Personal injuries can happen even to the most careful individuals, and the worst cases can never be avoided because said cases are the ones that happen when least expected. Being worried of physical pain is a given but what most people fail to take into account is the medical costs that would soon follow, which is made even worse by the income loss when the injury prevents an individual from earning a living.
Insurance is not enough
Most people would assume that an insurance company is enough, but usually insurance companies do their best to save on costs by finding loopholes in order to avoid paying you, or at least minimize the amount they have to pay. In order to avoid this predicament, you might need the services of a professional personal injury lawyer, so that you can avoid being taken advantage of and will have expert help when filing for personal injury claims.
Who is a personal injury lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers are civil litigators who specialize in representing plaintiffs who have suffered from physical or psychological injuries arising from negligence of an entity or organization. Personal injury lawyers are well versed in tort laws, which govern over injuries or private and civil wrongs, including actions of bad faith and defamation.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help individuals obtain compensation for the losses suffered due to a personal injury. These include, but not limited to:
- loss of earnings capacity
- medical expenses accrued from present injury and future maintenance care
- emotional distress
Aside from seeking financial recompense, a counsel (a personal injury lawyer) will also protect clients from insurance companies from either side that might want to use loopholes in the contract and the legal system to be absolved of their obligations.
When Hire a personal injury lawyer?
There are a number of good reasons why you might need to hire a personal injury lawyer:
Motor Vehicle Accidents – a motor vehicle accident is defined as the unintended collision of a motor vehicle with another entity, whether it’s a stationary object, a person, or another motor vehicle. These types of accidents result in injuries, loss of property, and even death. Some examples of motor vehicle accidents include:
- Car accidents – this is arguably the most common type, and the cases are rising these past few years as the rise of handheld devices like cellphones and tablet computers have given more distractions to riders, which is liable to lead to vehicle collisions.
- Tractor Accidents – these are types of motor vehicle accidents that involve a tractor trailer or a semi truck. Many of these accidents are caused by negligence of the truck driver while some are due to driver fatigue. This type of motor vehicle accident is particularly dangerous due to the size of the vehicles involved, leading to permanent disability and financial ruin.
- Motorcycle accidents – the number of motorcycle drivers are steadily increasing, and injuries resulting from motorcycle collisions are following suit. The small size of the vehicles make it easier for larger motor vehicles to not see them if the driver is distracted
Premises Liability/Injuries while on the property of another – these types of cases include accidents that occur while on the property of another individual or entity, which could lead to medical expenses, pain & suffering, and lost income. Many of these cases can be the result of negligence on the part of the owner, such as lack of signs pointing to potentially hazardous areas or failure to maintain machinery or install safety devices.
Pedestrian Accidents – while related to motor vehicle accidents, this type of accident is from the perspective of an individual who is not the driver but still suffered from an accident. Cases include passengers of a public transit vehicle or pedestrians who were hit by an errant vehicle. This can also be related to premises liability, as lack of properly marked crosswalks or lack of warning signs of a slippery sidewalk could also result in personal injury.
Product Recalls – large companies sometimes release a flawed product to the market, and even if it causes injury to users, will be absolved from liability simply because they chose to do a product recall and provide replacements. A personal injury lawyer can help with representing your cause instead of being bullied by a large company.
Animal Bites – pets are the responsibility of its owners, and when a person is injured by a pet, a personal injury lawyer can help the victim to seek compensation from the liable owner. This is particularly important as many pet owners are not aware that they are legally responsible for any and all harm their pets will do to another.
Workers Compensation – there are situations when employers try to squeeze as much money as possible out of their business by denying benefits or paying that an employee is legally entitled to. If you suffer from extremely long work hours with no overtime pay or contracts that do not provide medical benefits for hazardous tasks, a personal injury lawyer will help with filing your claims.
Medical Malpractice – a hospital institution or a physician who causes injury to a patient can be taken to court for medical malpractice. They can be very aggressive in court and have resources for a protracted legal battle, so having an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for you would be ideal.
Wrongful Death – in cases when a family member or a loved one died due to an accident or negligence, the surviving family members need help with seeking for justice, as well as getting compensation for financial and mental losses from the guilty parties. This includes emotional suffering, medical expenses incurred, and loss of current and future income.
Social Security/Disability Denied Claims – sometimes social security or disability claims will be denied for people who need them due to technicalities or incorrect interpretation of the law. A personal injury lawyer can help a person to get what they are entitled to by the law.
Nursing Home Neglect – there are cases where nursing homes fail to properly care for their charges, and with the elderly no longer able to fight on their own, in terms of physical and emotional stress, a personal injury attorney is usually the best choice for getting proper care, as well as seeking damages incurred from nursing home neglect or malpractice.
Is It Safe to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
It is perfectly advisable to seek for services of a personal injury attorney if you think you need it. Unlike insurance companies where your needs are counter to their goals as goals of a profit-oriented company, a personal injury lawyer will stand to benefit from winning your case not just financially, but from the reputation standpoint as well.
Additionally, there is absolutely no room for unethical practices for personal injury lawyers, because they are working under regulations and codes, established by provincial law associations or societies, and those who fail to practice according to those regulations are subject to disciplinary action. Law societies are known to be very proactive and aggressive in enforcing regulatory policies, especially when it comes to personal injury lawyers, ensuring that no person is injured or harmed – physically or emotionally – by misconduct or gross negligence of their attorney.
What Type of Personal Injury Lawyer Should You Hire?
As with any type of lawyer, personal injury lawyers are either starting a solo practice or is part of a law firm as an associate or a partner. Choosing which one of those options fits best mostly depends on your needs, budget, and ultimately preference. Solo practitioners, in some cases, tend to provide more personal attention to the client but might not have the resources and clout available to attorneys who work under a law firm. However, solo practitioners usually willing to take on smaller cases, and may have lower fees.
Lawyers working for a law firm, at the other hand, differ in rates and expertise. Obviously, the more experienced a lawyer is, the higher fees he/she requires for legal services. Different law firms may also have different specialization, so the ones that specialize strictly in personal injury law are definitely more appealing.
In the end, it is highly advisable to make some research on the services that you need and to have a consultation before committing to representation.