How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

When other individuals behave recklessly or carelessly, serious accidents may lead to debilitating injuries for accident victims. In these situations, an accident victim may file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault person or entity in the court system.

To maximize the monetary compensation you receive through a personal injury settlement offer or litigation result, you need to have the right personal injury attorney in your corner advocating for you every step of the way. Ideally, you want a lawyer who regularly handles personal injury cases, successfully takes them to trial, and achieves favorable results on behalf of their clients.

Once you retain a personal injury attorney to represent you in your legal matter, they can gather the documents necessary to prove your case. They will file a timely claim with the appropriate insurance company. Your lawyer can then handle all communications with insurance company representatives, including settlement negotiations, on your behalf.

If the insurance company does not offer you fair monetary damages, your attorney can file a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf and pursue a favorable litigation result.

Every step of the way, your attorney can address all of your legal concerns and help you make intelligent and informed decisions, including whether or not to accept a pending settlement offer from the insurance company or litigate your case to a favorable resolution in court, such as at a civil jury trial or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding.

Types of Personal Injury Legal Matters That Can Arise Due to Others’ Negligence

When other individuals and entities behave negligently, they may injure you.

Some of the most common types of occurrences that result from the negligence of others include:

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

  • Car and truck accidents, where another driver violates one or more traffic laws
  • Pedestrian accidents, where a driver negligently fails to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian at the appropriate time
  • Bus and mass transit accidents, where a bus driver or third-party driver negligently deviates from the standard of care and causes an accident
  • Bicycle and motorcycle accidents, where another driver negligently causes their vehicle to strike a motorcyclist or bicyclist, often causing the cyclist to forcefully strike the ground and suffer serious injuries
  • Medical negligence, where a medical provider commits an act of negligence or malpractice
  • Boating accidents, where a boat owner/operator fails to maintain their boat in a reasonably safe condition or operates the boat while intoxicated
  • Workplace accidents, where a worker suffers an accident on the job due to a third-party individual or entity’s negligence
  • Accidents on construction and building sites – usually because of dangerous equipment, machinery, ladders, or scaffolding

If you suffered injuries in one of these occurrences that resulted from someone else’s recklessness or negligence, your lawyer can take the necessary legal action on your behalf to pursue the full monetary compensation you deserve.

While you receive treatment for your injuries, your lawyer can gather medical treatment records, medical bills, and other documentation necessary to satisfy your legal burden of proof.

What Is Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit?

An individual or entity is negligent when they behave unreasonably under the circumstances.

For example, in a motor vehicle accident, another driver is negligent when they violate one or more traffic laws or drive in a reckless, intoxicated, or distracted manner.

Similarly, in a premises accident scenario, such as a slip-and-fall accident, a premises owner is negligent when they fail to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition – or when they fail to correct a hazard or defect on the premises within a reasonable time.

To recover monetary compensation as part of a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the injured accident victim must satisfy their legal burden fully.

First, the accident victim must show that the other party owed a legal duty of care, which they subsequently violated.

Next, the accident victim needs to establish that both the subject occurrence and their physical and mental injuries are a direct and foreseeable result of the other party’s negligence.

Satisfying the legal burden of proof in a personal injury case can be extremely difficult to accomplish on your own. However, an experienced personal injury attorney in your area can help you satisfy your burden by gathering the necessary documentation and/or retaining one or more experts who can testify as witnesses in your case.

For example, your lawyer can retain an accident reconstructionist who can piece together exactly how the subject accident occurred after speaking with witnesses, visiting the accident scene, and reviewing video footage and photographs, if available. An accident reconstructionist may also draft a report of their own or testify at a discovery deposition or jury trial in support of your case.

Additionally, your lawyer may retain a medical expert (such as a treating medical provider) who can physically examine you, review your medical records, and causally relate your claimed injuries to the subject occurrence.

Depending on your circumstances, they might also show that one or more of your injuries are permanent with lifelong effects and losses.

Injuries that Accident Victims May Suffer Due to Others’ Negligence

Broken Bones in an Accident

Victims of serious accidents may suffer equally serious injuries, depending upon the accident circumstances. The injuries that an accident victim might sustain typically depend on the type of accident, the amount of force involved, and the body parts or parts affected in the accident.

Some of the most common accident-related injuries that an individual may suffer include:

As soon as possible after your accident, you need to complete your medical treatment regimen and focus your attention on getting better. In the meantime, your attorney can start advocating for you by assembling a settlement demand package on your behalf.

After you complete most of your medical treatment, your attorney may forward this demand package to the insurance company representative handling your case. Your attorney may then begin pursuing a favorable settlement offer from the insurance company.

Monetary Damages an Accident Victim May Recover

Since every personal injury claim and lawsuit is different, the overall monetary award that an accident victim recovers through settlement or litigation will vary from case to case. Generally, the more serious an accident victim’s physical injuries and the more extensive their medical treatment, the higher their chances of receiving significant monetary compensation to settle their case.

Other factors that may influence the monetary damages that accident victims suffer include:

  • The severity of their accident
  • The total cost of their medical treatment
  • The extent of their medical treatment
  • Whether they suffered a permanent injury in their accident
  • Whether they had to miss time from work after their accident

First, injured accident victims may pursue compensation for their medical expenses, lost earnings, and loss of earning capacity. The accident victim may recover compensation for loss of earning capacity if their injuries were so severe that they had to switch jobs – and take a pay cut as a result.

In addition to out-of-pocket losses, injured accident victims may pursue monetary compensation for their intangible losses, including pain and suffering, mental distress, inconvenience, long-term care costs, permanent disability or disfigurement, loss of use of a body part, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of spousal companionship and consortium.

An experienced personal injury attorney can explore your legal options and select the best course of action for your personal injury case. Your lawyer will then handle every step of the settlement negotiation or litigation process for you and pursue the compensation you need to become whole again after your accident.

What Makes a Good Personal Injury Attorney?

Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim

When you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit following a severe accident, you want the best possible attorney or legal team to advocate for you every step of the way.

Ideally, you want a lawyer who handles personal injury claims and lawsuits as a significant portion of their legal practice. Additionally, you want to retain a lawyer who not only settles personal injury claims favorably but also successfully takes legal matters to trial and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings, like mediation or binding arbitration.

Insurance companies know which attorneys settle all of their cases and are less likely to offer these attorneys a favorable monetary settlement in a personal injury case. When a lawyer successfully litigates cases and takes them to trial regularly, insurance companies are more likely to offer a favorable monetary settlement from the get-go to avoid prolonged litigation in the case.

Next, you want a personal injury attorney with a clean, ethical record. You can find information about prospective attorneys by checking your state bar association’s website.

You can also look up reviews for the attorney online and find out what other clients are saying about them. Once you retain a personal injury attorney to represent you in your case, they can enter an appearance on your behalf and begin advocating for you.

Ways that a Personal Injury Attorney May Help

A qualified personal injury lawyer can take over your pending case. First, your lawyer can investigate your accident circumstances, gather necessary documents, and submit a settlement demand package to the insurance company on your behalf. Then, your lawyer can handle all settlement negotiations with insurance company adjusters.

Having a skilled personal injury lawyer in your corner is especially important during the settlement negotiation process. This is because insurance company adjusters frequently lowball settlement offers, at least initially, and try to resolve personal injury claims as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Your attorney can aggressively fight for your legal interests, highlight the strong aspects of your case (including favorable expert reports and medical records), and push for a higher settlement offer. If the insurance company does not increase its settlement offer to a reasonable amount, your lawyer can file a lawsuit and litigate your case to a resolution.

If your case does not settle during the litigation stage, your attorney can explore potential legal options with you, including a civil jury trial or ADR proceeding. At a jury trial, the jury will listen to all the evidence the parties present in the case, review various documents, and reach a verdict.

The verdict will decide the outcome of all disputed issues in the case. The parties may consider ADR options like mediation or binding arbitration as an alternative to a jury trial. Your lawyer can explain the pros and cons of all litigation options and identify the best option for your legal matter.

Speak with a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer Right Away

Tatiana Boohoff - Personal Injury Attorney
Tatiana Boohoff, Personal Injury Lawyer

If you sustained injuries that someone else caused in an accident, time is of the essence. This is because, according to the statute of limitations, accident victims only have a limited time period, beginning on their accident date, to take legal action and file a lawsuit in the court system.

Absent skilled circumstances, if an accident victim fails to file their lawsuit on time, they risk the court dismissing their lawsuit and preventing them from pursuing monetary recovery for their injuries.

A qualified personal injury attorney can step in right away and handle every aspect of your case for you. They can also represent you at all litigation proceedings in your case and pursue the monetary compensation you need and deserve for all of your accident-related losses.

Once you schedule your free case evaluation, you should compile a list of questions you want to ask the attorney. There is no obligation to hire a lawyer following a free consultation, so this is your opportunity to decide if a particular law firm seems right for you. You can also learn about your rights and legal options during this meeting.

Never wait to seek legal help following an injury.

Request A Free Consultation Today!

November 3, 2023
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“Everyone here is so helpful. They jumped through every hoop necessary to get me the settlement I rightfully deserved. They made me feel right at home.”
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