As a mom, you want to ensure that your spouse and children are always protected from car accidents, workplace injuries, and even from simple medical malpractice. However, accidents happen intentionally or because of negligence. A personal injury lawyer is usually sought to handle claims and legal cases associated with intentional or negligent acts.
In this post, you’ll learn what to expect when visiting a personal injury attorney and how it affects your family.
Assessment of Your Personal Injury Case
Your first visit to a personal injury lawyer is the most critical step to ensure you get the most out of your legal consultation, so be prepared with your questions, as well as answering the questions of your prospective personal injury lawyer. If your child has been a victim of medical negligence or your spouse has suffered a work-related slip or fall accident that resulted to serious injuries, it’s crucial to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer, like one from Greene & Reid.
When you visit your personal injury attorney, your case will be assessed to check if it’s a workable one to determine the best course of action. A good personal injury lawyer will be asking several questions to evaluate your case, so make sure to provide as many details as possible.
Here are the essential details you need to tell your lawyer concerning your personal injury case:
- Time and date of the incident (e.g., bubbles or air embolism on your child’s intravenous line resulting in respiratory arrest)
- All the people involved (including the age of your child and other personal information)
- All pieces of evidence, such as photos, police reports, medical records
- Possible witnesses, like caregiver, other healthcare providers, or siblings
- The detailed narration of how the incident happened (workplace injuries, car crash, negligence, or other similar incidents)
Expect to Talk About the Timelines
After you’ve been injured because of another person’s negligence, you may decide to file a personal injury claim or case to seek compensation for your damages or losses. Time is a crucial factor to consider in a personal injury case; that’s why you need to hire a trusted and reputable personal injury lawyer. By doing so, you can talk about the timeline of a personal injury case to get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Here’s the timeline for a personal injury case your lawyer will explain on your first visit:
- When an injury or an accident occurs, it’s important to have the presence of mind and keep safety as your priority before anything else.
- Make sure to seek immediate medical intervention, most especially if a child is involved in a car crash as this is crucial in a personal injury case.
- Seek legal help as soon as possible after your injuries are treated and you’re safe.
- The investigation of medical records and claims starts immediately once your personal injury attorney agrees that your claims are valid and worth filing. You can justify your claims by answering relevant questions and giving access to the solicitor of your medical records.
- Filing an insurance claim or demanding a settlement should be done as soon as possible because insurance companies have strict timelines, too.
- Filing of the lawsuit includes serving documents to the defendant, which will take 30 to 60 days. The defendant should be able to respond within 30 days.
- During the discovery, each party investigates using the documents and pieces of evidence submitted via depositions and interrogations.
- The mediation or arbitration follows the depositions and interrogations, when both parties may agree on specific terms, leading to a peaceful settlement. It’s also called the “alternative dispute resolution” stage. If you want to settle and go on with your normal life as a mom to take care of your kids and spouse, then talk to your lawyer about it.
- The trial is considered the final stage, which can take weeks or even months. It’s when both parties present the pieces of evidence and interrogate witnesses.
Negotiation of Fees
Once the appropriate action is decided and you agree to hire a personal injury lawyer to take your case, legal fees, and other cost-related expenses will be discussed. Most Cortland personal injury lawyers work off on a contingency fee contract. Your lawyer will receive compensation from the money or compensation you get from the case or settlement proceeds based on a percentage. A good personal injury lawyer should be able to explain how a contingency fee basis works clearly.
Here are some helpful facts about contingency fee-based legal services:
- The contingency fee of a personal injury case falls between 25% to 40% of the settlement.
- The standard fee is 33%. For instance, if you’re awarded $50,000 in your personal injury case, your lawyer will receive $16,500 of this settlement, and you’ll receive $33,500.
- After a response to a complaint has been filed, the contingency fee increases to 40% up to $1 million.
Make sure to ask your prospective lawyer regarding the applicable legal fees so that you’ll better understand how the fee is calculated. Of course, you want to have enough money left for your child’s education, most especially if your husband won’t be able to work soon because of sustained injuries. Also, ask for the breakdown of the fees and all expenses or related costs of your case.
When visiting a personal injury lawyer, grab the opportunity to ask questions, particularly on the initial consultation. As a mother, be observant and attentive, most especially if your child or family is involved in a personal injury case. Take time to assess the lawyer’s communication skills, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. While you can’t expect to ask all questions in one sitting, a good lawyer is always willing to provide you with foolproof credentials and references for your peace of mind and confidence.