If you’re the victim of an accident or other injury, you may be wondering how to proceed with a personal injury case or whether you should hire a personal injury attorney. Understandably, you may have a lot of questions during this painful and confusing time. An accident lawyer can help explain your options to you, but many people don’t even know where to start — or whether their incident even qualifies for a personal injury case. Here are some frequently asked questions about personal injury attorneys and cases, answered:
- What is a personal injury case?
A personal injury case is appropriate when someone is harmed due to an accident or injury, and someone else might legally be at fault. When the injury is escalated to a court case, a determination can be made through formal court proceedings (either through a court judgment or an informal settlement, prior to filing of a suit).
- Will I have to sue someone?
If you have a dispute with the person(s) responsible for your injury or accident, you can file a civil complaint. This complaint, known as a lawsuit, alleges that the person or company responsible acted in an irresponsible or careless manner that was in some way connected to the injury or accident you experienced.
However, many times, a lawsuit isn’t necessary. 95-95% of personal injury cases are settled pretrial, which means that both parties come to an agreement before any complaints are formally filed. In these types of negotiations, the help of personal injury attorneys can be particularly helpful in order to explain the proceedings and negotiate on your behalf.
- Should I file immediately?
Statues of limitations vary from state to state, and they sometimes depend on the type of injury. However, typically speaking, you shouldn’t wait to take action. Your personal injury attorneys can advise you as to whether you should file a formal claim or opt for a pretrial settlement.
- Do I need a personal injury attorney or car accident lawyer?
Less than 5% of personal injury cases in the United States actually go to trial, but enlisting the help of accident lawyers may be in your best interest even when settling out of court. When you reach a settlement, you’ll be signing a written agreement to forgo legal action in favor of agreeing on a certain amount of money paid, and your personal injury attorneys will make sure you are awarded everything to which you are entitled.
Although choosing to pursue a personal injury case can be daunting, it can be the best way to cover medical and other necessary expenses during a painful time. If you have questions, seek out an attorney for a consultation. More research here.