At any point in your life, you can find yourself in a situation in which you are injured due to the negligence of another person. If this happens, it is in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer even if you think the gravity of your injuries is not severe. Having legal guidance will be key to ensuring that you receive the redress and compensation you deserve. However, it can be tricky to know when exactly you’ll need to initiate a personal injury case, as some situations may not appear to be anyone’s fault. That’s why it’s important to know what personal injury lawyers do and how they can help you with your case. We’ll guide you through the most important factors that indicate you should hire a lawyer.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
Personal injury lawyers specialize in tort law, meaning the law that focuses on compensating wrongs committed against someone, whether they be intentional or negligence-based. Each case will probably need specific steps based on the situation, but there are some main tasks that are considered during every personal injury case. In general terms, a personal injury lawyer will give you legal counsel. They will gather evidence and design a plan to win your case based on your claims. They will also give you legal representation and legal advocacy as the process moves forward. Personal injury lawyers will negotiate with all parties involved, including insurance companies. They will also prepare pleadings if necessary.
Cases in Which You May Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
There are a number of situations in which you may need a personal injury lawyer, including but not limited to:
- Car accident injury
- Assault and battery
- Injury or disability as a result of medical malpractice
- Product liability, meaning any injury resulting from a defective item
- Premises liability
- Slip and fall because of dangerous conditions on someone else’s property
- Animal bites (the owner is liable for any harm you suffer)
Some events can be settled out of court and without much trouble. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. There are certain factors that increase the urgency for you to hire a lawyer. You will need specialized legal services if:
- You are being blamed for your own injuries
- Your insurance company doesn’t think your injuries are as serious as they are
- It is not clear who was at fault
- Your insurance company denies you reparations
- The compensation you are given is not adequate for the damage you suffered (keep in mind there are more than economic damages; you should also be compensated for noneconomic and punitive damages)
- Car insurance companies refuse to cover the expenses of the damage caused
Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You don’t have to wait for your case to escalate and become more complicated than it needs to be. It is always a good idea to have legal support from the beginning to ensure that you receive the highest possible compensation. Remember that large companies, particularly insurance companies, have a team of lawyers prepared to defend their own interests. It makes sense for you to have a personal injury lawyer ready to advocate for you as well. Studies have shown that you have a 40% higher chance of settling your claim if you hire a lawyer than if you handle it yourself.
How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer
As we saw earlier, personal injuries cover a broad spectrum of cases. Each category can encompass a wide variety of events. For example, car accidents can go from hit-and-runs to whiplash injuries, or medical negligence can range from misdiagnosis to birth injuries. There are important characteristics to take into account when you are searching for a personal injury lawyer. Find someone with experience in your particular situation to guarantee they will have the knowledge and skills necessary to get a fair settlement. It is also important that you trust the lawyer. It’s crucial that you feel your attorney listens to you, understands the impact and severity of your injuries, and is committed to getting you justice.
How Much Does Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
You may be wondering how much this service costs. Personal injury lawyers usually don’t charge you any upfront fees and don’t charge hourly rates. Instead, they get paid by contingency fee. That means they receive a percentage of the amount of money you earn on the settlement. In this sense, in order to secure a payment, the lawyers must win the case. This percentage depends on several variables. First, it tends to change from state to state. Second, if the case is settled out of court, your attorney will charge you around 33% of the money they recovered for you. If the case does go to court, they will get around 40%. However, if you lose your case, you don’t have to pay for their legal services.
Any personal injury case needs to be handled urgently. It is not wise to let time go by without legal advice when your health and well-being are at stake. Accumulated medical bills and absences from work can add further stress to an already distressing situation. At AMS Law Group, we understand the sensitivity of the circumstances and are committed to obtaining the highest possible compensation. In addition, we have wide experience with personal injury claims, from drunk driving collisions to wrongful deaths. We want you to have justice and not be alone in this process. Contact us for free to find out what steps you should take to start your personal injury case. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and offer services in English, Spanish and Arabic.
How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work?
When you lose a loved one due to the negligence or intentional act of another person, you are entitled to receive compensation for the damages caused to you and the deceased. Dealing with the legal process in the midst of such a tragic situation can be stressful and overwhelming, so we’ve compiled the most important information about pursuing a wrongful death claim so that you can be better informed on how to win your case and get justice. You should verify how the process works in the state in which the events occurred as every state has its own statute for wrongful death claims.
What Is Wrongful Death?
First, it is essential to know what exactly constitutes a wrongful death. In general terms, wrongful death is a death caused by another’s wrongful acts. In the statute of Texas, it is defined as a death resulting from a “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” of another person. In this event, surviving family members can file a wrongful death civil lawsuit.
When Can You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Similarly to a personal injury claim, a wrongful death lawsuit seeks redress for the damages suffered. In this case, compensation is sought both for the medical expenses that the victim may have incurred before death and for their pain and suffering, as well as for funeral and burial expenses, the loss of care and nurturing that could have been given by the deceased, the loss of companionship, loss of inheritance, and the loss of economic contribution made by the deceased to their family.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death is a wide term that can include many different situations. To get a better idea of what can constitute a wrongful death, think of it as a personal injury claim, but in this case, the event resulted in the death of the victim. There are two main categories: intentional wrongdoing and death as a result of someone else’s negligence.
- An assault and battery case that resulted in the death of the victim
- Animal bite or attack: The owner of the animal can be held accountable.
- Car accidents: Drivers who violate traffic regulations, or drivers with risky behaviors such as driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Slip and fall: When a property owner failed to warn or correct something that could cause a fall, such as a wet or uneven floor.
- Product liability: When someone dies as a result of a defective product. It can involve design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects.
- Medical malpractice: failure to diagnose a potentially fatal condition, surgical errors, etc.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
Who can sue varies from state to state. Normally, family members or a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can sue. In Texas, the statute declares that “the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased may bring the action.” Additionally, it states that an executor or administrator can make the claim when none of the aforementioned individuals file the lawsuit within three months after the date of the death. This, however, can’t be done if all the surviving family members specifically ask for the lawsuit not to be filed. In this sense, it is important to point out that no other family members can sue, be it siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
Who Can Be Sued for Wrongful Death?
Individuals, companies, and government agencies can be sued in a wrongful death lawsuit. You should know that more than one person or entity can be sued in a single case if different parties were involved. Generally speaking, you can sue the person directly involved, such as the at-fault driver or the physician in charge of a procedure; a company at fault for the design, production, distribution, or sale of a defective item; a clinic that failed to guarantee safe conditions and adequate care; designers or builders of a faulty roadway; government agencies that failed to put road signs; and other third-parties that are liable for negligence.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The first thing to keep in mind is that you should start the process as soon as possible. There are time limits to present a lawsuit for wrongful death that vary from state to state. In Texas, there is a two-year limitation period. This means the lawsuit must be filed not later than two years after the person’s death. You should hire a lawyer specialized in wrongful death lawsuits from the beginning to successfully fight the case. You will need to gather some documents like the death certificate and the will of the deceased if they left one.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?
The death of your loved one needs to be investigated to prove that the person died as a result of negligence or intentional wrongdoing by the defendant. It also needs to demonstrate the damage and financial impact that their death caused on the family members. Medical exam results, witnesses, and experts’ opinions are among the elements that can help you prove your case. It is worth noting that most wrongful death cases can be settled out of court. However, it can go to court in certain situations if a settlement is not reached. For example, if the defendant’s insurance company denies redress to the victim’s family.
Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The person or entity at fault or the insurance company will pay for the amount assigned when a settlement is reached. The money will go to the surviving family members entitled to compensation under the statute of the state. If the one pursuing is the deceased’s estate, any compensation will go to the previously established family members. If the deceased does not have any children, spouse, or parents, the money will go to the deceased’s estate.
Human life cannot be measured in money. However, there are some circumstances that need and deserve financial compensation in the event of a situation as tragic as wrongful death. It is not fair that you have to worry about bills piling up at the same time you are grieving the death of your loved one. At AMS Law Group, we understand the anguish you are going through and want to be there for you throughout the entire process. Our team is compassionate and respectful of the difficult time you are experiencing and can accommodate your needs. That is why you can contact us at any moment; we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We know this is a stressful situation, but remember that there is a time limit for filing a claim. You can ask for a free consultation and we will solve any doubts you may have to start the process.
How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?
You may be eager to know how much money you will get after reaching a settlement for your personal injury case. It becomes more and more pressing to finally get the monetary compensation you won as medical bills pile up and you keep missing paychecks because your injuries prevent you from going back to work. Although the more tedious and challenging part of the process is over, there are still some steps you’ll need to take in order to finally have the money in your pocket.
There are several factors that play a role in how much money you will get in the end, from negotiations with medical providers and insurance companies to the contingency fees your lawyer is entitled to after winning your case. In this sense, you need to take into account that you will have to deduct a portion of the total settlement sum.