Dealing with a personal injury case is no easy road, not only for the accident victims but also for the lawyer. You can face heavy physical, emotional, and financial pressures because of the accident and not be at fault, but does that give your lawyer the green light to jump in and take your case?
Let’s understand one thing: not every personal injury case is the same, thus it is impossible to predict, without knowing the complete details of your case, whether an attorney will take your case or not.
We all know how important it is to have your case reviewed and dealt with by a lawyer, especially if you want maximum compensation for your losses. But lawyers can’t invest their time and effort in your case without knowing if it will be worth it for them or not.
In this article, we’ll explore the things an expert personal injury attorney looks for in a case.
As the name makes as clear as needed, personal injury cases are about, well “personal” injuries. You need to have sustained bodily damage because of an accident to call the case a personal injury case, simple property damage, or loss of your belongings, without any injury component will not be considered a personal injury case.
Such claims include car accidents (most frequently), slip and fall cases, animal attacks, workplace accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, defective product injuries, and so on.
Typically, the element that defines a personal injury case is negligence.
You must be able to prove that your suffering was a result of accidental or deliberate recklessness on part of the liable person. The accident would not have happened if the responsible party had acted as a person should’ve under those circumstances.
Simply because the negligence was accidental, does not make the case any less serious, however, if any mal-intent is proved in the case, you can take matters to the court for maximum compensation. Of course, that is to say, if you had no share in causing the accident.
Ideally, your case should be clear and shut – you were injured because of someone’s negligence and had no role in causing the said accident, ideally.
Of course, if you had some share in the fault, also known as contributory fault, you will be able to seek compensation but the damages recoverable will be slashed as per Florida's state law.
Just a PS, you won’t be able to sue the other party unless special conditions are met because Florida is primarily a no-fault state, meaning that everyone will have to contact their own insurance companies for compensation irrespective of who caused the incident.
But if the damages are severe, you will be able to demand compensation from the at-fault party, if your case is strong enough to allow you to do so, even if it means filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Your case is important not only for you but your lawyer as well.
However, this does not mean that a personal injury attorney will pick up the first case they come across and exhaust all of their efforts in an ultimately futile pursuit. Personal injury lawyers make it a point to scrutinize even the slightest details of the case to ensure that they don’t waste their time and efforts for nothing.
This is especially true for those who, like our folks at the VG Law Group, work on a contingency fee agreement.
When you call a lawyer and get an appointment for a consultation, they’ll hear you out – be completely truthful here – and decide whether or not to take on your case.
Here’s what a lawyer looks for in a case:
The first and foremost detail of any personal injury case is liability.
Who was responsible for the injuries and how much evidence is there to suggest that they did it. For instance, if you were in a car accident and you know for sure that the liable driver was texting while driving, your lawyer can pull out the phone records to prove that this was indeed the case.
Personal injury claims can’t be forged, no one can simply show up with injuries and fool everyone that they were in an accident, or mislead the parties involved as to who was at fault. If you feel that your actions also had a part role in how the accident happened, be sure to tell your lawyer this.
They will find out eventually, so it is better that you tell them on your own.
Until and unless your claims can be proved (with ample evidence) in a court of law, there is no point pursuing the case.
If your case only involved minimal damage, then there is no point fighting for a favorable settlement.
A lawyer will only take a case where the victim had to suffer from serious injuries (demanding medical treatments) and property damage. This is because Florida is, after all, a no-fault state, and thus your only chance to sue the liable party is if you had to suffer through serious damages.
These include severe physical injuries such as burns, paralysis, amputations, serious organ damage, traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and so on.
Such damages create a serious financial crisis for the injured person and thus allow them to seek compensation from the liable party.
Experienced attorneys offering their services on a contingency basis are risking a lot to get you served with justice. This means that there must be something in it for them as well, thus, no matter how selfish this sounds, the monetary value of your case is also on the list.
Your lawyer will sum up all of your economic and non-economic damages to find out the total losses you can claim. If the sum is fairly decent, the lawyer might consider handling the case because they’ll get a share from your winnings.
However, if your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, extra expenses, and non-economic losses don’t amount to much, lawyers will hesitate to take your case.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a lawyer will ask you if you had had a discussion with the insurance adjuster.
Did you give a statement to them? If the answer is yes then all of this is a moot point. Even inadvertently, you can say something to the adjuster that undermines your position in the case.
And if your lawyer feels that you have compromised your vase, then there is little for them to pursue in it, thus your lawyer should be the first person you talk to about your personal injury claim.
Here are some of the most important don’ts of the personal injury legal business:
Just be extra careful in general and show some responsibility by calling your lawyer on time to get started with the legal procedure in a calculated and effective manner…
Unless you get someone to look at your case, you’ll never know if it is worth pursuing or not. Don’t let the fear, emotional distress, or hesitation hold you back. You need to take the first step and it is very important that you call an attorney as soon as possible.
If you’re worried about not being able to pay the legal fees, which is understandable considering the financial pressures created by personal injury claims, you should not hold yourself back. The team at the VG personal injury law firm will handle your case without asking for any upfront payments.
This is because we work on a contingency fee basis which means that we’ll only ask for our payment once you’ve got your personal injury settlement sum.
If this feels fair, then call us now to have your case evaluated, and if your situation is worth fighting for, we’ll go to any length to see justice done.