Whether you are involved in a car accident or you are bitten by a vicious dog, everyone has a legal right to compensation due to injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence. Compensation can result from settling a claim formally outside of court or by taking the case to trial. If you feel that you have a legitimate claim, it’s important to hire a personal injury lawyer to make sure your case is handled professionally.
Is it prudent to hire a personal injury attorney even for minor injuries?
Most people are typically reluctant to hire a personal injury attorney for relatively minor injuries. For instance, if you slip and fall while in a store and bruise your arm and suffer minimal scrapes, you may not feel it is worthwhile to consult an attorney. You may believe it is a waste of time and money to seek legal representation for something so minor.
In reality, scheduling a consultation with an attorney may not be as costly as you think. Calling Steinberg Law for a consultation is free and it could help you make a decision regarding your next move. Additionally, obtaining professional advice for seemingly minor injuries is very important. The following are some of the reasons why to seek counsel from a personal injury lawyer:
Minor injuries might turn into major ones. If you have already agreed to a settlement offer and your injuries escalate in severity more than what you or your doctor originally expected, you are stuck with your original settlement amount and will not be able to demand additional compensation. You must give up all future claims when you settle. A personal injury lawyer will assist you determine the best time to agree to an offer.
You are entitled to Damages for ‘Pain and Suffering’. The law considers emotional distress and pain and suffering damages to be losses that deserve compensation. During a consultation, your personal injury attorney may explain all the damages you may be entitled to, even for minor injuries.
Serious Injuries vs. Small Cases
Most importantly, anytime you or a family member suffers from serious injuries or wrongful death, you should consult an attorney for the following reasons:
- Your attorney can help you understand and pursue the complete spectrum of damages you are entitled to;
- Attorneys are negotiation experts who will work to maximize your recovery;
- The defendants and insurers might take your claim much more seriously when you are represented by a professional.
Affording a Personal Injury Attorney – The Contingency Fee Agreement
The fear of paying exorbitant legal fees is one of the top reasons individuals are reluctant to consult a lawyer. However, Steinberg Law handles personal injury matters on a ‘contingency basis.’ This means that we are not paid any legal fees or money until you win your case or settle the case outside of court. Contingency fee agreements allow a personal injury attorney to obtain compensation from your damage award or settlements.
How to effectively file personal injury claims
Just as there are countless ways people are injured, there are several different types of personal injury cases. Therefore, no two personal injury cases are the same. The severity of resulting injuries, the clarity of particular key issues, and whether or not an incident is covered under an insurance policy all play a vital role in shaping the direction the filing of a claim will take. However, there are a few basic steps an attorney may take in your particular case.
1) Determine if an insurance policy covers your injuries
If you believe that another person is responsible for your injuries, it is crucial to establish whether that individual has insurance that will cover your damages. This helps determine if you will actually be able to obtain any damages through the insurance company or if you should pursue compensation from another source.
2) Decide whether or not to engage an attorney
Unless you are fully confident that will obtain a satisfactory result on your own, it is prudent to always engage a personal injury attorney, at least for an initial consultation. However, it’s important to note that talking with an attorney is not the same thing as hiring an attorney, but it may help you plan your next step.
3) To file or not to file a lawsuit
Many personal injury cases normally reach a settlement prior to trial. When it comes to personal injury claims, it is important to remember Florida’s statute of limitations. The law sets some limits on the time amounts one has to file a lawsuit after sustaining injuries. If you are struggling with the decision, make sure you make it within at least three years. However, if you do want to proceed with a lawsuit, you should make that decision as soon as possible, before favorable evidence disappears.
When to Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
- If you have sustained permanent or long-term disabling injuries;
- If you experienced severe injuries;
- If you have suffered any illness or injury because of incompetent, unprofessional or careless treatment of a clinic, hospital, laboratory, nurse, doctor of any other medical provider;
- If an injury or trauma has caused you to miss work or left you unable to work;
- If an injury has lessened your quality of life;
- If an employer is not awarding due compensation;
- When an insurance company or firm refuses to pay.
Personal Injury Attorney FAQs
How much compensation am I entitled to?
Knowing how much you might be able to receive in compensation is important to know before you pursue a case. However, there are a number of factors to consider. The compensation you are entitled to may go beyond your out-of-pocket expenses. You may be entitled to damages for past and future medical costs, lost wages, loss of your ability to earn and the pain and suffering you endured.
How long will my lawsuit last?
Although many claims are settled before they go to court, some do make it to trial and it’s difficult to determine how long that process will take. Depending on specific circumstances, a lawsuit may last from a few months to several years.