Personal Injury Cases

There is more to personal injury claims than just car accidents. Personal injury cases encompass a wide range of scenarios. They can be filed in any instances where a victim has suffered harm, as a result of the negligence of another party. For example, these cases can include anything from accidents involving a defective lawnmower to slip and fall accidents to even dog bites. While personal injury law may seem pretty straightforward, it is a whole different game when a victim suffers a personal injury. The victim feels overwhelmed and unsure of the next steps that must be taken. If you find yourself in this position, here are a few key things you should know about personal injury cases. 

1. Seek Legal Advice And Be Honest With Your Lawyer

Attorney-client privilege prevents your lawyer from sharing any confidential information that you provide them. Remember, your lawyer is on YOUR team. To best assist you, you must be transparent with your attorney. However, it may sometimes be challenging to determine what is relevant to share. 

Here are a few things that your lawyer should know about you:
  • All of the facts. Tell your attorney all of the details that form the basis of your claim, including any previous injuries and medical history.
  • Criminal record. The opposing party’s legal counsel may bring up your prior criminal history, albeit unrelated, during a court hearing. If your attorney is aware of any of your previous infractions, they will be able to craft an informed response.
  • Bankruptcy. If you have filed for bankruptcy, any award or settlement you receive may become part of the estate, going towards the creditors, not you. By giving your attorney a heads up, you may be able to avoid this issue.

2. Your First Settlement Offer Is Not Necessarily The Best

More likely than not, the first settlement offer you receive will NOT be the best. The party responsible for your injury and their insurance company will usually offer you a low-ball settlement. There are a few reasons why the opposing party may opt for a lower settlement amount. 
  • They are hoping you take it.
  • They save money by not paying you what you are fully entitled to.
  • They avoid going to court. Bringing a claim to court could lead to a much more significant award for the victim.
This tactic of offering a low-ball settlement award is typically used when the victim is unrepresented by an attorney. Personal injury law is filled with complex manoeuvres that can be played to your opposing party's advantage. If you choose to accept this initial offer, generally, the claim is effectively voided.

If you feel that the first settlement offer is too low, the best thing you should do is consult a personal injury attorney. If you are trying to go solo, you will always be low-balled in terms of the settlement amount. An experienced personal injury attorney can help build a strong and powerful case and negotiate in such a way that the opposing party will be forced to offer a bigger settlement amount and compensation.

3. What Could You Be Compensated For In A Personal Injury Case?

The compensation you are entitled to is contingent on various circumstances. You may be compensated for:
  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of wages
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

4. Consider Hiring An Attorney When Pursuing A Personal Injury Claim

As previously touched on, personal injury law is filled with many confusing legal doctrines. Without an experienced attorney by your side, the opposing party may take advantage of your vulnerable position, virtually forcing you to settle for an award that does not fully cover the tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses you may have.

5. Every Single Personal Injury Case Is Unique

While it goes almost without saying, every case has its different nuances. As a result, all claims will vary in duration. Some cases will be settled through negotiation without court intervention, while other cases may go through a lengthy trial process. By discussing your financial and medical situation with your attorney, an effective solution will be crafted to best address your unique challenges. Seek guidance from an expert personal injury lawyer in Northridge.