Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured – whether at work or by the negligence of another away from home – there are several steps to take to file an injury-related lawsuit, which often occurs after an insurance company has had cold feet or has been slow about processing a claim. Because personal injury cases are so extensive (workers’ compensation, medical malpractice and motorcycle accidents all fall under the broad category), much depends on the severity of your injuries and how certain your personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL, is about determining fault in your case.
If you are in a car accident with someone who is not carrying insurance, for example, you may have a more difficult time being compensated for your injuries, and would have to go after the personal assets of the person who caused the accident in order to get properly compensated for your injuries.
Decide Which Insurance You Will Use
First, determine if the party responsible for your injury has insurance. If so, that coverage will cover a slip and fall at a business, a car accident, or other liability. In the case of an injury at a business, the owner’s liability coverage would kick in.
Understanding whether or not there is insurance to cover your costs is important, because in some cases, even if your case ends with a judgement in your favor, the defendant may not have the funds to cover your expense and may have little by way of assets. In cases such as these, your own insurance will likely cover medical costs, making it a smarter move to get on with your recovery without filing a lawsuit against someone without the means to pay for your expenses. If you have significant injuries, however, filing a lawsuit is likely the smarter move. Allow the person responsible for your injuries to worry about how to pay for them. That, however, will require a personal injury attorney to help you file a lawsuit against the offending party.
If you don’t think you have a case worth filing a lawsuit, you can contact the other person’s insurance carrier and file notice of a claim. You will learn whether or not you need an attorney if settlement negotiations between you and the insurance company don’t meet your needs.
Decide if You Need a Personal Injury Attorney
Second, decide whether or not to hire a personal injury attorney. In small cases, if your car is only slightly damaged and your injuries are resolved by a single trip to the emergency room, you may be able to handle the case on your own. If you’d feel more comfortable proceeding after talking to a personal injury attorney (most consult for free) and that this will give you a better idea of how to proceed, you should do so. He or she can help you determine if you have a case worth pursuing beyond a single insurance payment.
Choose a Skilled Attorney
Third, if you do hire a personal injury attorney, your lawyer or team of lawyers will work on a “contingency” basis, which means that you won’t pay until your case is settled in your favor. You’ll often pay about 33 percent, depending on the firm. If your injuries are such that you could stand to win a sizeable settlement in court, it is important to have an attorney who is able to fight for you in court against the defendant’s team to make your case stronger and more solid by collecting critical evidence such as witness statements, expert witnesses, medical records, police reports, and photographs.
Consider Settling Before Your Case Goes to Trial
Fourth, consider settling your case before trial. If your attorney is able to hammer out an agreement with the other side that covers your expenses, it may be a smart move to accept the offer without heading into court. Your attorney will know whether or not the settlement is acceptable or not, and will also know whether it is ultimately advisable to go to court if he or she thinks a jury will award you significantly more.
No matter what you do, however, understand that you likely have two years from the time of the accident – which is the statute of limitations in most states – in order to file any sort lawsuit.
Thanks to the law office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into filing a personal injury lawsuit.