Accident and Injury Lawyer - Your guide
For the millions of Americans who use the services of accident and injuries lawyers, these solicitors are lifesavers. For some, the chance to rebuild their lives after a tragic injury is more than they could have ever asked for. Personal injury lawyers help claimants who have suffered injuries, losses, or accidents with the necessary compensation and medical care to get back on their feet.
You can get the help of an injury lawyer if you have been neglected, mistreated, or injured because of the deliberate error of another party. So technically, if you have any fault in what happened, you will not be able to make a claim. Compensations can cover rehabilitation, medical care services, expenses, and disability. Injury lawyers also protect their clients from victimization by the legal system and insurance companies.
In this article, we shall be covering several topics concerning accidents and injury lawyers. We shall be looking at who an injury lawyer is, how they differ from other lawyers, and the types of injuries you can claim for. We will also provide you with a list of things you should have handy before meeting a personal injury lawyer.
Who is an accident and injury lawyer?
Injury lawyers are also known as injury solicitors. They are accredited legal professionals charged with representing people who have suffered from accidents and injuries through no fault of their own. They are also charged with the responsibility of negotiating on behalf of the injured party. Aside from this, injury lawyers can go as far as aiding the injured party in getting the medical advice and rehabilitation necessary for recovery. Clients also receive advice on how to keep their money protected once they receive compensation.
How are accidents and injury lawyers different from others?
Why should you enlist the services of an injury lawyer and not a regular attorney? What makes injury lawyers different from the rest? Unlike other lawyers and solicitors, accident and injuries lawyers specialize in helping claimants get the necessary medical care and recover their finances. Clients who seek out injury lawyers are typically anxious and in a state of vulnerability. Injury solicitors are trained to handle such emotions and get the best possible outcome for the claimants.
Types of injuries you can claim for
There are several types of personal injuries that you can claim. But first, you should know in what circumstance to contact an injury lawyer. They would be able to help if you are injured in an accident you did not fault in. it could be at your place of work, on a motorway etc. they will be able to advise you on the steps to take and whether or not you’ll be able to get compensated for the injury. Your injury solicitor would only push through with a claim if he is sure there is a good chance you would be compensated. Here are the different types of accidents and injuries you can claim for:
- Serious injury claims, including fatal accidents
- Accidents at work, including factory accidents and construction claims
- Falls, trips and slips claim
- Road traffic accidents, including pedestrian and passenger cycling claims
- Industrial disease claims
- Medical negligence claims, including NHS negligence and misdiagnosis claims
- Products liability
- Animal and dog bites
- Airplane, bus, and helicopter accidents
- Asbestos mesothelioma
- Assault & Battery (Plaintiff)
- Birth Injury
- Brain Injury
- Car Accidents
- Construction Accident
- Dangerous Products
- Drugs & Medical Devices
- Medical Malpractice
- Motor Vehicle Defects
- Personal Injury
- Personal Injury Defense
- Premises Liability
- Railroad Worker Injury & FELA
- Sexual Abuse
- Toxic Mold
- Toxic Torts
- Truck Accident
- Workers’ Compensation
- Wrongful Death
- Products Liability
If you don’t know whether or not you can claim compensation for your injury, an injury lawyer should be able to advise you on what sets to take. They will be able to tell you if pursuing the case would be worth your while or not.
What do accidents and injuries lawyers do for you?
The best injury lawyers offer claimants advice and guide them through the process of making a claim. They are also a source of support for clients, helping them through difficult times. In addition, injury lawyers would provide answers to whatever questions you may have. Once your chosen lawyer is sure that there is a good chance of being compensated from a claim, they will then proceed to:
- Ensure that you are eligible for a no-win, no-fee agreement.
- Start organizing your case and informing you of every step they make.
- They will initiate contact with the other person involved in the accident, whether it is an individual or a company, on your behalf.
- They become the point of contact for all things regarding your case.
- Lastly, they will estimate how much you might receive as compensation.
Your case is entirely in the hands of your lawyer. There is no need for you to confront any legal questions.
What should you prepare before talking to an injury lawyer?
If you or somebody you know has been injured, you will need to go through several court proceedings to get the compensation you are due. Before talking to an accident and injury lawyer, it is important that you lay a good foundation from where he will build a case. There are several things you will be required to prepare. Find them in the list below:
- Written summary
Prepare a written summary of the incidents and subsequent injuries. This will give your attorney a clear picture of what happened and how it happened. Your written summary should include the date of the accident, what time of day it happened, and where the accident took place. Also, have data on weather conditions on the day of the accident. Your summary should also include the contact information and names of any eyewitnesses. If first responders or police report to the scene, you should include that in summary. We advise against making a statement to an insurance adjuster before speaking to your attorney. But if you have already done this, include a note on that in your summary.
- Injury photos or videos
Please include any footage of the incident in your case file if you have any footage of the incident. The footage could be from nearby surveillance cameras or pictures and videos you took after the accident. Photos of your recovery process will also be beneficial. Documenting the entire healing process through photographs and videos is vital for the success of your case.
- Medical reports
Keep all medical records that are related to your injuries. In addition to that, you also have to keep medical records pre-injury, paying attention to the injured areas. If you have any pre-existing conditions or unrelated injuries, inform your attorney beforehand; otherwise, it could be held against you in court. Your medical record should include all surgery records, doctors’ notes, prescription medication records, physical therapy logs etc.
- Medical treatment
Do not stop or postpone medical treatment unless it is inevitable. Stopping treatment could negatively impact your case in court. Continue your medical treatment and keep all necessary documentation of the process.
Share the details of your insurance coverage with your attorney. Include all copies of insurance cards and documented proof of your policy if you have one.
- Employment or school
In certain situations, you may need to provide your attorney with a school and employment record during the time of the injury; This will help your attorney ascertain if there were any lost opportunities or wages during that time.
- Social media
As much as you may want to, please limit making any posts on social media about your injury or your activities post-accident. It may seem like nothing, but the other party can find ways to use your social media posts against you. Please inform your attorney if you have made any posts on social media after the incidents.
- Silence on your part
“Anything you say can be used against you in the court of law”. So exercise your Miranda Rights and stay quiet. Avoid discussing your injury cases with anyone other than your attorney. If other attorneys or insurance adjusters contact you, you are not obliged to answer any questions. Please direct them to your legal representative.
- Lost wages
Provide proof that during the time of the injury and the recovery process, you lost wages. You can provide your attorney with pay stubs, tax documents, salary information, paychecks etc.
- Government IDs
Make sure you have all your government IDs when you visit your attorney.
Some attorneys may ask that you fill out some paperwork before your first meeting to help them have a better understanding of your case. Make sure everything checks out, and you have the paperwork ready to hand over on the day of the appointment.
It is essential to have any doubts clarified by your lawyer before the proceedings begin. Before meeting with your attorney, write down all questions you may have so that you don’t forget anything.
If you have all of these ready to go, you can schedule an appointment with the personal injury lawyer you choose. If you are not sure how to find the right lawyer or what to consider when selecting a legal representative for your cases, the next section of this article should help you figure that out.
What to consider when choosing an injury lawyer
To get the best possible outcome from a rather tragic situation, you need to make sure that you have a competent, accredited and experienced accidents and injury lawyer. We have put together a few points to look out for when choosing a personal injury solicitor to handle your case.
- Stay clear of firms that use spam marketing
Firms that would send you emails, texts, or even call out of the blue cannot be trusted. They typically use ethical means to obtain information regarding you and your injury. This behaviour should give you a sneak peek at how you may be treated if you enlist their services. Companies that use spam marketing are out to make a profit. Chances are, your best interests will not be prioritized.
- Do not feel pressured to make a claim
No injury lawyer should put you under any pressure to make a claim. It is an unacceptable practice. You should not be lured by gifts and special offers to make a claim. Injury lawyers that use such tactics to encourage you to make a claim should not be trusted. We advise getting a solicitor from some other place.
- Look for injury lawyers that have professional accreditations
Check the credentials and track record of the lawyer you choose to trust to handle your case. For an injury lawyer to be accredited and gain the necessary credentials is not a day’s job. It takes years of service and dedication. While the requirements for practising law may vary slightly by state, the bare minimum is a Juris Doctor degree from a recognized law school.
- Consider the firm size, experience and availability
Why is the size of the firm important? Smaller firms may have fewer human and material resources to help you with your cases. They may also be less experienced than a big firm. Larger firms may not be as present since they typically have a higher workload. It is crucial to find a firm that can handle their workload well. Also, check its firm’s track record and experience handling such cases.
- Choose the best injury lawyers to handle your case
Do your research about several injury lawyers and firms near you. Please make a list and then begin to eliminate a few based on whether or not their services correspond with your needs. After consulting with your top picks, you can then choose the best from the bunch to handle your case. Ensure that they check all the right boxes, such as experience, success rate, and client reviews. We advise to you ask as many questions as possible so that you are sure all bases are covered. Changing legal representation during the process is not a good idea.
How much would the services of an injury law cost?
Personal injury lawyers will rarely charge for an initial meeting with prospective clients. Consultations are typically over the phone, via Zoom and are free. You can ask questions and gain clarification before proceeding with the lawsuit.
You would not typically pay your injury upfront before the case begins. Personal injury lawyers operate based on a contingency fee basis, depending on whether the case’s outcome favours the client. This is probably why personal injury attorneys would not advise a client to pursue a claim they are not guaranteed to win.
If the payment is made based on contingency fees, the lawyer’s representation fees will be deducted from the final case settlement. If there is no financial settlement, then the lawyer will not get any payments. Depending on your negotiations with your injury attorney, contingency fee percentages would typically range between 33 and 40 percent. That is about one-third of the entire settlement.
The sliding scale
You can opt for the “sliding scale” option that provides an out-of-court settlement between the injured and the at-fault parties before a lawsuit is filed. In this case, the lawyers’ contingency fee would be lower than the usual 33%. If the settlement is signed after the lawsuit, your attorney will get a percentage closer to 40.
What is the difference between a "before lawsuit" and "after lawsuit" settlement?
“Before Lawsuit” is a situation where the other party opts to come to an agreement and make negotiations before you file a personal injury lawsuit. You can reach a fair settlement that way, and your lawyer would get a lesser percentage of the settlement. “After lawsuit” settlement occurs after your case has already been taken to court. Your lawyer can get a higher contingency fee, especially if the case is already in the trial stage.
Cost and expenses
Your personal attorney will most likely cover the cost of handling your case. Costs and expenses that usually include medical records, postage, police reports, investigators and experts, expert witness fees etc would be handled by the firm. These expenses are subsequently deducted from the final settlement or court award. In that case, your attorney’s final percentage may increase to 45 – 60 percent.
An example of an expense incurred by your attorney is hiring an expert witness. Those can cost about $500/hour.
Depending on your vase, your personal injury attorney may also need to hire the services of a private investigator. A PI would typically cost around $40 – $200 per hour.
Who receives the settlement check?
It is common practice for the settlement check to go to your lawyer. They will contact you and go over a list of costs and expenses before deducting their percentage and depositing the rest in your account. This is to ensure that the lawyer is paid for his service.
This table should help you have a visual representation of costs and fees that are due a personal injury lawyer.
|33% of settlement
|Tentative cost and expenses
|What your lawyer gets
|33%+5000 =$ 14,900
|What you get
|$30,000 – (contingency fee + cost and expenses) = $15,100
|38.7% of settlement
|Tentative cost and expenses
|What your lawyer gets
|38.7% + $9,000 = $47,700
|What you get
|$100,000 – (contingency fee + cost and expenses) =$ 52,300
That should help you understand how your injury lawyer will get paid.
If you have ever had any doubts concerning personal injury lawyers, we hope this article has cleared them. The contents of this article should provide you with adequate information as you move forward with making a claim or simply learning more about injury lawyers. Remember to sample different firms and then find the one that best suits your needs and specifications. It is essential to have all the necessary documents ready before meeting your attorney. You can always choose from our selection of personal injury lawyers or do your own research. Thank you for reading!