If you recently suffered injuries in an accident, you can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party's insurance company. However, insurance companies will not do you any favors when offering you settlement compensation.
In fact, insurance companies are going to do the exact opposite. These big businesses want to save themselves as much money as possible. When an insurance company has to pay out a large personal injury settlement or jury verdict, they can stand to lose a significant amount of money. Insurance companies frequently offer accident victims as little monetary compensation as possible to resolve their claims to avoid that possibility.
When it comes time to negotiate a settlement offer in your case, you need to have skilled personal injury lawyer representing you at every stage of the proceedings. Your lawyer can aggressively negotiate with insurance adjusters on your behalf and work to secure the favorable monetary compensation you deserve. Your attorney can also initiate litigation in court if they do not take your case seriously and offer you the monetary damages you need.
Accidents That Lead to Personal Injury Claims and Lawsuits
When individuals behave negligently or unreasonably under the circumstances, and accidents result, the victims of those accidents may file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Some of the most common circumstances that lead to personal injury claims and lawsuits include:
- Car accidents
- Accidents involving large trucks and other commercial vehicles (including big rigs, tractor-trailers, and eighteen-wheelers)
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle and motorcycle accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Boating accidents
- Incidents that result from negligent security on someone else's premises
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Staircase accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction site and building accidents.
If you recently suffered injuries in any of these accidents that resulted from another person or entity's negligence, you are not alone. A lawyer for personal injury in your area can evaluate the circumstances of your case and determine if you may be eligible to file a claim or lawsuit seeking monetary damages for the injuries you sustained. If you can move forward, your attorney can handle every step of the process and work to secure the favorable monetary compensation you need and deserve.
Injuries That Accident Victims Frequently Suffer
When individuals become involved in serious accidents resulting from others' negligence, they may suffer debilitating injuries that leave them needing medical treatment for many months or years to come. An accident victim's injuries depend predominantly on the amount of force involved in the accident and the specific accident circumstances.
Some of the most common injuries that accident victims sustain include broken bones, rib fractures, soft tissue injuries, road rash, bruises, traumatic brain and head injuries, internal organ damage, internal bleeding, complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries, full and partial paralysis injuries, and death.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a recent accident that resulted from someone else's negligence, you may recover monetary compensation. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can examine your case and gather the documents necessary to prove your personal injury claim. Your attorney can also organize these documents into a settlement demand package, forward them to the insurance company, and begin negotiating fair settlement compensation on your behalf.
Proving the Elements of a Personal Injury Claim
An injured accident victim must satisfy their legal burden of proof to successfully recover monetary compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Specifically, the accident victim must demonstrate that the other individual or entity owed them a legal duty of care that they violated.
For example, after a motor vehicle accident, the accident victim must show that the other driver owed them a duty to act reasonably and prudently. Alternatively, in a premises accident, the injured accident victim must demonstrate that the property owner had a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition for their benefit.
Next, the accident victim needs to show that the at-fault individual or entity violated their legal duty of care. For example, in a motor vehicle accident, the at-fault driver must ordinarily have violated one or more traffic laws or traffic laws. Conversely, in a premises accident scenario, the property owner must have failed to promptly warn about or repair a property defect after becoming aware of it.
Finally, the accident victim must demonstrate that their accident and injuries directly resulted from the other party's negligence.
Insurance companies will not help you satisfy the legal burden of proof in a personal injury claim in any way. However, your personal injury attorney can retain experts who can satisfy the legal burden of proof in your case. Your lawyer can retain an accident reconstructionist who can visit the accident scene and decide about the likely cause of the accident. Additionally, an expert medical provider can state, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that your claimed injury or injuries directly resulted from your accident and/or that you suffered one or more permanent injuries in your accident.
Litigation Options in Personal Injury Cases
Litigation begins when a personal injury attorney files a lawsuit in court. Once that occurs, the attorney representing the at-fault individual or entity will typically file a formal answer with the court. The parties will then engage in a process called discovery.
Your attorney can handle every step of the written and oral discovery process. The written discovery process typically involves answering written questions, called interrogatories, about how the accident happened, your injuries, the medical treatment for the accident injury that you underwent, and how you are feeling now. In addition, during discovery, the parties will exchange any documents they have not already exchanged up until that date.
Once discovery ends, the parties may attend one or more settlement conferences with the court. At a settlement conference, a judge or settlement officer can facilitate last-ditch settlement efforts between the parties and see if they can resolve the case.
If the case does not reach a resolution at a settlement conference, the parties will typically take their case to a civil jury trial. During a trial, the parties may call witnesses to the witness stand to testify, including expert witnesses.
The attorneys can introduce other evidence on behalf of their clients, including documentary evidence, such as medical records and medical bills. The jury will then determine the case's outcome, including the compensation amount to award the accident victim for their injuries and other losses.
Instead of taking a case to a civil jury trial, the parties can pursue alternative dispute resolution, or ADR.
During mediation, the parties will meet with a neutral, third-party mediator, sometimes together and sometimes separately. The mediator will work with the parties to bring them closer to a settlement when possible. While some personal injury cases settle at a mediation hearing, others do not. Follow-up mediation sessions might help the parties reach a final resolution.
During binding arbitration, the parties preselect a neutral arbitrator who will listen to evidence in the case, listen to witness testimony, and make a determination about the monetary damages to award the accident victim. Like mediation, an arbitration proceeding takes place out of court, and the arbitrator will award monetary damages in accordance with preset parameters.
A personal injury attorney in your area can advise whether you should consider accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company or pursue litigation in court.
Monetary Damages in Personal Injury Claims and Lawsuits
In a personal injury claim or lawsuit, an accident victim might recover monetary damages, depending upon their case circumstances. Factors that may affect the types and amounts of monetary damages an accident victim can recover include the type of accident that occurred, the nature and extent of their injuries, the medical treatment that they underwent, the cost of their medical treatment, whether they suffered a permanent disability (for example, a full or partial paralysis injury), and whether they had to miss time from work after their accident.
First, accident victims can recover monetary damages for their tangible losses, including past and anticipated medical costs. They can also pursue compensation for lost income if they miss time from work after their accident. In addition, loss of earning capacity damages are available to accident victims who have to switch jobs or careers and take a pay cut due to their accident-related injuries.
Other types of monetary damages compensate accident victims for their non-economic losses. For example, an accident victim can recover financial compensation for their permanent disfigurement or disability, mental distress, pain and suffering,
inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of spousal consortium, lifetime care costs, and loss of the ability to use one or more body parts.
A skilled personal injury attorney can determine the likely value of your claim or lawsuit and work to secure the monetary compensation you deserve. Just knowing someone is fighting for fair compensation for you can bring peace of mind and relieve your stress, so you can better focus on your physical injuries and recovery. There is no reason to wait to speak with a lawyer.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Near You Today
The reason why insurance companies often lowball accident victims essentially comes down to dollars. Insurance companies are for-profit enterprises that collect more money in the form of premiums from their clients than the amount of compensation they give to accident victims. They do this by paying out as little as they can, as rarely as they can.
Following an accident that results from someone else's negligence, you need to get the right legal representation from a top-rated personal injury law firm in Chicago.
Waiting too long to secure experienced legal counsel to represent you may ultimately jeopardize your case and prevent you from recovering the monetary damages you deserve.
Your attorney can immediately begin investigating your accident circumstances and gathering the documents necessary to prove your legal claim. Your lawyer can aggressively represent you during settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives and pursue the highest possible settlement on your behalf.
Alternatively, your personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit in the Chicago court system and litigate your case to an efficient and favorable resolution.