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Personal Injury

Personal InjuryOur Personal Injury Section provides access to information and resources on many topics of personal injury law.  Find definitions of personal injury, discover whether a personal injury lawsuit is advised in your case, elements of a personal injury case and understand how personal injury law protects you from the harm and damages inflicted by another individual, whether maliciously or through neglect or recklessness.  You can find help, whether you were injured on the job, during a vehicle accident, because the negligence of a manufacturer who created a defective product, or if you suffered personal injury while a crime was committed against you.

The legal definition of a personal injury is an injury to your body, mind or emotions.  It is not an injury to physical property.  Personal injury covers physical harm, such as broken bones, bruises, or any serious injury sustained in an accident.  It also includes the emotional and psychological injury you experienced as a result of trauma sustained through a humiliating or life-threatening experience.

A personal injury case arises as a result of someone else’s negligence.  If you were the victim of an accidental personal injury caused through the fault of another, that individual or business is legally responsible to pay damages and/or compensation.

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Handling Your Own Claim

Process

Most personal injury claims involve making phone calls and writing letters to the insurance company.  They will typically assign an insurance adjuster to your case who may request that you give them a recorded statement of your version of the events.  Be very careful when giving information that can be used to weaken your case.  Particularly important is to be aware that not all injuries show up right away.  They may take several days to manifest themselves.

Compensation

The amount of money that you are entitled to in a personal injury claim depends on several factors.  These may include the type of accident, the nature of your injuries, and whether it affects your ability to work.  If you don’t currently hold a job due to retirement or other circumstances, if your injuries preclude you from doing every day tasks or activities that you enjoy, you may be compensated for the loss of enjoyment of life.

To determine what your claim may be worth, you must become informed as to the types of damages that you can be compensated for. 

They include the following:

  • Medical care and relates expenses
  • Permanent physical disability or disfigurement
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of family, social or educational experiences and recreational events such as being unable to go on vacation
  • Emotional and/or psychological damages
  • Damaged property such as the vehicle involved in the accident
Benefits – No Legal Fees

Over 80% of all personal injury cases do not go to trial.  Most personal injury attorneys will take a percentage of 35 to 40% of any damage award that you may receive.  Depending on the extent of your injuries and how much time and effort you can invest, it may be a good idea to handle your own claim.

In some cases, lawyers may charge an hourly rate, which can add up quickly and diminish the amount of money that you may need to cover your current expenses as a result of the accident.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

When to Seek Legal Help?

Insurance companies try to settle personal injury claims as quickly and economically possible.  They are in the business of making money and holding onto it as long as possible so they can invest it and earn more money.  They don’t like to pay claims as this takes the cash out of their pockets.

The tactics they use can best be defined as delay, deny and defend.  They will most likely deny that the accident is the fault of their insured client.  They will delay giving you money for as long as possible hoping that you’ll be desperate enough to take the initial settlement offer.  It is highly unlikely that the insurance company will provide you with their best offer first.  You are not their client and their vested interest lies in protecting their client.  They will defend any claim you make, even negating your injuries and may force you to go to trial, which can be a long and expensive process.

If your case involves intricate issues, such as significant injuries, then it is usually prudent to hire an attorney.  The attorney will know how to deal with complex liability issues or complicated medical opinions.  They will also be familiar with the tactics used by the insurance carrier and will be able to protect their client.  Ultimately, that combined knowledge and expertise will result in a better outcome.

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