What constitutes Personal Injury or a Personal Injury Case?
Personal Injury Case is a term used to explain an accident caused by another person’s negligence, which leads to bodily injury. These cases can be caused by a wide variety of situations, but the most common are car accidents and slip and fall accidents. If you or someone you know has been injured by the negligence of another person or business, this is a Personal Injury case. A Personal Injury Attorney will be best able to tell you whether or not you may have a claim or case.
What constitutes Negligence?
The law requires all people to act with reasonable care. What specifically constitutes reasonable care varies from state to state and circumstance to circumstance. If a person does not act with the reasonable care needed by a specific circumstance, that is considered negligence. This is very important to remember, because in order to receive fair compensation for any personal injury, you and your attorney will have to prove that the cause of your injuries was the result of negligence of another person or business.
How can I Determine if I have a Personal Injury Case?
The only way to determine whether or not you have a personal injury case is to speak to a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will be best able to determine whether or not you have a valid claim. In all personal injury claims, the following information needs to be proven in order to receive any compensation for injuries.
- you sustained injuries and/or damages
- the person responsible for your injuries was negligent
- the negligence was the cause of your injuries and/or damages
What determines the value of my personal injury case/claim?
There are many different factors that go into the determination of how much your case is worth. First of all, it must be said that no two personal injury cases are exactly alike and therefore will not be compensated exactly the same. In general, you should receive fair compensation for the following: medical costs, lost wages, property damage, injuries sustained, pain and suffering, disability both present and future, and other financial losses.
Once those factors have been taken into account, these next factors are then considered in making a fair compensation determination of your claim: amount of insurance involved, assignment of fault for the accident, and if there is any fault on the part of the person who has been injured. These are just a few of the factors that get taken into account for any claim, and only an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to give you a fair compensation determination as well as a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
What should I do if I have been injured in an accident?
The first thing you should do is get medical attention immediately. If you are able to, let any and all medical treatment providers (ambulance personnel, emergency room physicians, nurses, etc) know that your injuries are the result of an accident. If you believe that you have not been injured, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible because there are many internal injuries (such as whiplash) that will appear after a few days and will have a negative effect on your health.
You should also file a police report and if you have consulted a personal injury attorney, they will either fill out the accident report for you, or will fill it out with you. It is also important for you to write down the details of the accident, conditions, etc. exactly as you remember them as soon as possible. If you are able to take pictures of the accident scene and any property damage that occurred as a result of the accident, that is also helpful. The pictures and written descriptions of an accident scene give evidence that cannot be replicated once the accident scene has been cleared up.
It is also important to talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as you can after the accident. They will be able to advise you as to “what happens next” and what you should be doing to help your case.
Should I deal with insurance companies on my own?
Insurance companies DO NOT have your best interest at heart. Insurance companies are in business to collect as many premiums as they can and pay out as little as they can in claims. Insurance claims representatives have been trained to deny or minimize any claims and use many different strategies to do this. An experienced personal injury attorney knows the strategies that claims representatives use and can work with and against insurance companies to get you the fair compensation you deserve.
How are Settlement/Compensation offers determined by insurance companies?
Many insurance companies use a software program that lets claims representatives put in the details of your accident and the computer software then determines the compensation. This compensation is then made to you or your attorney. In most cases, this compensation amount is very low and not nearly adequate. An experienced personal injury attorney will recognize this insufficient amount and get you the fair compensation you deserve.
When should I call a personal injury attorney?
Immediately! You should consult a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you have been injured. Most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations to determine whether or not you have a valid claim/case. CALL MY OFFICE AT (508) 801-8347 to set up an appointment for your free consultation.
What is a Contingency Fee Agreement?
Most personal injury attorneys work for clients using a contingency fee agreement. This means that you DO NOT pay them any money up front and they do not bill you by the hour. The attorney does not get paid any money until your case/claim is settled and the insurance company has paid out fair compensation to you. Once the case is settled, the attorney is paid 33.3% of the settlement amount as compensation for their time and work on your case.