A personal injury attorney protects clients’ rights after negligence-related accidents and advises them on the best way to pursue financial compensation. You may want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer if you:
- Suffered an injury in an accident that was someone else’s fault
- Need and deserve compensation for your injury
- Are too preoccupied with your recovery to focus your attention on a lawsuit
- Have little to no experience with the legal system
Personal Injury Law Can Be Complicated
Part of what a personal injury attorney does is to guide clients through a legal system that is all too often inaccessible to the average person. Your lawyer could:
- Investigate your accident to confirm who the liable party is
- Collect evidence that proves you deserve damages from the responsible party
- Speak to all other parties—including the liable party, the insurance companies, and other attorneys—for you
- Figure out what paperwork needs to be submitted and to whom, and then complete that paperwork in time to meet all deadlines
- Determine whether they should meet with the insurer to negotiate a settlement or take the liable party to court in pursuit of a jury award
- Represent you in all other settings, including at the negotiating table or in the courtroom
It is best if you hire a law firm well before the statute of limitations expires, the legal deadline to file a lawsuit. This deadline varies by state and type of case. For example, you generally have two years after the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. The court generally does not accept cases started after this time period, though your lawyer might be able to find an exception for extraordinary circumstances.
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If You Do Not Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
It is up to you to decide when and whether to hire an attorney to represent you. Before you make that decision, you should remember that not hiring a lawyer could mean:
- The insurance company might try to take advantage of your inexperience by undermining your case’s value or pressuring you to settle quickly.
- You would be entirely and solely responsible for completing all legal tasks associated with your case, from filing paperwork on time to negotiating the settlement.
- You might miscalculate how much compensation you deserve, which could mean you ask for far less than you need and end up running out of money sooner than you expected.
- You could easily miss a task or make a mistake. Even a minor error could delay or endanger your case, while a more serious error could prompt the court to dismiss your lawsuit.
There is no reason why you should have to struggle through recovery and a lawsuit simultaneously. A personal injury law firm in your area can help you file your case.
Did Negligence Cause Your Personal Injury?
Personal injury law firms typically take cases that are based on negligence. If you can answer “yes” to all of the following questions, negligence likely contributed to your injury:
- Did the at-fault party have a responsibility (a duty of care) to protect others from harm (e.g., by obeying the speed limit or keeping their dog on a leash)?
- Did the at-fault party breach their duty of care and behave irresponsibly?
- Did the at-fault party’s irresponsibility cause your accident?
- Are your physical, mental, and financial damages a direct result of your being in the accident?
If you do not know if negligence played a role in your accident, a personal injury law firm can investigate and find out. You may hire a personal injury lawyer after sustaining an injury in a:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Dog bite incident
- Premises liability accident
- Collision involving other types of vehicles, including ATVs and boats
- Product liability accident
- Workplace accident
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Your Personal Injury May Entitle You to Recover Damages
Damages, also called compensation, are money paid to accident survivors by the at-fault party or their insurer. You could ask for compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses (including treatment-related travel)
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of income
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Loss of employment
Lawyers know how to categorize each of your losses and assign a fair dollar amount to each one. They can do so by combining evidence like documentation and testimony with legal formulas.
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Personal Injuries and Your Well-Being
No matter what kind of accident you were in, you have suffered serious, possibly even life-altering injuries. Coping with the aftermath of such an accident may require you to:
- Spend quiet time alone or with loved ones to decompress and process what happened to you
- Keep various doctor’s appointments and undergo treatment
- Take medications that could affect your judgment or ability to concentrate
- Coordinate with your boss to figure out when you can return to work, whether you need to cut back on working hours or if you will lose benefits
- Arrange for other people to take care of your dependents, house, backyard, and other responsibilities while you are incapacitated
Coping with these issues is a major reason why you should hire a personal injury attorney: they can take your legal responsibilities off your shoulders and fight hard on your behalf. Their help would enable you to pursue damages without diverting your attention away from all of the other tasks you must complete after an accident.
How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Cost?
After losing so much money through medical bills or being unable to work, it is understandable if you are concerned about the cost of legal representation. If this is an issue for you, be sure to ask a law firm about their fees and pay structure before you sign any contracts with them.
Many firms recognize their clients’ situations by charging no attorneys’ fees up front. You could instead pay a percentage of your settlement or jury award at the end of your case.
Learn More About Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
At Kaine Law, we focus exclusively on personal injury cases. This means we, with our multiple decades of experience, can answer all of your questions about why you should hire a personal injury lawyer and what our legal team can do for you after an accident. Contact us today and learn more through a free case review.