How severe are the injuries you have sustained?
Another aspect of a legitimate case is, of course, the injuries you have sustained. If you do not have injuries, you very likely do not have a case worth pursuing because a personal injury case is based on the injuries that have been suffered. The costs involved in being injured are immense, and include obvious costs such as medical treatment, but also include the costs of missing work, the cost of your pain and suffering, and loss of future income if you are unable to perform your normal work duties.
Going to court to seek compensation for your damages is an expensive process. If you have only suffered minor injuries, you may not recover enough in damages to even pay these costs. In a situation like this, you are much better off settling with the insurance company on your own to avoid the high costs of taking the negligent party to court. In fact, when you consult with a personal injury attorney, they will be able to tell you whether your case should go to court, or whether you are better off settling with the insurance company on your own, out of court. Since the attorney is paid out of the settlement or damages, if there aren’t enough potential damages to offset their cost, they will not take your case.
Proving Pain and Suffering
Damages for pain and suffering are recoverable, but how are they proven? Proof of this type of injury may take many forms and the more evidence you have to support your claim, the better your chance will be of recovering an amount you find satisfactory.
The extent of your injury and accompanying pain and suffering can be evidenced through documentation such as photographs and personal journals that record the plaintiff’s physical and emotional feelings. Documentation from friends and family can provide additional evidence of the way the particular injury has negatively impacted the plaintiff’s life. Proof of treatment by a mental health professional is also helpful, and is necessary where the plaintiff is claiming injuries such as increased anxiety, insomnia, or depression.
What to Expect in a Personal Injury Claim
Getting hurt is nothing to take lightly. Every year, millions of people get into accidents, either at home or at work. Generally, however, despite this high number of hurt people, what to do is sometimes a mystery. There’s a lot to deal with, from insurance companies to lawyers, especially if the accident or injury came at the fault of another person. Luckily, filing a personal injury claim isn’t something you’ll have to do alone. Below are some helpful tips on what to expect when dealing with a personal injury claim:
Getting a Solicitor or Lawyer
Immediately following an accident and before you can actually file a claim, you’ll need a legal professional. Your solicitor will be the person to contact the person or company responsible for your injury. They will list the damage to you and how it happened. The solicitor will also let you know how much your claim is worth in terms of money. Whether you choose to accept the first number or want to negotiate, it’s your solicitor who will actually do this.
Anyone can make a claim but it needs to be supported with facts. Your solicitor/lawyer will step in and be the only source of communication between you and the insurance companies. If the police were called at the time of the accident, there will be a report listing all parties involved and a general summary of what happened and where. Depending on how severe the incident was, your lawyer will spend a few months gathering more details or interviewing witnesses. All of this will verify and strengthen your claim.
(Optional) Medical Treatment
If it’s necessary, you will be directed to a medical office that specializes in injury recovery. Your level of injury (from minor to extreme) will also influence how much the insurance company will pay you. If you prefer to use your own health network, you can request specialist recommendations from your doctor. The medical reports and treatments, including prescription medications, will be added to the file to further bolster your case.
Benefits of Having a Personal Injury Lawyer
Understanding the Legal Process
If you attempt to go through with receiving compensation for a personal injury, you will find yourself overwhelmed by the amount of laws within the system as well as all the forms and processes that must be completed to the letter. A personal injury lawyer in Orange County will be a necessary tool in trying to get through your claims with insurance companies, and if it should come to it, they’ll be able to handle any legal actions and court processes. Expertise in handling personal injury cases is key because the system has been built up over the years to weed out any false claims, thus making it very difficult for legitimate claims sometimes. As well, without a personal injury lawyer in Orange County, you may miss out on thousands of dollars-worth of payouts if you happen to miss even a single obscure form you were supposed to have filled out.
Knowing the Worth of Your Personal Injury Claim
Probably one of the top benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer in Orange County is the fact that, through experience, they know how much your claim should be worth. There may be various software tools available to calculate personal injury claims amounts, but they will never be as accurate as a lawyer, nor will they be able to handle all the variables of your claim. By analyzing variables (such as the injuries you received, including mental anguish, pain, and suffering) as well as by understanding how specific insurance companies operate, a lawyer will be able to maximize your payout. Taking advantage of the tools and expertise of a personal injury lawyer is a must if you expect to get the rightful amount of payout to put you at ease while recovering from injuries. Personal injury lawyers in California also work on a contingency basis, which means that you will not have to pay out of pocket; they are paid by a portion of the resulting claim, if they are successful.
Motivated to Help You Win
Following up with the costs, working on a contingency basis means that a personal injury lawyer in Orange County is going to be motivated to win your case because they will not be compensated for their work if they don’t win. This also takes the stress out of having to attempt to negotiate costs with a lawyer, or having to pay up front, which means you can focus on your recovery and not on how you will be able to afford to pay your lawyers. Contingency basis also leads to faster settlements because your lawyers will try to get as much for you as quickly as possible to ensure you win.
Average Personal Injury Settlement Amounts
Average personal injury settlement amounts range greatly. The value in your case depends on a number of factors that are specific to your case. On the low end, an injury case might settle for only a few thousand dollars. But many personal injury cases settle for much more. An average personal injury settlement amount is anywhere between $3,000 and $75,000.
Of course, most cases fall in between the very high and very low end of average settlements. There are also outliers – you’ve probably heard about people getting settlements that are millions of dollars. Some cases settle for that much, but they usually involve very unique circumstances with either punitive damages or other extraordinary damages. An experienced injury lawyer can help you determine where your case falls on the spectrum of typical personal injury settlements.