An injury lawyer is a type of civil litigator who provides legal representation to plaintiffs who are alleging physical or psychological injury as the result of the negligent or careless acts of another person, entity, or organization. Injury lawyer specialize in an area known as tort law. This covers private or civil wrongs or injuries, including defamation and actions for bad faith breach of contract. The main goal of tort law is to make the injured party whole again and to discourage others from committing the same offense. Injury lawyers help plaintiffs receive compensation for their losses, including loss of earning capacity due to an inability to work, pain and suffering, reasonable medical expenses, both present and expected, emotional distress, loss of consortium or companionship, and legal costs and attorney fees. They also work to safeguard clients from being victimized by insurance companies and the legal system.
What Does an Injury Lawyer Do?
Your wounds may not have even dried before you start getting calls, requests and bills from insurance companies, doctors, police and others. At such a time when you should be focusing on healing and recovery, you may be feeling completely overwhelmed and stressed wondering how you are going to pay for everything. This is when an injury lawyer can help. An injury lawyer helps individuals who have sustained injuries in accidents to recover financial compensation. These funds are often needed to pay for medical treatment, make up for lost wages, pain and suffering, and provide compensation for injuries suffered. Common examples of personal injury practice areas include motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective products, workplace injuries and medical malpractice.
Basics of an Injury law
An injury lawyer performs many important duties. These common functions include:
• Explains your rights: An injury lawyer can explain how an accident and different legal issues affect a person’s rights. Different states have different laws pertaining to the statutes of limitations or how comparative negligence affects a case. The statute of limitations imposes time limits for when a lawsuit must be filed. Comparative negligence rules determine whether a person can sue if he was partially to blame for the accident and how much he can recover.
• Provides advice: An injury Lawyer can walk a client through the system with the finesse of a professional tour guide. They help you understand complicated legal procedures, interpret medical and insurance jargon, and get through the maze of paperwork required in injury cases. One common piece of advice is not to provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company since it will simply look for ways to deny liability. An injury lawyer may also recommend seeking medical treatment to document the relationship between the accident and the injury. An injury attorney also provides you objective opinions about your case so that you can make the best possible decision that aren’t clouded by fear, anger, frustration, stress and other emotions many injury victims understandably experience.
• Represents in court: Most injury cases do not result in a trial; the vast majority is settled even before a lawsuit is filed. However, if the insurance company denies the claim, it’s possible that the only way for the victim to recover is by going through a full civil trial. Litigation is complex and requires close adherence to proper procedures and rules of evidence. This is not a task best handled by a novice.
Some surprising ways you didn’t know a lawyer could help you. Lawyers do have skills, you know. There are some great ways they can help:
• Completes a professional investigation: An injury firms may have their own investigators document the scene of an accident, interview witnesses and develop theories about how the incident occurred. These might be professional investigators or even retired cops working a new job. Outside experts such as accident reconstruction experts may be necessary if the cause of the accident is in dispute. Your attorney will have a dedicated roster of professionals he or she normally uses and will know who can assist.
• Connects with medical providers: An injury lawyer may have a business relationship with a medical professional who may agree to provide medical services in favour of a lien on any future settlement or judgment. They may also have greater experience in understanding serious injuries and may recommend a particular specialist who has provided superb results in previous cases.
• Better assesses damages: Many accident victims only think about the immediate impact of an accident. After all, they could be receiving harassing phone calls from bill collectors, making up funds after being off work for a few weeks and may need to repair their vehicle to get back on the road. However, an injury lawyer deals with these cases on a routine basis and can help identify a more accurate estimate of the real and long-term effect of injuries, such as a loss in earning capacity if the accident left the victim disabled. An injury lawyer may also ask an economist or actuary for help in assessing the lifetime impact of an accident.
• Works through a variety of legal processes: An injury lawyer can help in a number of different judicial forums. For example, he or she may help with informal negotiation with the insurance company before or after a case is filed in court. Alternatively, they may help litigate a case if the settlement offer is not satisfactory to the client or the claim is denied. However, personal injury lawyers can also help in other types of forums such as alternative dispute resolution. Arbitration may be required if the victim’s own insurance company is involved. This involves presenting a case in front of a neutral arbitrator who makes a binding decision. Mediation consists of the victim and the person responsible for the injury working together to reach a solution out of court with the help of a third-party neutral. Surprisingly, not every case requires the use of a lawyer. If the damages are minimal, there is no serious injury and the settlement offer appears reasonable, providing a significant portion of the settlement to an attorney may not make sense. However, sometimes cases that seem simple at first may become more complicated, which may be best handled by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. For example, someone’s insurance may not have been in effect at the time of the accident or an injury might not reveal itself as chronic until months after the accident. Some key times to hire an injury lawyer include when:
• The claim is denied: If you know that the other party was responsible for the accident but the insurance company does not want to take responsibility, it is important to talk to a lawyer to get an objective and experienced opinion.
• Multiple parties may be involved: In some cases, accidents might involve multiple vehicles or parties. This often complicates things. This can occur if there was a multi-car pileup or a situation involving contractors, subcontractors and employees. An injury lawyer can help identify all parties that may share liability in the case and who may be named as defendants.
• A settlement is offered: It is often worth the time and money to consult with a personal injury lawyer before accepting a settlement. Insurance companies may try to get rid of cases as quickly as possible to minimize the payout since they represent their client’s financial interests. Very often, the first offer is a low-ball offer that they hope the victim will accept. A personal injury lawyer can determine whether an offer seems fair. Sometimes, the skills of an experienced injury lawyer or at least the threat to an insurance company that such a lawyer may present are worth the money you must pay that lawyer to represent you. You may need a lawyer because of complex legal rules involved in your particular claim, or because the severity of your injuries might cause your compensation to vary greatly from the norm or simply because an insurance company refuses to settle a matter in good faith.
• Long-Term or Permanently Disabling Injuries: Some accidents result in injuries that significantly affect your physical capabilities or appearance for a long time over a year or even permanently. Figuring out how much such a serious injury is worth can be a difficult business. You’ll probably require some assistance from an experienced lawyer to get the most out of your claim.
• Severe Injuries: The amount of your accident compensation is mostly determined by how severe your injuries were. And the severity of your injuries is measured by the amount of your medical bills, the type of injuries you have, and the length of time it takes for you to recover. As the amount of your potential compensation increases, the range within which that compensation may fall becomes wider. In such cases, it may be worth the expense to have a lawyer handle your claim and make sure you receive compensation at the highest end of the range.
• Medical Malpractice: If you have suffered an injury or illness due to careless, unprofessional, or incompetent treatment at the hands of a doctor, nurse, hospital, clinic, laboratory, or other medical provider, both the medical questions and the legal rules involved are complex. They almost certainly require that you hire a lawyer experienced in medical malpractice cases.
• Toxic Exposure: In the increasingly chemical world, we sometimes become ill because of exposure to contaminants in the air, soil, or water, in products, or in food. Claims based on such exposure are difficult to prove, however, and often require complex scientific data. And because the chemical and other industries have erected a huge wall to protect themselves from legal exposure while they continue to expose us to potentially harmful chemicals, the required evidence is very hard to come by. Get expert help.
• When Insurance Company Refuses to Pay: In some instances, regardless of the nature of your injury or the amount of your medical bills and lost income, you will want to hire a lawyer because an insurance company or government agency simply refuses to make any fair settlement offer at all. In these cases, something what the lawyer can get minus the fee charged to get it is better than nothing.
Personal and Professional Skills
The most successful injury attorneys excel at oral advocacy, negotiation, and client development. They should also have a capacity for handling stress and pressure, particularly those who decide to practice on their own rather than sign on as an associate with an existing firm. Attorneys in this specialty usually represent clients on a contingency basis, meaning their fees represent a percentage of the plaintiff’s eventual compensation when the case is resolved, which is typically from 30 to 40 percent. This arrangement means that the plaintiff doesn’t pay a fee unless and until the lawyer recovers money on their behalf. These lawyers are typically only compensated if they win. Some injury cases can drag out for years before they’re resolved. This makes efficient time management skills very important as well. An injury attorneys have to balance these long, involved cases with shorter, less demanding ones if they’re going to pay the bills, at least if they elect to go into practice for themselves. It’s often recommended that new injury lawyers get their feet wet with an established law firm before heading out on their own even an insurance defence firm. This will help them understand the ins-and-outs of how their adversaries approach cases.
Factors to Consider Before Hiring a an Injury Lawyer in Utah
• Lawyers Near Me Who Practice Injury Law: When searching for an injury Lawyer in Utah, it is important to search for a law firm that handles injury cases similar to your case. For instance, if a car accident caused your injuries, you may want to search for “car accident attorney near me” when you begin your internet search for a lawyer to handle your automobile insurance claim. The same is true if your injury relates to medical malpractice, wrongful death, dog bites, semi-truck accidents, and motorcycle accident in Utah, workers ’ compensation, premises liability, catastrophic injuries, or pedestrian accidents.
• Experienced Injury Lawyers: Experience matters. Professionals, including injury lawyers, are always learning about their practice. You do not want your case to be a “learning lesson” in which the attorney realizes that he should have hired an expert witness early in the case instead of waiting until after a personal injury lawsuit is filed to consult an expert witness. You also do not want a lawyer representing you who is still learning the local rules and procedures of the various courts in your area who might miss a deadline or fail to file the correct motions in your case to keep your case moving efficiently through the court system. Every attorney gains experience through each case the attorney handles. However, when the negligence of another party causes you harm or injury, you need accident lawyers who specialize in motor vehicle accidents, and already understand personal injury law, the court systems, tactics used by insurance companies, settlement demands, expert witnesses, accident investigations, rules of evidence, and statutes of limitations to handle your injury claim. You need an accident attorney who has several years of experience under his belt after law school to fight for your best interests.
• How Much Will A Personal Injury Attorney Cost Me: Most injury lawyers in Utah offer a free consultation for accident victims. During the free appointment, victims can ask questions about the injury process while the attorney reviews the facts in the case to determine if the attorney believes the person has a valid legal claim for compensation. One important question you want to discuss during your free consultation is how much the attorney charges for services and how much money you will need to pay up front to retain the law firm. In most cases, Utah injury law firms accept cases involving injuries and accidents on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee means that you will not pay any money up front to retain the law firm. You agree to pay a percentage of the amount recovered for your claim to the law firm for attorney fees. In many cases, you are only charged attorney fees if the lawyer obtains a settlement on your behalf. In other words, you do not pay any attorney fees if the law firm does not recover money for your injury claim. However, you should also discuss the payment of costs and expenses of the case. Depending on your case and whether an injury lawsuit is filed, you could incur some minor fees and expenses related to your claim. The way expenses and costs are handled vary by law firm, so make sure you ask about this matter before you retain an attorney for your case.
• Proven Track Record of Obtaining Fair Compensation: Another factor to consider when retaining an injury attorney in Utah is the attorney’s track record. Does the attorney win cases? Has the attorney won large settlements in jury trials? What is the law firm’s rate of success versus losses? As with any professional, you want to retain a lawyer who has a proven record of winning injury cases. When you question a law firm about their success rate, be sure to consider the total number of cases they handle each year. If an injury lawyer tells you that he has a 100 percent success rate, you are likely to be impressed until you hear that the attorney only handles two cases a year.
• Skilled Trial Litigators and Negotiators: You want to choose a Utah injury attorney who is a talented negotiator and a skilled, experienced trial litigator. Most personal injury claims settle without filing a personal injury lawsuit or going to trial. Therefore, polished negotiating skills are crucial for a personal injury lawyer. You want your attorney to be able to negotiate effectively with insurance companies to obtain a fair and just settlement for your claim as quickly as possible. A talented negotiator understands how to use the facts of the injury case to maximize the amount of compensation you receive for your accident claim.
• Excellent Availability and Communications: Make sure that you ask the law firm how quickly they return telephone calls, emails, and other forms of communication. Talented attorneys are busy. You may not always be able to reach an injury attorney or a paralegal when you call a law firm. However, it is important to know that you will receive a return call within a certain number of hours. It is also important to understand the procedure used in the law firm to handle calls related to urgent matters that cannot wait for a return call.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506