- What is a personal injury case?
- What happens during the initial stage of the personal injury case?
- How long does it take to resolve a personal injury case?
- How much is my personal injury case worth?
- How is the attorney fee paid?
What is a personal injury case? A civil cause of action for monetary damages in which the claimant/plaintiff has sustained bodily injury and/or property damages which were caused by someone else’s negligence.
What happens during the initial stage of the personal injury case? The first step in a personal injury case is to obtain information about the facts of the case. Depending on the facts of the case, the initial investigatory stage can include:
- Contacting insurance companies
- Gathering and preserving physical evidence
- Obtaining photographic/video evidence
- Interviewing witnesses
- Hiring experts or investigators
How long does it take to resolve a personal injury case? Generally speaking, the more complex the case, the longer it will take. Sometimes a relatively simple case can take a long time to resolve because of disputed liability or medical causation issues. A personal injury case that involves negligence must be settled or a lawsuit filed within three years of the date of the negligent act or omission.
How much is my case worth? If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, under the law, you are entitled to compensation for past and future out of pocket damages, including medical expenses, essential service expenses, wage loss, and loss of earning capacity. In addition, you are entitled to reasonable and fair compensation for what the law calls “general damages.” General damages include such things as pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. Assigning a dollar figure to general damages is not an exact science. Factors to be considered are the nature and the extent of the injury, the degree of pain and/or emotional suffering, the degree of disability, and the length of time and extent to which the injury will affect your life.
How is the attorney fee paid? Personal injury attorneys are generally paid on a contingency basis, which means they don’t ask to be paid by the hour and they don’t ask for an up-front retainer to cover the attorney fee. Instead, they are paid at the very end, from a percentage of the money that is recovered.