Many of us never really think about personal injury law until something happens to us: we get into a car wreck, slip and fall in a business, or are attacked by a dog while walking down the road. However, better understanding this form of law can make a huge difference in how we respond to an accident or injury, so it’s important to be aware of how personal injury lawyers protect those who have been harmed in an accident.
Today, we’ll discuss what a personal injury lawyer does, how personal injury law differs from other forms of law, and what to do when you consult with a lawyer for the first time. By the end of this article, you won’t be a master in law, but you’ll have a greater appreciation for how these attorneys help those hurt by the negligence of others move on to live happier, healthier lives.
Personal injury lawyers work to protect those who have been wrongly harmed by the actions of others
Many people believe that all lawyers can work on any form of lawsuit, but in actuality, there are a variety of specialties within law. Some firms focus only on estate law, criminal defense, tax laws, or even environmental law; they work to fully understand and apply the laws surrounding these particular subsets.
One of those subsets is personal injury law, which focuses on compensating those who have been wrongly injured by another person or entity. These types of injuries can be caused by a variety of circumstances, from being hit by a car to suffering severe medication side effects, and each of these areas requires specialized evidence to prove that another person or organization was responsible for the injury.
Personal injury lawyers have a deep understanding of personal injury law, and they often work closely with doctors to prove how an injury was caused by the negligent actions of another. By applying medical evidence to the law, they can help people harmed in accidents receive compensation for their injuries.
Personal injury law is complex and covers many different scenarios
There’s really no other field of law quite like personal injury law, which encompasses the entire field of accidents and harm that can be caused by people or organizations. The scenarios range from catastrophic workplace accidents to faulty products, each of which requires different evidence and justifications. There are, however, some commonalities amongst all these circumstances.
Each personal injury case, whether it goes to court or not, has two different elements: liability and damages. Liability refers to the fact that someone is at fault for the client’s injuries, and it is the personal injury lawyer’s job to prove that the actions or inactions of the defendant are the cause of the pain and suffering of their client.
If this is proven, then the client will be awarded damages, which is monetary compensation meant to “make it right” for them. This compensation can include reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering – in other words, the emotional and social harm that happened as a result of the accident.
Pain and suffering is a unique element of personal injury law, and it recognizes that there are psychological harms related to an injury. For example, someone may be awarded pain and suffering because they developed anxiety after a car accident and found it hard to leave the house, or they could be awarded pain and suffering if they had to stop attending college because they were so focused on recovering from an accident.
Personal injury lawsuits must be filed within a given time period, called the statute of limitations; in Illinois, that is two years after the incident.
Consultations with a personal injury lawyer are incredibly helpful – and usually free
If you’ve been injured and think you may have a personal injury case, you should always consult with a qualified Chicago personal injury law firm as soon as you can. Remember that there is a statute of limitations to file a lawsuit, and your lawyer may choose to pursue an out-of-court settlement first, so the sooner you talk to them, the better.
The lawyer will take a look at all the evidence you can provide and then let you know whether they believe you have a valid case. This evidence can include medical records, police reports, witness statements, and other materials. If they decide it’s possible for you to receive compensation for your injuries, they’ll begin building a case which proves that you have a legal right to compensation from the parties who harmed you, and they will start negotiating with any relevant third parties on your behalf, trying to reach a fair and reasonable settlement. Should it be impossible to reach a settlement out of court, they’ll file a lawsuit on your behalf, where they will prove to a judge and jury that the defendant is responsible for your injuries and that they have negatively impacted your life.
Now that you better understand what personal injury law is and how personal injury law firms work on behalf of their clients, you’re better equipped to step into a law firm and begin a consultation regarding your injuries. You don’t deserve to suffer – seek the help of a personal injury firm to ease your recovery process as soon as possible.