PI_compGetting compensated for a personal injury is complex.

If there is a dispute about who is responsible, someone must carefully investigate an accident, work out who is to blame, and find the evidence to prove it. The defendant will be trying to undermine the victim’s case. For an accident victim or their family, all of this is stressful.

This is a brief guide to what to expect when seeking compensation for an injury. Over the years, Proner & Proner has guided thousands of clients through the legal process, and we are waiting to help you. If you or a family member has been injured, contact us.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you have grounds for filing a personal injury claim, you have two basic options:

  • File a lawsuit in court
  • Try to settle the case informally

If you file a lawsuit, you will need to take the following steps:

  • You should contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation.  You should do so as soon as possible after your accident, since there is a time limit for filing a personal injury claim.
  • If we determine that you have a case, we will begin the process of collecting evidence (such as witnesses’ testimonies, physical evidence, and photographs of the accident scene).
  • We will file the paperwork needed to start a lawsuit.
  • Even after you file a lawsuit, you can still settle your case. Many lawsuits are settled before trial. Hiring experienced lawyers can help to get you a better settlement, because insurance companies will know your lawyers are not afraid to take a case to trial.
  • If the case goes to trial, we will present this evidence to a judge, who will consider our claims, as well as those of the defense, in determining liability.

Who Is At Fault?

If you file a lawsuit, you do not have to sue just one party. You can claim against every party who may be partly responsible for your injuries. In fact, you should do this. Also, you can still get compensation even if the accident was partly your fault.

Under the legal theory of comparative negligence, multiple parties can be held responsible for an accident, including the victim. Here are some examples for different types of accidents:

Driver of vehicle

Party responsible for maintaining roads (e.g. State, county authority)

Medical malpractice
Doctor

Attending nurses

Hospital where treatment given

Construction accidents

Workplace accidents

Employer

Owner / landlord at the workplace

Defective products
Manufacturer

Designer

Retailer

Working out who might be responsible for a personal injury is a difficult process. Contact our firm today to learn more about personal injury liability and your rights.

What Compensation Will I Receive?

How much money a personal injury victim may get depends on several factors. These include how seriously you were injured, what happened during the accident, and the skill of your attorney.

Personal injury compensation can cover:

Type of Compensation

What It Covers

Medical expenses
Cost of medical treatment after injury

Cost of rehabilitation after injury

Any future medical expenses

Loss of income
Income you lost because you were injured

Income you would have earned in the future if you hadn’t been injured

Decreased earning potential
Decreases in your earning capacity because you can no longer do your previous work
Physical deformity
Physical disfigurement
Pain and suffering
Physical, mental, and emotional anguish
Loss of enjoyment of life
Lower ability to enjoy day-to-day activities because of your injury
Cost of maintaining household services
Cost of maintaining your household during recovery

What Happens If I Settle My Case?

If you settle your case and someone agrees to pay you money, you will get either a structured or unstructured settlement:

  • A structured settlement gives you regular payments over several years, or even for the rest of your life
  • An unstructured settlement gives you one lump sum.

Each of these types of settlement has its advantages and disadvantages.

Type

Advantages

Disadvantages

Structured
Usually tax free

Can’t spend the money all at once

Can be tailored to your needs (e.g. can get more up front for medical bills)

Security of dependable payments

Usually protected by state insurance laws if insurer goes bankrupt

Payments may be to small

Must wait to receive money

Unstructured
Ensures entire settlement is paid—not waiting on continued payments

Can use the money as you see fit

Prevents too-small payments

No protection from overspending

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers

As you can see, when you are considering starting a case, or settling a claim, there is a lot to think about. We understand this can cause stress and anxiety at a difficult time in your life.

If you are thinking about a personal injury lawsuit, contact Proner & Proner today for a free initial consultation. We’re here to help you.