Personal injuries can be life-changing, keeping you from continuing your normal lifestyle. You may be so severely injured that you are struggling with pain and suffering. Additionally, the expense of your medical bills and missed days of work can weigh down on you. When you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, typically you can receive compensation.
The amount you can receive is based on the severity of your injuries and property damage you incurred. This means that smaller wounds with less impact on you emotionally and financially won’t be as expensive as an accident that resulted in catastrophic injuries. With the help of a personal injury attorney, you have a better chance of receiving full compensation. Read on to learn more about the most common outcomes of a personal injury case.
Determining Who Is at Fault
Once you’ve been injured, you must determine who is at fault. This means you must prove the other party was negligent in some way. If the other party owed you a duty of care, they must have breached that duty in some way by being negligent. Their reckless behavior must be the direct cause of your personal injury. Lastly, you must have suffered damages or harm done because of their negligence. If they are found to be at fault, then you can seek compensation.
An attorney can find out if the other party is at fault by investigating your claim. They can uncover evidence tied to your personal injury case and use the information you provide, such as photographs and medical bills. Attorneys also reach out to witnesses, review surveillance or traffic camera footage, and obtain police reports and other information.
If You Contributed to Your Accident
If your actions also played a part in your personal injury, then you must determine how much you contributed to your accident. A lawyer can help calculate the percentage of damages you are at fault for and deduct it from your total damages. You can still seek compensation for the percent of damages you are not at fault for.
Your Attorney Estimates Your Damages
After an initial investigation, your attorney will estimate your damages based on your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any property damage. These damages include the past expenses you have to pay as well as a projected estimate of what you can expect to continue paying in the future. For example, a product may have caused you to suffer burn wounds, miss days from work, and experience PTSD from the experience. Your attorney can estimate how much in damages you are owed by separately calculating each of these expenses you were burdened with over time.
Settle Outside of Court
In most cases, you will settle your personal injury claim outside of court. Not only does this shorten the time it takes for you to receive compensation, but the other party most likely will agree to your settlement demands. Going to court can add a year to your settlement process because more people are involved. An investigation will have to be performed by all involved parties, which can take months.
The other party will want to avoid having to pay for the court fees if they lose the case. Additionally, even if you were to file a lawsuit, the court admin still requires you to attend a mediation session before they assign you a court date. During the mediation, you will get the opportunity to speak with the other party and their insurer—if applicable. If they are unable to agree to your settlement terms, then you will have to go to court.
What Should I Do to Prepare for My Personal Injury Case?
You should take pictures of your physical wounds, write down notes regarding your pain and suffering, and get medical treatment. Try not to contact the other party and let your attorney handle communication for you. They will use your evidence and perform an investigation to find additional data to support your claim.
Attorneys work to obtain maximum compensation so that you can afford your expenses from the accident. That way, you can focus on recovering and use the money to support yourself through this difficult time. Ask a personal injury attorney for additional information to find out whether you are eligible for compensation based on your unique circumstances.