rehabilitation sessions needed for your recovery, this can add additional time to the process.
If your case settles, which most personal injury claims do, it will almost certainly be faster than if your case goes to trial.
Contact a Lafayette Personal Injury Lawyer If You Have Other Questions or Need Advice
If you have questions about personal injury claims that haven’t been answered, we’re here to help. Contact our Lafayette personal injury attorney to schedule a free consultation.