The basics of personal injury law and personal injury claims
Understanding the basics of personal injury law and personal injury claims can be very helpful, if you find yourself or a loved one a victim of an accident caused by another person’s carelessness or negligence. Accidents do happen, and sometimes they are your fault and sometimes it is the fault of someone else.
Does this mean all accidents turn into personal injury cases? The answer to that is “no”.
How do you know if you have a personal injury claim?
A personal injury occurs when someone gets hurt; however, as defined within personal injury law, only someone injured as the result of another person’s irresponsibility, negligence, or recklessness can file a personal injury claim asking for compensation.
For most attorneys to take a personal injury case, it must be viable and meet certain criteria.
Was the injury a result of someone’s carelessness?
If so, can the negligence be proven?
Was the injury serious enough to warrant a personal injury claim?
Is there proper insurance or monies available to cover the injury and loss to the victim?
Legal actions you can take as a victim of a personal injury accident
If you were a victim of a personal injury accident, you have several legal options; however, it is highly recommended that before you take any action, you retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon after the accident as possible. A personal injury lawyer can advise you as to which is the best legal route you can pursue for compensation.
You can settle out of court (most personal injury claims, in fact, do).
Normally, when you hire a personal injury attorney, the first thing he or she will do is to check out the above criteria. Once the attorney assesses the extent of your injuries, and believes that negligence can be proven, the lawyer will investigate whether the responsible party has insurance or sufficient assets to compensate you (the plaintiff). If the defendant (responsible party) admits fault and has insurance, the attorney will file a claim with the defendant insurance company. The goal will be settling the case out of court through negotiations with all parties involved, i.e., lawyers, individuals, and relevant insurance companies. Note that a defendant can be an individual, a business, a company, a corporation, or a government agency.
A successful settlement case is one where the defendant normally agrees to pay you, the plaintiff, a specified amount of money for your injuries and losses. If you agree to the terms and sign the settlement paper, you are agreeing to not file a lawsuit.
If there are problems setting the claim, you can agree to mediation or arbitration:
If an informal settlement cannot be reached, mediation or arbitration is often the next step, before filing a lawsuit. Mediation and arbitration are methods of settling a claim where attorneys and their respective clients agree to meet to discuss and debate the personal injury claim in front of an impartial legal representative. Mediation and arbitration are far less costly than a lawsuit, and usually take much less time to settle, if all parties can agree to the terms. See our article on arbitration and mediationfor more specific details on their meaning and and how they work.
Filing a lawsuit: If all else fails and a settlement agreement can’t be reached through negotiation, mediation or arbitration, or if the defendant refuses to participate in those proceedings, your attorney may choose to file a lawsuit on your behalf. The reason that filing a lawsuit is the last alternative is because lawsuits are costly, usually scheduled far in the future, with an undetermined outcome.
The best thing you can do as a victim of a personal injury is to consult with anexperienced personal injury attorney who can help navigate the ins and outs of Wisconsin personal injury law. Moreover, statistics show that a good personal injury lawyer can frequently settle a case in a shorter amount of time and for more money than if you try to do it alone. Lastly, as the victim, you are already suffering. The last thing you want to do is add more stress to your life by trying to get fair treatment from the insurance company or defendant.
If you have any questions about this article, please contact us.
Please click on http://www.direnzolaw.com/blog to read our other personal injury articles. If you have any questions related to personal injury law, please call us at 920-725-8464, or toll free at 1-800-529-1552. Our personal injury consultations are always free.
The content of this blog was prepared by Law Offices of DiRenzo & Bomier, LLC for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Offices of DiRenzo & Bomier, LLC -client relationships can only be created by written contract.