Major injuries can be traumatic, leading to painful recovery, loss of work and other consequences. These effects are difficult to deal with no matter the cause but can be even more difficult to accept when they were not just the result of personal inattention but were the result of another’s negligence or malpractice. The responsible party could be an individual, company, government agency, or other entity such as a hospital.
The defining criteria of personal damage are that there must be real damages that must have been completely caused by someone else. A mistake during a medical treatment, a faulty vehicle repair or a bite from an unrestrained dog for example.
When this is the case, victims are likely to seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer, who handles cases including civil wrongs and economic or non-economic damages to a person’s property, reputation, or rights. Although these attorneys are licensed to practice any area of law, they usually focus their practice on cases that fall under this definition, otherwise known as tort law.
In most cases a personal injury lawyer will work to settle a case and obtain monetary compensation directly with an insurance company. This will avoid the need for a case to go to trial. Only if a settlement offer from an insurance company is unacceptable, will a case go to court to attempt to obtain a more reasonable amount. However, a victim must be prepared for this process to take much longer. In general, a claim will take anywhere from a few months up to a year to settle.
A personal injury lawyer will work to obtain compensation for damages that fall under a variety of categories. Most prominently, medical expenses will need to be calculated. This includes ambulance fees, emergency room treatment and continuing doctor visits. The extent of medical expenses will sometimes be used by an attorney to determine a rough guide for overall damages. Accident-related future medical expenses will also be estimated and included. An accounting service will be utilized to calculate an acceptable amount to restore losses.
Several additional damages will also be sought for the victim by an injury lawyer. These will include loss of wages between the time of injury and settlement as well as loss of earning capacity, which is the loss of ability to earn future wages. Additionally, compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering and mental anguish related to the accident will be sought. This includes physical and mental pain, and loss of enjoyment of life.
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