When a personal injury occurs, the injured party will likely suffer temporary or permanent harm and would like for the negligent party to be responsible monetarily. This is the premise of every personal injury legal claim. While personal injury lawyers specialize in helping those injured to recover damages due to negligence, they must be prudent about the potential for the case to be settled or tried by jury successfully, and advise the client accordingly.
What are the elements good personal injury lawyers look for when deciding what claim to accept when a client calls to hire an attorney?
- A strong case of negligence has to be present that caused the injury to happen. This means that just because you slip and fall, you are not automatically entitled to file a claim. There must be grounds of negligence by the property owners to lay fault with them. Simply losing your balance and falling is not sufficient grounds for negligence. If you were in a car accident and a police report is filed stating you were at fault, it weakens your ability to win. When you call an attorney, he/she will ask specific details about how you were injured, all of which bear on the issue of negligence and damages, and all of which are important for the success of the claim.
- The injury must be substantial enough OR the injury must result in long term problems, which usually means that you will have long term physical injuries. Not all personal injury claims result in long term medical problems, however most can result in the need for ongoing medical care, medication, physical therapy, intervention such as steroid shots, PRP shots, surgery, lost wages, etc.
- Giving a recorded statement to an adjuster before calling a lawyer may weaken your case because information may have been disclosed that works in their favor and not in the injured person’s favor. Without knowing it, the information disclosed to the insurance company before hiring an attorney can tip the scales of justice for the other side. It is important that the injured person wait to give a statement with the assistance of legal counsel, particularly when the injury is severe enough and negligence is clear enough to warrant a claim. If you have talked with the insurance company, it is important to share the same information with the lawyer in order to determine how those details might impact the case. The insurance company will try to get information from you that will not be helpful to your claim.
- The monetary value of your potential case should be important to you, and it will be important to your lawyers. Some claims, if the person is not injured terribly, where a person seeks no medical care, or only has one doctor visit might be better handled without an attorney, since attorney’s fees are usually 1/3 of any settlement. Personal injury attorneys are willing to assume the financial risk involved in filing suit and trying the case but it must make economic sense to file suit. If the likelihood of a good outcome is not present by virtue of filing suit, there is a risk to doing so. All good personal injury attorneys must complete their due diligence before accepting a new case, and if they don’t take yours…it is not personal, it means that some required element of your claim is not present. They have the experience to know if they can settle or win your case, and the potential compensation allowed by our system of justice will bring to you as the injured person.
The range of personal injuries is vast to include the following: car wrecks, slip and falls, pedestrian injuries, bicycle wrecks, medical malpractice, wrongful death, premises liability, workplace injuries, nursing home endangerment, dog bites trucking collisions and more. The best way to determine if your claim is a viable one is to speak with our lawyers at Friedman & Martin. We will review the facts and provide an honest opinion on whether or not you should move forward. Please give us a call today at 912-232-8500 or use our form here. We are here to help.