What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Handle? - Tom Fowler Law
Although personal injury accidents are common in the United States, not many people know what they are or what personal injury lawyers do. Hence, they don't know what to do after they suffer a car accident or something similar.
Even if a person has never been part of a personal injury case and is as cautious as they can, there are unforeseeable situations people can't prevent, so they should always know what to do in case one of those accidents happen. This page has the basics everyone should understand about personal injury law.
If anyone ever needs help from a personal injury lawyer, they can always call Tom Fowler Law. Once they do, this law firm will put a qualified and experienced lawyer on the case. They can also answer questions like, "How do personal injury attorneys get paid?"
What Do People Hire Personal Injury Lawyers for?
The first thing people need to know about personal injury lawyers and what they do is why to hire them. As their name suggests, they specialize in personal injury and getting victims the compensation they deserve after being part of one.
What is a personal injury? It's a legal term people use to classify certain injuries to a person's body, mind, or emotions. Car and motorcycle accidents are excellent examples of personal injury cases. These accidents often happen due to the negligence of one person, which means victims can demand financial compensation for the consequences of the accident.
Therefore, personal injury lawyers are the ones in charge of filing personal injury claims, finding evidence that supports their client's case, and representing them at trial if necessary. Attorneys have different ways of getting that compensation, though.
What Can People Get Compensation for?
Since "personal injury" is a legal term, it's limited by the law. Not everything is a personal injury or qualifies as legal goods worth compensating. Personal injury attorneys in Des Moines study their clients' cases and tell them how strong their case is and their chances of getting the money they want.
Even if a person's accident qualifies to be a personal injury case, they need to undergo a series of legal processes to get compensation. These are a few of the things people can get compensation for after an accident:
Injuries People Often Get in Personal Injury Cases
Victims of a personal injury claim can ask for money to cover medical expenses and other bills unrelated to physical damage. However, medical bills are often the most expensive part of personal injury claims due to how dangerous the accidents are.
Even if the victim of a car accident doesn't die, they could get permanent physical damage or injuries too expensive to recover from. This is when personal injury claims come in handy; the more severe the injuries are, the more money the victim gets after the trial.
These are a few of the most common physical injuries victims get after a personal injury accident:
Spinal cord injuries
Traumatic brain injuries
Burns and lacerations
Permanent or partial disability
Insurance adjusters have different methods to calculate the money victims should receive for non-economic damages, such as pain, emotional distress, or psychological trauma.
How Does Personal Injury Law Work?
Personal injury law is different depending on the state the accident happens, as states have different ways of determining who's at fault for the accident. Iowa has a modified comparative fault negligence system to handle personal injury cases, which means people will be responsible for their damages depending on how liable they are for the accident.
That means victims of a car accident, for example, will get a reduced amount of money if they are partially liable for the crash. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in the state is three years, so people only have that time from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Many personal injury lawyers recommend their clients handle all the legal processes related to the lawsuit as soon as they can, even if they have three years to do it. The statute of limitations, as well as the negligence system changes depending on the state. New York or California, for example, don't have the same regulations as the Iowa personal injury law.
Even if they hire a personal injury lawyer, drivers in states such as New York need to carry no-fault insurance. These policies give people coverage for certain damages after an accident, regardless of who's liable for it, but since Iowa is a no-fault state, it doesn't require it.
What Are the Main Types of Personal Injury Cases?
Although all attorneys are law experts, it's obvious that a family attorney won't have the same experience in car accidents as a personal injury lawyer. Not all accidents count as personal injury cases, so people need to know which specific cases fall under this classification.
When someone calls a personal injury lawyer and asks for a free consultation, the first thing they should ask is if their case should be handled by a personal injury law firm or any other law office with a different specialization. Here is a list of the most common types of personal injury cases:
Car accidents are the most common cases personal injury lawyers take due to how often they happen all across the country. Personal injury lawyers handle accidents involving cars, motorcycles, trucks, and any other motor vehicle. Similar to other cases, accident victims will also have to deal with their insurance company.
When a personal injury lawyer talks about workers' compensation, they mean any accident that happens to a person while working or due to something that happened at work. Attorneys in workers' compensation cases file personal injury lawsuits against the company where the victim works.
Many people are scared they will get a different treatment or that their bosses will fire them if they file a lawsuit against them, but the law protects them from that. The personal injury lawyer will be in charge of addressing all the negotiations and paperwork between the defendant and their client.
Medical malpractice cases happen when unqualified or unskilled medical professionals give wrong statements about what patients suffer from or what they should do to recover. Things such as misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, surgical mistakes, birth injuries, prescription drug errors, or anesthesia errors fall under this classification.
Many people know what premises liability accidents consist of but don't know that's the legal term for them. In a nutshell, premises liability accidents are cases when the owner of a place is liable for the injuries a person got in that place due to its conditions.
Slip and fall or trip and fall cases are perfect examples of premises liability accidents. The job of the personal injury lawyer in one of these cases is often difficult because they have to prove the victim couldn't have known the conditions of the place that could cause someone to get an injury.
Animal Bites and Attacks
Animal bites and attacks are pretty self-explanatory; pet owners need to cover the medical bills someone gets if their pet bites them. However, these attacks need to meet specific criteria for a personal injury lawyer to file a lawsuit against the liable party.
If the victim was teasing the animal or harming it directly or indirectly, pet owners don't need to pay anything if their pet bites them. While this type of personal injury case can happen with all kinds of animals, most cases happen due to dog bites.
Wrongful death cases are different from the other personal injury cases on this list, so personal injury lawyers address them differently. It's worth noting that wrongful death is not the same as murder, so not everyone who causes the death of another person due to their negligence will have to face criminal charges.
Personal injury lawsuits are civil procedures, not criminal ones, so all settlements will obey what the civil law states. What makes wrongful death different from murder? That wrongful death happens due to the negligence of the wrongdoer and not the will of killing another person on purpose.
What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do in a Case?
Now that readers know when they can hire a personal injury lawyer, they should know what attorneys can do for them once they hire them. They are not only in charge of handling paperwork or representing clients at trial, and they could even solve the trial and get compensation without the need for a trial.
Although all law firms offer different strategies, services, and ways to deal with the insurance company, they all offer a few standard things to all clients. These are the main things all personal injury attorneys should do for their clients. Tom Fowler Law can help advise on questions such as, "What is the average contingency fee of a personal injury lawyer?"
One of the main benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer is that they can help their clients gather evidence for the case. It's not like people can't do this by themselves, but victims don't often know all the things that could serve as evidence in a further trial. We are talking about medical records, witnesses, pictures, and more.
Victims don't only need evidence to prove the other party is liable for the accident but also to prove that they need the compensation they are asking for. If the court, for example, determines the other party is liable for the accident, but it didn't cause any lost wages, the defendant won't pay for that.
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows all the evidence pieces that could work and how to use them correctly. It's most likely that the insurance company in a personal injury case almost always tries to avoid paying people what they deserve for accidents, so people need strong evidence to fight it.
Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Although the job of an insurance company is to help victims get the money they deserve after an accident or anything in the insurance policies the person signed for, things are not always like this in practice. However, personal injury attorneys can negotiate with them to avoid going to trial.
Many personal injury cases end before trials because both parties get to a fair settlement for both parties. As long as the victim gets enough money for medical bills and lost wages, they can consider their settlement fair. However, the personal injury lawyer in the case should cease negotiations if they notice their client won't get a fair settlement.
Representing Clients at Trial
If negotiations go south, clients should ask their personal injury lawyer to take the case to trial. Attorneys often avoid this because their clients won't get anything if they lose. There's nothing to be afraid of if the victim has a decent lawyer with a strong case and enough evidence to support it.
The good part of going to trial is that if the personal injury attorney wins the case, its clients will get all the compensation they asked for in the first place. However, trials can be long and stressful, so people should mentally prepare for them.
Handling paperwork is one of the most stressful parts of going through a legal process. It's often too much for a regular person, and making a mistake could make them lose the whole case. That's the reason clients need to hire a personal injury attorney with enough time to give their case all their attention.
An experienced personal injury attorney can handle everything with no problem, and that should be the bare minimum, so everything will be alright as long as people hire a decent law firm to take their case. The Tom Fowler Law Firm understands that, and their personal injury lawyers handle all kinds of cases, so no one should hesitate to call it.
Bottom Line - Hire a Personal Injury Attorney Now
Most personal injury cases cost people a lot of money. The main problem with that is that victims didn't expect to go through that kind of emergency, so they may not have the money to cover all medical bills or property damage.
Winning a personal injury case won't make people forget what happened, but it will mean the victim got justice for it and won't have to use their own money to cover everything. If anyone reading this needs a professional personal injury attorney to represent them at trial and file a personal injury claim, the Tom Fowler Law Firm is here for them.
This law firm will assign one of its lawyers to the case to schedule a free consultation with the client and evaluate what they can do for them. Victims can call it to get justice now!