If an accident resulting from another person‘s negligence injured you, speak with a personal injury lawyer immediately. Your lawyer can offer you a free initial legal consultation and case evaluation about your accident.
To get the most out of that first meeting, you should bring certain pieces of information with you. That way, your lawyer can evaluate your circumstances and determine if you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages.
If you are eligible to file a personal injury claim, your lawyer can assist you throughout every step of the insurance claim and litigation process. After filing a personal injury claim on your behalf, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company adjuster and pursue a favorable settlement offer.
If a favorable offer is not forthcoming, your personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit in court on your behalf against all potentially responsible parties and work to bring your case to a favorable and efficient resolution.
When Do You Need a Consultation With an Injury Lawyer?
When other individuals and entities behave negligently, injured accident victims may be eligible to file a personal injury claim seeking damages. This is when you want to meet with a personal injury lawyer to discuss a potential case.
Personal injury claims are based on the concept of negligence. An individual is negligent when they act unreasonably under the circumstances. Sometimes, a party is negligent when they fail to do something that a hypothetical reasonable person should have done in the same situation. Alternatively, negligence occurs when a person does something that a hypothetical reasonable person should not have done under the same circumstances.
If you can show that someone else’s negligent actions or inactions caused the accident in which you suffered injuries, you may be eligible to recover various monetary damages.
Some of the most common occurrences that result from negligence include:
- Motor vehicle accidents are where a negligent driver violates one or more traffic laws, engage in distracted driving, exhibits road rage, or operates their vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Commercial truck crashes happen when a truck driver or another crew member is negligent. Trucking companies can also share liability for the misconduct of their drivers and employees.
- Premises accidents, including slip-and-fall accidents, where a property owner fails to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition at all times and fails to warn about or correct a dangerous condition on the property within a sufficient period, causing injuries.
- Motorcycle accidents, often occur when another driver crashes into a motorcyclist, but that can also happen due to dangerous road conditions, defective bikes, and more.
- Pedestrian accidents, often happen when a driver hits someone walking and regularly occur when a pedestrian has the right of way in a crosswalk.
If you suffered injuries in one of these occurrences resulting from someone else’s negligence, you have legal options available to you. Your lawyer can discuss the circumstances of your accident with you when you meet with them for the first time. Your lawyer can also develop a plan for moving your case forward by filing a timely insurance claim or lawsuit against the appropriate individuals or entities.
Wrongful Death Claims
Not everyone who meets with an injury lawyer suffers physical injuries themselves. Some people need assistance because they tragically lost a close family member in a fatal accident. If you lost your loved one in a motor vehicle crash or a similar accident, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Always meet with an injury lawyer to discuss your legal options in this difficult situation.
Meeting With Your Personal Injury Lawyer for the First Time
Most lawyers offer prospective clients a free initial legal consultation and case evaluation for a personal injury claim. When you meet with your lawyer for the first time, there are certain documents that you should bring to help make your meeting productive.
First, if you suffered injuries in a car accident, you should bring a copy of any insurance and contact information that you received from other involved drivers at the accident scene. If the police or an investigator prepared a report or statement, and you have a copy, you should also bring it. If a responding officer has body camera footage, your lawyer can subpoena that and obtain it from the police department.
If you have contact information or statements from witnesses, you should bring those to your initial consultation so that you can review them with your lawyer.
Moreover, you should bring copies of all of your medical treatment records to date, along with lost wage statements from your employer, showing the amount of money you make per year, the days you missed from work and the total amount of compensation you lost. These documents can help when the time comes to prove a lost wage claim.
If you have photographs of your injuries and property damage photographs, you should bring them with you as well. Finally, if you kept a journal of your medical treatment and how you were feeling each day since the accident, those entries can be helpful when discussing your case with your lawyer.
When meeting with your lawyer for the first time, they will review all the documents you bring and can evaluate the strength of your case. Your lawyer can let you know whether you’re eligible to file a personal injury claim with the at-fault person’s insurance company. Your lawyer can also give you an idea of your chances of success. While it is impossible to accurately predict settlement amounts, jury verdicts, or arbitration awards, your lawyer can give you a ballpark estimate.
The MNH Injury Team Gets Results
The Burden of Proof in a Negligence Claim and How a Personal Injury Lawyer Could Help You Meet It
In a negligence claim involving personal injuries, the accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof. They are responsible for satisfying all of the necessary legal elements to become eligible for monetary damages. The at-fault individual or entity, on the other hand, does not need to prove anything in the personal injury case.
First, the injured accident victim must establish that the occurrence in question happened because another person deviated from the standard of care. The accident victim must also show that they suffered at least one physical injury in the occurrence and that their injury directly resulted from the accident.
Satisfying these legal elements of proof is sometimes an uphill battle in a personal injury case. Your lawyer can help by retaining a knowledgeable accident reconstructionist who can visit the scene of the accident, gather evidence, review reports, and speak with witnesses, to piece together exactly how the incident occurred.
A lawyer can help you prove the medical portion of your case by retaining an expert medical doctor who can causally connect your injuries to the subject accident. A medical doctor might also establish, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that your injuries are permanent, likely to cause you ongoing pain, and unlikely to become better over time.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you satisfy the legal elements of your case, retain experts, and pursue the monetary damages you deserve. Your lawyer can discuss all of this with you at your initial case evaluation meeting.
Personal Injuries That Accident Victims Suffer
When other individuals behave negligently and accidents occur, accident victims may suffer debilitating injuries that leave them incapacitated for a significant period. In some cases, accident victims suffer permanent injuries that cause them lifelong complications.
The injuries that an accident victim sustains often depend upon the type of accident that occurs, the force involved, and the body parts affected. Some of the most common injuries that accident victims sustain due to negligence are traumatic head and brain injuries, cuts and bruises, soft tissue contusions, fractures, internal organ damage, spinal cord injuries, and full or partial paralysis.
As soon as possible after an accident, you should seek proper medical treatment. For example, you can consult with a primary care doctor or visit a hospital emergency room or urgent care center right away. Seeking same-day medical treatment after an accident is extremely important for several reasons. First, it helps to ensure that your injuries do not become worse over time. Next, it shows the insurance company handling your claim that your injuries are serious.
At a hospital emergency room or urgent care center, the medical provider treating you can order imaging studies, including X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, to diagnose your medical condition and implement the proper treatment plan. Moreover, if you require ongoing medical treatment, the provider can make the necessary recommendations. For example, if you sustained a bone fracture in your accident, you may need to consult with an orthopedic doctor or a physical therapist going forward.
When you have a personal injury lawyer handling your case, they can begin advocating for you even while you continue your medical treatment. Specifically, your lawyer can begin gathering your medical records, lost wage statements, injury photographs, and other potential evidence to use in your case. While you focus on getting better, your lawyer can assemble these documents in a settlement demand package and send them to the insurance company adjuster once your medical treatment is complete.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help in Your Case
Retaining an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you is one of the most important steps that you can take in your personal injury case. A lawyer can assist you throughout the entire process and work to recover the full monetary damages that you need.
Some of the most important ways that a personal injury lawyer can help you throughout your case include:
- Filing a personal injury claim with the at-fault individual’s insurance company on your behalf
- Fielding settlement offers from insurance company adjusters and aggressively negotiating your case
- Helping you finalize settlement in a personal injury case
- Filing a lawsuit and litigating your case in court if necessary
- Assisting you throughout the litigation process by preparing for depositions and attending all court appearances with you, including settlement conferences and jury trials
- Zealously advocating for your legal interests in court by making persuasive arguments and introducing evidence in support of your case
- Pursuing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, like mediation or arbitration, when they are available in your case
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you suffered injuries in an accident that was not your fault, you should reach out to a skilled personal injury lawyer right away. In all personal injury claims and lawsuits, time is of the essence. This is because accident victims have only two years from their accident date in which to file a lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
The statute of limitations clock begins to run on the accident date, and it expires exactly two years afterward. If an accident victim has not filed a lawsuit in the court system by that time, they forever waive their right to recover any monetary damages for their accident-related injuries. Therefore, it is in your best interest to act immediately.
Once you reach out to a local personal injury lawyer, your lawyer can set up an initial one-on-one consultation with you. At that meeting, your lawyer can discuss your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim and develop a plan of action for moving your case forward. If you are eligible to continue, your lawyer can assist you with filing a claim, negotiating with the insurance company adjuster, and, if necessary, litigating your claim in the court system.
Your lawyer will do everything they can to help you maximize your monetary award and pursue the amount of damages you deserve. This means that you do not have to worry about how to handle the legal process, and you can focus on your physical recovery. Do not wait to protect your legal rights and start the process.