When you’ve suffered an accident or injury and another party may be liable, then you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Gather all pertinent documents and any evidence at your disposal. Then contact a personal injury lawyer. Your personal injury lawyer will take your case through civil court proceedings and will try and contact the other party to reach a settlement. Filing an official lawsuit may not be necessary.
Should it be impossible for a settlement to be reached, your personal injury lawyer will attempt to prove your case. The grounds for a personal injury lawsuit will vary from case to case, but generally most personal injury lawyers try to prove that the defendant was negligent in such a way that harmed the plaintiff. Different states have different requirements. Please consult with your personal injury attorney to learn what’s required in your state.
Personal Injury Settlements
Settlements occur before, during or after any lawsuit is filed. Experienced personal injury lawyers almost always seek this course first as it the fastest and easiest way to reach an acceptable conclusion for both parties. Negotiations will take place between personal injury lawyers who will then present the proposed settlement terms to both parties.
You, the plaintiff, will agree to cease any legal action towards the defendant for an agreed upon monetary amount. Special cases may require further action beyond monetary compensation. If both parties agree to the terms, then the personal injury lawyers can settle the case without ever taking it to civil court. For your own protection, be sure to consult with your personal injury lawyer before agreeing to any settlement.
Settling a personal injury lawsuit out of court can be beneficial. It spares you the duress of what could be a nasty and exhausting trial. Additionally, you can structure the settlement to meet your disability needs or to take advantage of tax benefits. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to recommend the best settlement structure for you.
On the other hand, if your case is strong enough, you may be able to obtain a larger settlement via court proceedings. Your personal injury lawyer will want you to consider your future needs. What if your injuries later present future problems that presently, you haven’t even begun to consider? Not to mention simple changes in the economy that could make the settlement amount severely insufficient.
We strongly suggest that you sit down with a personal injury lawyer familiar with your state laws and your personal injury. Your personal injury lawyer can help you determine the best course of action.
Laws Governing Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injury lawyers draw almost entirely from court decisions and theories published in the legal community. Some states have made advances is establishing statutes for personal injury cases, particularly in vehicle codes for personal injury cases involving car accidents. Still for the most part, personal injury lawyers build their cases on past court decisions.
This explains why choosing a personal injury lawyer familiar with your state and your particular injury is so crucial. There are also laws surrounding the filing process, time limits, types of damages sought and certain monetary amounts allowed that you’d need a personal injury lawyer to advise you on.
Filing a Notice of Claim
If your case is against the government in any way, your personal injury lawyer should file a notice of claim before any other action is taken. The claim informs the government regarding your injury and provides them an opportunity to respond before your personal injury lawyer files an official lawsuit in civil proceedings. The government will likely reject your claim and you and your personal injury lawyer will be free to move forward with your lawsuit. Feel free to have your personal injury lawyer submit a claim to multiple agencies if you are unsure which agency may be liable.
Documenting everything regarding your injury is vital to your case. Your personal injury lawyer can help you with the key information. Still, much of the record keeping should be done from the moment of the accident, before you even meet with your personal injury lawyer. Write down everything you remember about what happened, before, during and after the accident. Video, photos and other witness testimonies will help a great deal.
Your personal injury lawyer will also need documented evidence proving the extent of your injuries. Be sure to include not only physical injuries, but mental and emotional as well. Your personal injury lawyer may instruct you to keep records of all your treatments and record any impact on your work and personal life. You may want to consider keeping and hourly journal to assist your personal injury lawyer in building your case.
If you were in a car accident, take photos of the scene and obtain witnesses testimonies and names. If a defective product injured you, keep the product in precisely the condition it was at the moment of the injury. Also keep all packaging, instructions and receipts that accompanied the product. In all cases, visual evidence is helpful to your personal injury lawyer as are expert testimonies from professionals that can collaborate your story. Your personal injury lawyer will guide you in gathering evidence to build your case.