Personal Injury Breakdown
Personal injuries are often seen as physical wounds, broken bones, cuts, or bruises, etc. but there is so much more to personal injury cases than the physical matter. Damage restitution touches the emotional health of the victim and those that were close to the victim. The injuries may not even appear instantly, they may develop over time and have lifelong effects.
Most personal injuries are caused unintentionally, mostly due to the negligence of the defendant. This all comes down to duty of care, meaning the legal obligation of a person to adhere to a reasonable amount of precaution while performing any activity that could harm another person. For example, if a defendant is driving their vehicle on a snow-packed highway in Colorado, then it would be expected that they are cautious with their speed, distance from other vehicles, use head/tail lights, etc. to avoid any accident due to inclement weather. If the defendant was excessively speeding down the highway before sliding into another vehicle causing an accident, it would be considered that the duty of care was breached and the driver was negligent to the damages he could and would cause.
Damages from An Accident
When an injured victim can prove that the defendant is liable for the accident, they will be entitled to compensatory damages. The damages can be broken down into two ways, those that are a direct injury and those that are consequences of the injury. Pulling from the above example, if the victim of the car accident broke a leg in the crash, that would be the direct injury. If that broken leg made them unable to work for two weeks, that would be the consequence of the injury. A personal injury attorney’s goal is to fight for compensation for both sets of damages.
Due to the fact damages are broken down in two ways, it is important to discuss with an injury attorney to establish the true value your compensation is worth. An experienced attorney will look at the compensation for the more specific monetary items like the injury itself, loss of wages, medical bills. Then they will factor in the less monetary items like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and trauma.
When to Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Immediately after an accident. There are many moving parts after an accident, but a personal injury attorney is familiar with the process and can help with the critical decisions that need to be made post-incident. The Insurance Research Council, supported by insurance companies, conducted a study that concluded that injured parties with an attorney get an average of 3.5 times more than those without attorneys. This translates to 350% higher recovery for the injured person with an attorney. When going to see an attorney, here are some items to consider when determining your damages:
· Physical Impairment
· Lost Earning Capacity
· Medical Expenses
· Pain and Suffering
· Loss of Use of a Vehicle
· Loss of Enjoyment
· Lost Income or Wages
· Future Damages/Losses
· Loss of Companionship
· Decreased Value of a Car
· Lost Opportunity
What Should I Look for In an Attorney?
There are many qualities to look for in an attorney. Certainly, experience counts. Our attorneys have over 30 years of combined litigation and personal injury experience. However, there are many attorneys with experience. Ultimately, you should work with an experienced attorney that you like and that is available to you. Do not hire a lawyer that acts as if he is doing you a favor. If you do not like your own attorney, how can you expect adjusters, judges, or juries to like him or her?
One of the biggest complaints about attorneys is that they are not available. With us, your initial meeting will be with an attorney, not a paralegal or “salesperson” sent to sign you up. Most of our clients have our attorney's personal cell phone number. Ask any other law firm for an attorney’s cell phone number and see what happens. We understand that we work for you and must be available to you. With us, you are not a number or just another client. We truly care about our clients.
Personal injury cases are usually handled on a contingent or percentage fee basis. Some law firms may require a money retainer upfront for costs. We do not. We generally pay all costs until the final recovery. At the outset, we will carefully explain how fees and costs will be calculated at the conclusion of the case. In some cases, our fees will be less than those charged by other law firms. Call us for a FREE CONSULTATION about your case.