Personal Injury Compensation
Accidents happen; but when someone gets hurt, personal injury compensation becomes an issue. In a personal injury case, someone must be found guilty of causing an accident before compensation can be awarded. But before a case ever comes to trial, individuals involved in an accident need to consult with a qualified attorney. Legal representation is only warranted if the injured party has reasonable evidence that the accident occurred as a result of liability due to negligence, wrongdoing, or criminal intent. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff and the attorney to make a strong case for plaintiffs to be awarded damages for personal injury; and the case must be nearly ironclad before insurance companies consent to pay.
When accidents happen, the guilty party's insurance company will make it their business to pay as little as possible to compensate the plaintiff. Unless an accident victim's legal representative can build a strong case, the amount of compensation awarded can be substantially reduced. But proving a case begins long before the plaintiff and defendant get to court. Immediately after an accident, injured parties should solicit eye witnesses who are willing to testify regarding how the event took place. Key witnesses can verify the plaintiff's claims against the defendant. Taking written statements at the scene is one of the best moves to make if a case is to be pursued and if personal injury compensation is to be awarded. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" (Psalm 19:7-8).
The next factor a judge will consider is the extent of the plaintiff's bodily injuries, which can only be determined through medical records and not hearsay or how the plaintiff feels. Immediately after an accident, injured but ambulatory parties need to visit the emergency room for an assessment. Those who are non-ambulatory will probably be taken to the EC by ambulance. A medical assessment will include x-rays, CT scans, and an examination by a physician to determine if there are any overt or internal injuries. A personal injury compensation attorney will utilize medical records, including diagnostic and treatment phases, of a patient's examination to help determine the amount of damages to be specified in the case. Medical bills for emergency care, hospitalization, follow up treatment, medications, prostheses, and rehabilitation may all be considered in building a strong case and placing a dollar value on sustained injuries.
Once key witness statements and medical documentation have been compiled, a personal injury compensation attorney will want to examine property damage reported to the plaintiff's insurance company. In the case of an automobile accident, damage to the vehicle will be assessed by the plaintiff's agent. A police record will also further substantiate the plaintiff's liability claim against the defendant. Police reports, taken at the scene of the accident, include the time of day, weather conditions, approximate position of each vehicle before and after the collision, traffic patterns and signals, and a drawing or sketch of damage sustained to each vehicle. In a court of law, police reports, eyewitness testimonies, and medical records are all vital to proving a case and winning adequate compensation. Without this kind of documentation, a plaintiff stands a good chance of not winning the case.
An astute personal injury compensation lawyer will also include documentation of the plaintiff's activities; especially the extent of pain and suffering endured a result of the incident. Time lost from the job, subsequent corrective surgeries due to disfigurement or physical impairment, and future diminished prospects for employment due to physical or emotional injury can all play a part in securing a judgment on behalf of the plaintiff. Injured parties may lose employment as a result of the accident, especially if rehabilitation becomes a lengthy process. Multiple surgeries may be necessary to correct physical impairment; and psychological counseling may be needed to help accident victims overcome the emotional trauma of an event. If an individual who was the sole breadwinner or capable of earning a substantial living prior to the accident is greatly impaired and can no longer care for himself or his family; a personal injury compensation case may include winning a monetary settlement which will enable families to be financially maintained in the way they were accustomed.
If it sounds as if the plaintiff and the attorney will find winning a personal injury compensation case an easy task, then that is misleading. For all the efforts a plaintiff and attorney exert to prove just cause for requiring the defendant to pay; the defense attorney will be equally demanding that payment of all or at least a major part of requested damages be denied. The defendant may also have sustained bodily injuries and property damage and issued a counterclaim. Police reports and eyewitness testimonies are crucial to pinpoint liability and give the judge a clear cut overview of the guilt or innocence of either party. In the final analysis, it is the lawyer who can provide the most convincing evidence, the most accurate documentation, and the most reliable testimony backed by scientific, forensic, and professional findings that will more than likely walk away from the courtroom with a judgment in favor of the client. The United States Justice Department makes provisions for those who are wrongfully injured in an accident; but the law of the land lays the burden of proof on the plaintiff. In a democracy, the right to legal defense enables individuals injured in an accident the opportunity to personal injury compensation which can help restore their quality of life.
Personal Injury AttorneyAccidents happen, and a personal injury attorney is the right professional to contact when they do. These lawyers deal specifically with pursuing justice for individuals who are hurt in auto, work-related, and other accidents. Insurance companies may not work in favor of an injured accident victim. It's in their best interest to fight claims and pay out as little money as possible. Even employers sometimes deny workman's compensation claims, blaming employees for causing accidents. This is why so many people seek legal counsel in these situations. Every situation is unique, so it's important to look at the facts and then carefully decide on the next step.
"Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour..." (John 12:27). Unexpected injuries during accidents can be troubling both physically and spiritually. An ordinary day can turn upside down quickly because of an accident. In the midst of the chaos, victims and their families must make split-second decisions and face new and difficult circumstances. They may quickly forget their legal rights and what is owed to them. This is why it is so important to have an auto injury lawyer to contact right away. Even before an accident, everyone should keep contact information for a local, professional lawyer. When this isn't the case, the victim, if physically able, needs to research good legal counsel to represent them when talking with the insurance company.
The first step to finding a reputable personal injury attorney is to ask friends and family members for recommendations. Next, browse the local yellow pages. Make a list of potential firms and their websites. After looking at the websites for these attorneys, make sure they are recognized by the state bar association or national legal associations. After narrowing down the list to three or four attorneys, contact them by phone to set up a free consultation. Most attorneys will offer this service, so they can get to know potential clients and make sure the case is worth pursuing. The initial meeting will give the client an idea of how committed the lawyer is to the case.
When an accident happens, especially a serious one, victims may be bombarded with phone calls and letters from local attorneys. Many firms learn information about serious accidents just like anyone else would, through the media. Car accidents involving minors, alcohol, and other difficult circumstances are those which some firms will actively seek to be involved in. Just because an auto injury lawyer has a strong interest in representation doesn't mean he is a reputable professional. Accident victims don't have to ignore these solicitations, though. Making a return phone call and asking the firm some questions might lead to solid representation. It's important to find out which attorney will handle the case, how long the firm has been in business, and how successful they have been in the past. Scrutinize these firms even more so than those found during an active search for legal counsel.
When selecting the right representation, clients don't necessarily have to choose a firm which only specializes in personal or auto injury. They may also specialize in law regarding real estate, crime, family, or business. With an auto injury lawyer specifically, it's important to find one who has a great deal of experience working with insurance companies. This attorney should also have a reputation of taking insurance companies to court and winning. Ultimately, choosing the right attorney comes down to a client's comfort level. The accident victim should feel understood and even cared for by the legal counsel. A larger firm that works on cases across state lines may be intimidating to some clients. Some accident victims may be more comfortable working with a small, local firm run by only a pair of lawyers. No matter the size or clout, a good personal injury attorney will make a client feel confident in the pursuit of justice.
Accident victims may have the option of either settling with the insurance company or pushing for a larger amount of compensation. This amount of money can cover hospital bills, vehicle or personal property damage, and future health problems due to the accident. An accident that led to a death could reach result in a compensation amount that reaches into the millions. If the client and the auto injury lawyer decide to accept a settlement, the money could be distributed within a year of the accident. This all depends on how quickly the case is pursued, the amount of compensation, and how much of a struggle there is during negotiations. The compensation may either be paid in installments or in total, depending on what terms are negotiated. Should a negotiation not be reached, the lawyer will take the matter to court to seek out the desired amount for compensation.
Most legal counselors are paid on a contingency basis, meaning they get a percentage of the compensation from the case or settlement. This percentage can vary depending on the experience and reputation of the personal injury attorney. A less experienced attorney may not require as large of a percentage, but he may also not pose enough of a threat to an insurance company. Thus, the settlement may be lower than what the client really needs. Truly, the most significant fact to remember is that an accident is a serious matter that requires legal assistance. Leaving the compensation claim decisions completely up to the insurance company could cost an accident victim thousands of dollars. A professional, caring attorney will stand up for victims and try to make something better happen in the midst of a bad situation.