Meeting with an accident can lead to a lot of repercussions. For certain people, it means loss of earning mode as they are rendered unfit to work for life. If another person caused this accident, you could always file a personal injury case against him. However, any kind of claim comes with its share of doubts in mind.
Many people just stop themselves from taking the step as they presume it is a tough job. For such people, we are there to help. Here we will share some common doubts you may have about finding a personal injury lawyer and the clarification behind them.
What types of accidents can I raise a claim for?
The first query that most people have is the types of accidents that fall under the personal injury category. Below, we are mentioning what all cases are acceptable by the court.
- Road traffic accidents- If you were injured in a road accident and that too because of someone else’s carelessness, you can file a case on them. The responsible person will have to pay for the damages you have suffered. A Personal Injury Lawyer in Lawrenceville, GA, will guide you on the exceptions to this rule.
- Accidents at work- The employer is responsible for the safety of his employees. Suppose you suffer an accident while at work, your employer will have to pay for the loss. More than anything, there is the fear of losing your job that you are bothered with. A responsible personal injury lawyer should tell you how to proceed with this one.
- Slips and trips- Your falling down in public with a minor injury is perfectly fine. However, if you suffered a life-threatening head injury or something close, it could jeopardize your entire life. If the fall happened in someone else’s premises and it was a result of their negligence, you can pull them up for the same.
- Medical negligence- Negligent behavior during medical care can be dangerous. Misdiagnosis, wrong diagnosis, incorrect surgery, etc., all fall in this category.
What is the process of starting a personal injury claim?
Next, you would probably want to know what is the process of starting a personal injury claim:
- Assessment- You have to consult a personal injury lawyer who will assess your injuries. They will discuss with you whether you can rightfully claim an individual injury case. It is wise to take all advice seriously as they decide your future course of action.
- Consultation- The solicitor will then discuss with you all the aspects of your injury. He will compile how the injury has affected your daily life. Apart from that, collating all the evidence and showcasing it appropriately is a must in order to get justice.
- Submission- The solicitor will then file the claim on your behalf. This is the first time that the other party gets to know that you have filed a case against them.
- Negotiation- Now, your claim would pass through the stages decided by the Ministry of Justice. The defendant could cite ignorance and try to belittle your claim. If the two parties cannot reach an agreement at this point, the matter would go to court.
- Finalization- Now, your case gets settled either in court or through negotiations. You will get the compensation you have asked for. Out of that, you will have to pay the solicitor his fees.
How much compensation can I hope to get?
You would also want to know how much compensation you could hope to receive. There is no answer to this, but your compensation depends on the extent of damages suffered.
To find out the right amount, you will have to tell the lawyer all details of the injury, how it has hampered your life and its severity.
Your solicitor might consider the following before estimating the final compensation you deserve:
- Lost earnings due to the time taken off work
- Losses you might have suffered to your future earnings
- Impact on your ability to work in the future
- Psychological damage you are facing
- Cost of medical care you must have taken
- Cost of any rehabilitation programs you had to take part in
- Daily extra expenses you had to incur because of the injury
Who will pay the compensation?
Often people are curious to know who will actually pay the compensation they are trying to get. It is the insurance company of the defendant that does the needful. People think that if they file a claim against their employer or any other person, payment of the same will leave them bankrupt.
However, this is not the case. Most employers are legally obliged to have an insurance firm to tackle such claims for them.
How will I have to pay after the case is over?
Some people worry that even if they have lost the case, they will have to pay compensation to the solicitor or lawyer. Usually, claims are made against no win, no fee conditions. That means if you do not win a case, you are not liable to pay any amount to the lawyer.
These are some of the points you should know:
- If the lawyer wins the claim, then only you pay them
- Typically this could be around 25% of the compensation you received
- The figure could vary depending on the circumstances of the claim
- Your payment is made only after you have got your amount
- Apart from this, there will be no other hidden charges and upfront costs
- Your lawyer has to arrange insurance for you to ensure that the claim is risk-free
How long will it take for the claim process to get complete?
The time it will take for the claim process to get over depends on case to case. It will depend on the severity of the injury, the complexity of the case, and the time taken to arrange all the documents. The duration of the claim could also be affected by the fact that you know the identity of the defendant or not.
A clear road accident could be resolved in a matter of weeks. On the other hand, a medical negligence case could continue for 3-4 years. There is no fixed duration which the courts follow; hence being patient is all that you can do.
Is there a time limit in which I can make my claim?
Yes, there is a time limit that you have to adhere to if you want to file a personal injury claim. You have to file a case within three years of the accident to get compensation. Otherwise, you also have to be quick in taking the process further as more weight is given to recent cases. However, there are still exceptions to this 3-year rule:
Psychological trauma- Supposing a person has a brain injury and he has recovered after the deadline has passed, he may show the details of his injury and be exempted.
Children- Parents can file a claim on behalf of their kids until they turn 18. After turning 18 years, the children have three years, i.e., 21 years of age, to file a claim and compensation.
What helps in making a successful personal injury claim?
Mostly your personal injury solicitor would know how to proceed with the claim to make it a success. Still, the following tips would prove helpful to get you victory in the case.
- Collect as much evidence and information you can get. This includes the names and contact details of all the parties and the witnesses if any. You have to get the registration name of the vehicles involved if you are in a car accident. Names and wards of doctors, if you are in a medical negligence case.
Details of treatment with proper dates mentioned and the bills of the costs you incurred.
- Record the injury details in total capacity. That is, you have to take pictures of your injury as it progresses towards healing. Take good quality close images so that it is evident how much trauma you have been put through. Ask your friends or family to take pictures if the injuries are at your back.
- Be organized in providing all the details. You should have jotted down the dates of the accident along with the significant pieces of information. When the personal injury solicitor contacts you, all the data should be filed and available for scrutiny.
This will make it easy for the solicitor to file a case on your behalf and understand your injury in full.
Getting hurt in an accident is quite traumatic as it is. If it has led to a loss of employment and thwarted your chances of earning a decent living, you can ask for damages. Sometimes people do not take the initiative as they are not informed about personal injury cases.
The above details will guide you well, and your path to finding justice will be smoothened. Always choose a personal injury lawyer only to tackle your case, as a regular lawyer does not have the required expertise to help you out.