If you suffer injuries resulting from a car crash, consulting with a personal injury attorney is a wise choice. However, auto accidents aren’t the only types of personal injury cases that require the skill and expertise of an attorney to negotiate a personal injury settlement. In fact, there are many types of personal injury cases that warrant the knowledge and legal training of a personal injury attorney.
What Are Types of Personal Injury Cases?
Personal injury cases can be complex requiring specific knowledge of case law, legal codes, statutes of limitations, and the personal injury lawsuit process. What’s more, there are many types of personal injury cases, so it’s best to reach out for help from a personal injury expert to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
Personal injury attorneys can assist in the following types of personal injury cases:
- Airplane accidents
- Auto accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Birth injuries
- Boating accidents
- Burn injuries
- Bus accidents
- Construction accidents
- Dog bites or animal attacks
- Exposure to toxins and harmful chemicals
- Lead poisoning
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Negligent security
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Pool drowning
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Slip and fall injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Train accidents
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Truck accidents
- Workplace injuries and Workers’ compensation
- Wrongful death
If you are injured because of another’s neglect or wrongful act, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, expenses, pain and suffering, and more. That’s why it’s important to protect your rights and speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an accident.
What Should You Do Immediately After an Accident or Injury?
If you sustain injuries in an accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical treatment. Once you’ve dealt with any emergent injuries, it’s important to collect as much detailed information as you can about the accident and all parties involved. This should include:
- Names and contact information of all involved parties.
- Any insurance information you’re able to obtain, e.g., insurance company, policy numbers, claim numbers, adjuster’s name(s), and contact information, etc.
- Police reports.
- Photos or videos of the scene of the accident and/or injuries sustained.
- Witness names and contact information.
- Any physical evidence, such as a defective product.
- Medical reports or other documentation detailing your injuries, pain level, and the impact on your day-to-day life.
- Records of medications, medical procedures, testing required (X-rays, MRI, etc.) and medical bills you’ve received as a result of the accident.
- Proof of loss of income and dates missed from work due to the accident along with paperwork submitted for a Workman’s compensation claim.
Call (800) 223-5115 to discuss your options
It’s important to collect as much detailed information as you can to share with your personal injury attorney. It’s also important to direct any insurance company inquiries directly to your personal injury attorney for handling.
What is the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process?
After receiving treatment for any emergent injuries, you’ll want to consult with a personal injury attorney. At that time, your attorney will consider all factors to determine the feasibility of your case and discuss your legal options.
Once you retain a personal injury attorney, the personal injury lawsuit process will be set in motion:
- Investigation. Your attorney will review all the facts, collect evidence, interview witnesses, and examine paperwork and medical records.
- File a complaint. Your attorney will file a formal complaint with the court with relevant details about your case, the allegations of the defendant’s neglect or wrongdoing, and damages you seek.
- Process service. A process server or law enforcement officer will serve the defendant with the complaint and a summons which notifies them of the lawsuit.
- Defendant’s response. The defendant must respond to the complaint within a specific timeframe, either admitting or denying liability. At this point, they may also file a countersuit.
- Discovery. Both parties will participate in the discovery process, exchanging information and evidence related to the case.
- Pre-trial motions. Prior to any negotiations, either party can file motions with the court, such as a motion for summary judgment (a judgment entered by the court in favor of one party and against the other party without a full trial) or a motion to dismiss (a formal request for the court to dismiss the case.)
- Settlement negotiations. At this juncture, your attorney and the defendant’s attorney may attempt to reach a mutually agreed upon settlement. If that’s not possible, the case will continue to trial.
- Trial. At trial, both parties will present their evidence and plead their arguments to the judge and/or a jury. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge/jury will decide on the verdict.
- Verdict/judgment. The verdict or judgment reached by the judge/jury will determine liability and the amount of compensation awarded, if any.
- Appeals. Both parties have the right to appeal a verdict if they do not agree with the outcome.
- While the personal injury lawsuit process is the same for most cases, it is difficult to give a definite timeline from filing to resolution. Many factors impact the length of the personal injury lawsuit process, including the complexity of the case, the extent of your injuries, a lack of cooperation on the part of the defendant, and more.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit varies from state to state. For example, in many states, such as Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, and others, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of your injury. Some states give you a much longer timeframe, such as Maine and North Dakota (six years) and Missouri (five years), while others, like Louisiana and Tennessee, give you just one year to file.
In every state, there are exceptions that can extend the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, including:
- If the accident victim was a minor at the time of the injury.
- If the injured party was mentally incapacitated.
- If the defendant left the state for a certain length of time after the accident occurred.
- If the defendant attempted to conceal their identity or committed fraud in an effort to prevent the lawsuit from moving forward.
Your personal injury lawyer will be well-versed in the statute of limitations in your state as well as any permissible exceptions to the limits.
How Likely Is It That I Will Receive a Personal Injury Settlement?
A significant percentage of personal injury lawsuits do not proceed to trial and instead end in a settlement. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, only about 4-5% of personal injury lawsuits move to trial. Statistically, the odds are good that you’ll receive a settlement offer.
If you accept the offer, it is 100% certain you will receive the amount of settlement offered. However, if you reject the settlement offer, your chances of receiving a larger amount or nothing at all are about 50/50.
What Determines the Amount of the Personal Injury Settlement?
- There are many factors that impact the amount offered in a personal injury settlement or award, including:
- The severity of the injuries.
- The effect of the injuries on the accident victim’s daily life.
- The impact the injuries have on the victim’s ability to work.
- The length and cost of treatment.
- Pain and suffering.
- Certainty of the defendant’s liability is unquestionable.
- Legal fees and the cost of litigation itself.
Contact Pintas & Mullins
If you or a loved one has been injured due to another’s negligence or wrongful act, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a Pintas & Mullins’ personal injury lawyer for a free consultation today. With years of experience handling hundreds of personal injury lawsuits, you can trust us to help you secure financial compensation for the losses you or your loved one has suffered. Call (800) 223-5115 to discuss your options.