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What makes a Personal Injury Case

What is a personal injury case?Many people don’t call a personal injury attorney because they aren’t sure if their experience qualifies as a personal injury case. Let’s shed some light on what makes a case.

First of all, for a case to be heard, typically you must have suffered harm as a result of wrongful or negligent actions of a third person or entity. In plain English: Were you hurt and was it someone else’s fault? Then you might have a case.

Personal injury law allows the injured plaintiff to get compensation for the harm suffered, so long as he can demonstrate both liability as well as damages. What does that exactly mean for you? It means that you must be able to prove that whoever harmed you is liable for the damages you suffered. Furthermore, you must be able to explain exactly the extent and nature of the harm you suffered.

Does that all still sound a bit too abstract for you to decide whether you should sue? In that case, we’re here to help. We have connected over 4 million injury victims with experienced personal injury attorneys in their local area. Each of our Injury HelpLine attorneys is prepared and ready to listen to the details of your case. You can choose to hire him or not – the first consultation is free and carries no obligation. At the very least, after talking to one of our licensed attorneys you’ll have a better idea if it’s worth filing a lawsuit.

Types of Personal Injury Cases

If you’re not quite ready to talk to an attorney, we have prepared a list of typical personal injury cases that may help you think through your own situation.

Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents include accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, tractors and all terrain vehicles (ATVs). Vehicle accidents are the leading source of personal injury cases in the United States.

According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), there were over 6 million reported motor vehicle crashes in 2015 alone, resulting in 35,092 fatalities and 2.4 million people injured.

Vehicle crashes can cause a wide variety of injuries, from minor scrapes and bruises, to permanent brain damage or even death.

Injured victims usually file two types of legal claims following a vehicle accident – a claim for property damage, and a claim for personal injury. In fatal accident cases, family members may want to consider a wrongful death claim.

Learn more about vehicle accidents in our car accident claim guide and in our motorcycle accident claim guide.

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personal injury checklistYou or your loved ones have been injured in an accident. It’s a confusing and stressful situation, so be sure to take care of your health first. After getting medical treatment, consult our personal injury checklist detailing the important things to consider after an accident:

1. Determine if the injury was someone else’s fault

If you can show that a third party is liable for the damages you sustained, you may want to consider pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. To see if your situation qualifies as a personal injury case, read our personal injury basics guide.

If you prefer to skip reading and are ready to talk to an attorney, just fill out a quick form and we’ll be happy to connect you for a free consultation.

2. Find out if you can get compensated for your injury

A bar-certified personal injury attorney can help you understand what compensation you can get for the injuries sustained. We can help you find an attorney in your area within minutes.

To get an overview on how much your personal injury case may be worth start by reading our guide to personal injury compensation.

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How to interview your prospective personal injury attorneyYou’ve just been through a traumatic experience and are exhausted from dealing with doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and your own personal feelings about your recent injury. Careful – you still need to keep a clear head so you can find the right personal injury lawyer to represent you.

Here are some key questions to ask your prospective attorney to see if he is qualified to handle your case:

Area of Expertise

• Are you a generalist or do you specialize in personal injury cases?
• How many personal injury cases have you successfully taken to trial?
• Can I get a reference from one of your past clients?
• Will you be personally handling my case?

These questions are aimed at finding out if you will get an experienced personal injury attorney. Most cases settle outside of court, but there is a chance you may have to go to trial. If you think this is likely, be sure to find out if the lawyer is prepared and ready to take your case to trial.

Finally, also make sure that the lawyer you are interviewing will be in fact the one representing you.

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Personal injury legal fees need not deplete your savingsMost people only use a lawyer once or twice in their lifetime, which makes it difficult for them to assess their personal injury legal fees. The last thing you want to do after you or your loved ones have been through a traumatic experience is to add financial risk to an already complex situation.

We’ve compiled a guide to personal injury legal fees that will make it easier for you to determine how you will be charged. We hope this guide will make your search for legal representation as stress free and painless as possible.

Your first consultation can be free

If you are worried about spending money up front, Injury Helpline can put you in contact with a lawyer in your area so you can get a free consultation first. This will help you determine if you have a case and what it may be worth – at no extra cost to you.

Request a summary of fees, if any, up front!

If you decide to hire legal representation, you’ll need to understand how the legal fee system works. This can be confusing, which is why the American Bar Association recommends that personal injury lawyers explain their fees in writing as soon as possible after agreeing to take your case. Be sure to request this information from your lawyer!

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StateDifferencesWhen it comes to personal injury cases, the statute of limitations is a vital issue to understand. A lot of people know that statutes of limitations are laws that impose specific timelines in various types of legal cases, but not everyone knows that there can be some significant differences between states when it comes to these laws. Today, let’s take a look at what types of statutes of limitations differences exist between states.

Types of Statutes of Limitations

Before we look at state differences in statutes of limitations, it’s important to understand that there are many different types of statutes of limitations that each state has, even though they all work in basically the same way.

Essentially, every statute of limitations is like a ticking clock. That clock begins once events take place that could lead to a lawsuit. These events are known as a cause of action. As soon as the cause of action transpires, the statutes of limitations clock begins ticking away. Once that clock reaches zero, you cannot file a lawsuit arising from that particular cause of action.

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LawsuitTechnicalityThe idea of a legal technicality is something that a lot of people have heard about, but also one that is often hard to nail down. Basically, technicalities have to do with the requirements of filing a lawsuit, or the rules or laws that surround the lawsuit process that do not necessarily have to do with the facts that gave rise to the case. Just like with any other type of lawsuit, there are some technicalities that can serve as effective legal defenses in a personal injury case. Nevertheless, a ‘technicality’ can derail, or even terminate, your personal injury lawsuit, so let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used.

Statute of Limitations: Personal Injury Case

One of the most common technicalities that people often run into in personal injury law situation is the statute of limitations. A statute is a law passed by a legislature and, as its name implies, a statute of limitations is a law that imposes limits on certain types of lawsuits. The kind of limits we are talking about involve the timing of when you file your claim.

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DefamationWhen most people think of personal injury laws, they don’t normally think of defamation. But defamation is very much a kind of personal injury. In defamation situations, it isn’t someone else’s negligent actions that have caused you a physical harm, but is instead someone else’s words that have caused harm to your reputation or good name.

We live in a social and interconnected society, and a harm to your reputation can be just as significant as suffering a personal injury that harms your ability to live your day-to-day life. Here are several questions many people commonly have about defamation, what it is, how it can affect you, and what you might be able to do about.

What is defamation?

Words can hurt people, and can do so in more ways than one. If someone intentionally or recklessly uses words that cause you severe emotional distress, you might be able to sue that person to recover damages for the emotional harm you suffered. Similarly, if someone uses words to harm your reputation or good name, you might also be able to sue that person on the basis of defamation.

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HireAnAttorneyFor many people who have never had to file a lawsuit or even talk to a lawyer, the idea that you’ll have to sue somebody after you suffer a personal injury can be remarkably stressful. Few people enjoy conflict, and the thought of fighting in court to recover money for your injuries can be enough to stop you from ever reaching out for assistance in the first place.

Unfortunately, a lot of people operate under some significant misconceptions when it comes to the personal injury lawsuit process. The process itself is often far less stressful than many people initially believe it to be. To help dispel some of these common misconceptions, let’s look at how the average personal injury lawsuit works, and what it requires.

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What is an 'Assumption of Risk' and Why Does it Matter?

In some personal injury cases, the ‘assumption of risk’ defense becomes an issue. While assumptions of risk are not something that everyone who suffers a personal injury has to worry about, the issue can significantly impact your ability to recover money for the injuries you suffered. Today, we are going to take a close look at the assumption of risk, what it means, and why, if you have suffered a personal injury, you need to understand it.

Torts & Personal Injury

When you talk about assumptions of risk and personal injury cases, you’re talking about torts. Torts are a type of lawsuit that can arise after someone suffers harm or injuries because of someone else’s negligent or intentional behavior. When someone suffers an injury in this situation, the law allows that person to sue the wrongdoer to recover damages (money) for his or her injuries. A tort lawsuit involves the injured person (the plaintiff), suing the wrongdoer, (the defendant).

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What is a Discovery of Harm?

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits there are a lot of terms and ideas, such as the discovery of harm, with which most people are unfamiliar. These kinds of terms, though important, will usually require an attorney’s explanation in order for you to fully understand how they apply to your case. This is primarily because it is hard for most people to apply concepts such as the discovery of harm to their individual case because most people don’t have the requisite legal background.

Nevertheless, going into the personal injury process with a good base of knowledge will always be in your best interests. Understanding the legal terms you come across, and understanding what they might mean for your case, will allow you to be a much bigger part of the process, as well as allow you to make more knowledgeable decisions. To that end, let’s take a look at the discovery of harm.

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