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Personal Injury Lawyer FAQs

  • How to choose a personal injury attorney?

    It's crucial to find a personal injury attorney who is experienced, but it's also important to feel comfortable. Take advantage of free consultations and ask questions about how long each candidate has been practicing, how their fee structure works, and who will be handling the majority of the casework (some big firms may hand off routine tasks to paralegals). Above all, find someone who listens well and believes they can achieve an optimal outcome. Still uncertain? Ask friends for referrals and check out online reviews.

  • What does a personal injury lawyer do?

    Personal injury attorneys help those who have suffered due to the negligence of others get the compensation they deserve. That may include negotiating settlements with other people, insurance companies, or even government agencies or arguing the case in court. Some attorneys specialize in a certain type of injury, such as auto accidents or birth injuries, while others advocate for almost any injured party.

  • What does personal injury law cover?

    In the legal world, "personal injury" is any kind of injury, physical or psychological, that results from the negligence of a person, business, or other entity. While visible or acute injuries such as a broken leg or concussion are among the most obvious types of personal injuries, this category also covers less tangible injuries such as emotional distress and issues such as asbestos exposure that may contribute to long-term problems.

  • What are the most common types of personal injury claims?

    Personal injury claims encompass a wide variety of situations ranging from accidents on privately owned property to injuries in the line of duty to whiplash sustained during a commute. These claims may include car accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, defamation, product defect accidents, premises liability, product liability, workplace accidents, food poisoning at a restaurant, and boating or aviation accidents.

  • How do personal injury lawyers get paid?

    Many personal injury lawyers advertise that they don't get paid unless their client does. This is called "working on contingency," meaning the attorney is compensated only if they win their case. These payments are typically percentage based, giving attorneys a predetermined portion of the court-ordered award. Other lawyers may command an hourly rate or combine an hourly rate with a smaller contingency fee.

  • How much do personal injury lawyers charge?

    Personal injury lawyer fees can differ from state to state and may be subject to local regulations. In general, personal injury attorneys work under contingency agreements entitling them to 33% of any related settlement or award. Sometimes lawyers use a sliding contingency, charging 33% for awards agreed upon during pre-trial negotiations and raising the fee to 40% once the matter goes to trial.

  • When do I need to hire a personal injury lawyer?

    Anytime an injury is known or suspected to be the result of negligence, it's a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney who can offer insight into the validity of a claim and whether or not that claim is worth pursuing legally. A consultation is particularly important if someone has suffered serious injuries that have left them disabled or otherwise impacted their financial future or quality of life.

  • Can I file a personal injury claim without a lawyer?

    It's possible to pursue a personal injury claim without an attorney; however, it's best to save self-representation for cases involving minor injuries or are otherwise considered straightforward. Cases that involve serious injuries that are not completely resolved or where liability has yet to be determined are more complex. Those situations can quickly become stressful and time consuming as they require an understanding of tort law, resources for gathering medical records, and time to review photographs and evidence pertaining to the injury and scene of the accident (if applicable). Bringing on an experienced personal injury lawyer could result in a higher reward while giving the injured party more time to concentrate on their physical, mental, and emotional recovery.

  • How long does a personal injury lawsuit last?

    The length of time it takes to settle a personal injury lawsuit is highly dependent on a number of factors ranging from the type of case to the length of medical treatment to whether the suit is settled before court or requires a long trial. While most personal injury cases are resolved within two years, more complicated suits could take longer.

  • What are the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer?

    It's tempting to save on lawyer's fees by pursuing self-representation, but there are many benefits to hiring a personal injury lawyer including their years of experience. A good attorney will know how to properly assess your damages, including not just medical bills but other concerns, such as lost wages and pain and suffering, to craft a demand that fully reflects the compensation to which the injured party is entitled. They also have the resources and knowledge necessary to consult with experts, negotiate effectively with insurance companies, properly navigate the legal system, and otherwise ensure the best possible outcome.

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