Human error and negligence contribute to 90 percent of all vehicle accidents. Even if you’re a careful driver, an auto accident might still occur due to a third-party’s negligence, causing you to suffer injuries or worse, lose a loved one. When this happens, the law must take its course.
The process begins with finding the right lawyer to represent you in your personal injury lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney will assess the accident and collect adequate evidence in order to help you get the financial compensation you deserve.
The Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer
The first thing a personal injury attorney does is to go through any and all documentation related to your case, such as government reports, medical bills, witness statements, medical treatment history, and surveillance footage. Once they’ve assessed your case and proven that the accused party was at fault, they will contact the liable party’s insurance company.
If the insurer agrees to the demand and offers a viable settlement offer, your injury attorney will assess the offer and respond accordingly. Often, personal injury attorneys don’t accept the first offer. They will buy time until your wounds have healed to get actual treatment costs and other related costs. In case the insurance company doesn’t offer a settlement that amounts to fair compensation, your lawyer will then take the case to court.
If your case reaches trial, the personal injury lawyer will produce a legal document itemizing relevant legal arguments, legal facts supporting the arguments, and your demands. The personal injury attorney will take legal responsibility for providing relevant evidence to back your claims during the court trial. In an effort to protect your interests, your attorney may file several pre-trial motions, preventing the defendant from utilizing specific evidence materials during the court trial.
What Evidence Do I Need to Prove My Injuries?
The right pieces of evidence can give the responsible jury a reason to award you the compensation you are asking for. The personal injury attorney you hire will understand how and where to source relevant evidence to back your personal injury claim.
The following are fundamental materials to give as evidence during a personal injury court trial:
- Police report: After an accident occurs, the responsible law enforcement team is called to assess the situation and make a report. The report gives views and facts of what triggered the accident. Your personal injury attorney will collect this report to present in court during the trial.
- Medical records: During the court session, your injury lawyer will be requested to provide any necessary medical records, including medical bills, psychological records, hospital records, and medical bills payment receipts.
- Employment records: The lawyer would also be required to provide employment records showing that you lost wages.
- Photos and videos: If the media or surveillance cameras shot videos and photos of the accident, your lawyer will be required to provide them to back the claims. Your lawyer can source relevant videos and photos from the responsible media or street cameras.
- Eyewitness statement: If your attorneys have statements made by eyewitnesses, they can also provide the statements before the court to back the provided evidence.
What’s the Process for Filing a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit?
A personal injury claim starts when you hire injury lawyers. When given the responsibility of managing your lawsuit, the attorneys will go ahead and collect relevant evidence. Your lawyer will then present the collected documents with a state or national court to initiate the lawsuit process. They will share the personal injury claim documents with the defendant.
The next step is the service of process. This process can be completed by anyone who gets a copy of the lawsuit summons as well as complaints. It could be law enforcement officers, expert process servers, and court officials. The defendant’s proof of receipt is required to complete the process, meaning physical presence is required.
The service of process takes place 30 days after the lawyer has filed the summons and complaint with the court. The next part is a response by the defendant to the complaint.
What Kind of Compensation Are You Entitled to in a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury compensations that may be paid to the injured party are categorized into two options: punitive and compensatory damages. Punitive damages are often rare compensations, which are meant to penalize the defendant. Compensatory damages reimburse injury victims for the losses they suffered.
Compensatory damages are categorized into several options: lost income, medical bills, emotional distress, physical suffering, and consortium loss. As for punitive damages, they are simply made to punish the party that caused the accident and offer a warning to anyone who might want to commit such crimes in the future.
Types of Cases Handled by Personal Injury Law Firms
Most personal injury attorneys can represent you and help you secure more compensation when you’re dealing with different types of personal injury claims. Some common personal injury practice areas include wrongful death, defective products, auto accidents and motorcycle accidents. An attorney with extensive experience can often handle a wide range of personal injury cases.
Most personal injury lawyers are skilled and experienced in offering legal representation to clients injured in auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical negligence accidents, workplace accidents and other premises liability cases. Personal injury cases are a bit more demanding and time-involving, so it’s important to choose a law office that is ready to commit the time and resources to help you get the maximum compensation.
If you’re ready to find out what your legal options are, contact us today to schedule your initial consultation!