Today Your Legal Corner will share “5 Steps to consider in a personal injury case.”
In recent years, my husband has become quite the handyman, fixing anything from replacing old wooden boards on our once pristine deck to winterizing the engine on our boat. However, when he decided to purchase a chainsaw to remove a large tree that had fallen during the winter, I drew the line…knowing it was time for us to contact an expert.
Knowing when to handle a task yourself or utilize the expertise of a person or company in that particular field will not only save you time and money but will also give you the possible chance of having a positive outcome in a particular situation.
Here are the 5 steps to consider in a personal injury case.
1. Retain an experienced attorney
When you are injured as a result of someone’s actions, the most important step in your case is to seek out the advice and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Personal injury is an extremely specialized area of law, where retaining a personal injury attorney verses any attorney may make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Consider this, would you retain a foot doctor to do the work of a heart surgeon?
Personal injury is a physical, emotional or financial harm to someone that may have been caused by another. It can happen as a result of an automobile accident, a slip and fall, a work injury, as a result of a faulty product or in some other way.
2. Property & witness analysis
Initially, an experienced personal injury attorney will gather information on how and why your injury happened. They will determine if someone may be responsible for your injuries. Pictures of the car, property or product that injured you as well as all witness statements are analyzed to determine the status of your case.
3. Personal injury prognosis
Further, doctors and other experts are asked to describe your present and future injury prognosis. This information will then be sent to the responsible party, with a request for fair compensation.
4. Compensation amount
Compensation in New Jersey is only through money, which is usually paid by the responsible person’s insurance company. For example, a person who harms you by rear-ending your vehicle or by exposing you to a dangerous condition on their property is required by law to have insurance to cover losses. It is when the responsible party or their insurance company refuses to fairly compensate the injured party that a personal injury lawsuit is filed.
The amount of compensation claimed is determined by the injuries and damages sustained as assessed by your personal injury attorney.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit does not automatically mean you will appear before a judge or jury. Statistically, over 90% of all personal injury cases end up settling outside of court. The key is to know when to settle and when to proceed.
Receiving a settlement that is fair requires experience, patience, and perseverance. An experienced attorney will know the value of your case and not settle for the first dollar amount presented.
Likewise, the experienced attorney will have the patience and perseverance to proceed and take your case to court in order to gain the best result.
Many cases will settle before a trial starts. The difference is the experienced personal injury attorney knows when to settle and when to proceed.
Should you be injured in an incident, always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney and assess your legal situation. Remember: don’t hire the foot doctor to do the work of a heart surgeon!
Till next time, God bless, keep smiling, when Your Legal Corner will discuss “Caregivers have needs too”
Victoria M. Dalton is an attorney with the law firm of Hoffman DiMuzio.
For questions, contact Victoria at [email protected].
Please note that Your Legal Corner was created to provide educational articles about the law and is not legal advice.