Personal injury claims are not as simple as the injured victim may think. These claims are often vigorously defended, and only when it is obvious that a duty of care has been violated will a defendant begin offering a settlement in the case. Reaching this stage of a negotiation usually depends on what material case facts your personal injury lawyer can provide that will ensure the potential for an award from the court is inevitable. Regardless of circumstances surrounding a personal injury claim, it is always important to have solid legal representation, and many times this may include a disability lawyer in serious cases.
What your personal injury lawyer must prove
The initial step of recovering damages from a personal injury is establishing that an injury has in fact occurred, and that the designated respondent owed the injured victim a reasonable duty of care. What is reasonable is ultimately determined by the court system, but this potential determination gets discussed regularly during settlement negotiations. Your personal injury lawyer will provide documentation, such as medical bills and accident reports, that establishes these facts. The negligent respondent will usually have an insurance company that provides liability protection, but that is not always the case. It can be difficult to collect from an individual with little resources and no insurance coverage, such as in premises liability injuries, but automobile accidents usually involve an insurance company as well as a respondent.
The discovery phase of a personal injury case is a court filing in which your personal injury attorney presents all material case facts, including the seriousness of the client’s injuries. This can shed great light on the responsibilities of the defendant and the potential outcome of a case. While many cases actually advance to the discovery phase, this is also where the settlement negotiations will likely begin. The judge may not issue an official ruling from the court, but both parties will get an idea of the validity and value of the claim.
Serious Injury Claims
Many times an accident victim is rendered unable to earn a living after the fact. This means that the claim could be much more valuable than a typical injury case involving recoverable injuries. This situation could also require a disability lawyer to handle the proceedings because the input of the government agency or insurance provider is also an issue in the settlement, and this can also greatly enhance the value of the claim regarding lost wages and non-economic pain-and-suffering damages. Pain-and-suffering awards are considered compensatory in nature without a case actually going to trial before a sympathetic jury, which can then assign exemplary punitive damages in egregious situations.
Always remember that the process for winning a personal injury claim can be complicated and well-defended, meaning it is vital to have an experienced and effective personal injury or disability lawyer to recover an equitable settlement award.