If you’ve suffered a serious injury, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you seek damages from the party who caused your injury. Many personal injury lawyers focus on different types of personal injuries, which can leave you unsure of the role your lawyer would take.
Personal injury cases can be extremely complex, and having a knowledgeable lawyer at your side can make the process significantly easier. At Nessler & Associates, you can examine the role of a personal injury lawyer and determine whether a lawyer would benefit your case.
The Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer
The cost of an injury isn’t just measured in medical bills. Someone who suffers a personal injury may face the loss of their job, long-term pain or disability, and the development of mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. These physical or mental injuries can require expensive treatment, prevent someone from returning to work, and significantly reduce their quality of life.
Personal injury attorneys seek to recover financial compensation for your injuries. For example, they may help you recover lost wages from another driver’s auto insurance company, fight a denied workers’ compensation claim, or seek damages to cover your medical expenses. They may also help you seek compensation for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
Many people are unaware of what is considered a personal injury, the legal deadlines for filing a case, or avenues to negotiate with insurance companies. A personal injury attorney can keep you informed of your legal rights and handle the legal nuances of your case to ensure you earn the payout you deserve.
Services Your Attorney Can Provide
Depending on the case, a personal injury attorney may carry out different tasks and services. However, they typically handle tasks and processes required for legal procedures. A lawyer can provide services like:
Every personal injury case must show that you were harmed directly due to someone else’s actions. Your attorney can establish evidence of the other party’s actions, how you were harmed, and any other necessary evidence needed for your claim (such as negligence).
For example, if you have a phobia and someone deliberately exposed you to the subject of your phobia to upset you, your lawyer may suggest filing a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). To prove this, they can gather copies of emails or text messages, photo or video records of relevant incidents, or medical records documenting your phobia and treatment you’ve been receiving.
File a Claim
Once your attorney has sufficient evidence of your injury, they can write a demand letter to the other party outlining how you were injured, the financial impact of your injuries, and the other party’s responsibility. Filing a claim sets your personal injury case in motion: either the other party will negotiate a settlement with your lawyer, or the case will proceed to court.
Arrange Settlements with Insurance Companies
Many personal injury cases involve one or more types of insurance companies, like health or car insurance. Insurance companies can be reluctant to cover your expenses and offer a lowball settlement that doesn’t fulfill your needs. A lawyer is familiar with strategies to negotiate with insurance companies and can leverage them to get you a higher payout.
Argue Liability or Intent
Most personal injury cases can only be filed against a party considered at fault. While strict liability cases only require proof that one party’s actions caused the injury, most personal injuries are caused by negligence (i.e., careless or reckless behavior) or deliberate intent to cause harm.
A personal injury attorney can determine the liability the other party may have and argue why the other party is responsible for the injury. For example, if your spouse died in a motorcycle accident, an attorney can argue that the other driver was negligent by failing to check their blind spot before changing lanes.
Your attorney can also use Illinois’ modified comparative negligence doctrine to increase your payout. Under the modified comparative negligence doctrine, an injured party can only claim damages if they hold 50% or less responsibility for the injury, and their earnings will be reduced by their degree of fault. For instance, if the other party is initially determined to be 60% at fault, your attorney can argue that the other party is actually 80% at fault, thus increasing your earnings.
Do I Need a Specific Kind of Personal Injury Attorney?
While all types of personal injury law are based on tort law, some lawyers and law firms focus on specific types of injuries, like auto accidents, medical malpractice, or wrongful death. Even though any personal injury lawyer could handle any personal injury case, an attorney who focuses on a specific type of personal injury will be more familiar with specific laws, procedures, and tactics that affect your case.
For example, a car accident attorney has experience handling car insurance companies, and the legal challenges a car accident victim may face. An attorney who primarily handles slip-and-fall accidents would not have the same knowledge of auto accidents.
Similarly, some personal injury cases are more complex than others. For instance, depending on the circumstances proving negligence in an auto accident case may be more complicated than proving negligence in a medical malpractice case.
Should I File a Personal Injury Claim?
Many people benefit from consulting with a personal injury lawyer and filing a claim. If you’ve suffered serious physical or emotional damage as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence, you should always consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee arrangement and don’t charge you anything unless they win your case.
When it comes to personal injury claims, most people can’t handle a case on their own. Nessler & Associates can guide you through the personal injury case process, making it less overwhelming. You won’t need to worry about payment: our no-fee guarantee means you won’t pay us unless we win. Call our law firm at (800) 727-8010 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation today.