5 Commonly Asked Questions About Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured and someone else is to blame, you may be entitled to compensation. But personal injury law and dealing with insurance companies can be tricky business to navigate, especially if you aren’t familiar with how the system works. A personal injury lawyer can make sure you get what you are owed, and can take care of the legal side of things for you while you take care of yourself after injury.
1. What constitutes as a personal injury?
A personal injury can be any injury that results from trespassing, assault, negligence, faulty products or intentional emotional or physical harm. Both physical and psychological injuries caused by any of these “torts”, as they’re often called, can provide means for a claim. Personal injury claims can be made to compensate for lost wages due to missing work, medical expenses – both present and future as long as they relate to the accident at hand, and for the pain and suffering you endured from your injury.
2. When should you contact a personal injury lawyer?
Regardless of how bad your injury is, if you are thinking of making a claim you should consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injury. To start, they can give you advice on whether your claim is worth pursuing and how much compensation you can expect to receive. They can also advise you on what kind of claim would be the best for your situation. And, as professionals, they know the tricks of the trade to ensure you will receive timely payment in the full amount you are entitled to.
3. How do you prepare for a consultation?
To help your personal injury lawyer do their job efficiently, you should have all relevant details and documents relating to your claim prepared and organized, in case they are needed. Keeping track of dates, times and names of anything related to your accident and injury could prove important, and will ultimately ensure you receive the proper, full amount of compensation. It is important that you keep all of these documents and information handy, and have them available for any subsequent meetings with your personal injury lawyer.
4. How much will a personal injury lawyer cost you?
Most personal injury lawyers will give you an initial 30-minute consultation for free. After the consultation, it is common for personal injury lawyers to negotiate a contingency fee. This means that your personal injury lawyer will work for a percentage of whatever the final payout of your claim is. This percentage can range anywhere from 10% to 45% depending where you are. Some provinces and states have set a maximum contingency fee, meaning your lawyer can’t charge you more than a certain percentage.
5. Is there a way to lower the legal fees?
You are also always able to negotiate a lower contingency fee or discuss other payment methods that would work better for you and your needs. Some other options you can negotiate are a fixed rate or an hourly rate. In addition to whatever fees you will pay, you should also expect to pay all court costs and expenses. It is important to negotiate all fees – including any additional expenses – before moving forward with your claim so that you don’t come across any surprises later or at the end of the process.
It is true that the majority of people who pursue personal injury claims do so without the help of a personal injury lawyer, however in doing so they may be settling for less than they are entitled to. Without having experience and knowledge in the business, it’s impossible to know if you’re getting what you deserve, or getting taken advantage of.