Personal Injury – When to Settle, When to Sue

personal injury lawyerYou can suffer personal injury in many different ways. Catastrophic and permanent injuries can impact you and your family for life, causing many hardships along the way. Any time you are injured on public or private property that you do not own, there might be legal recourse available to you. You might have suffered a personal injury on somebody else’s property, and in that situation liability will often rest with the property owner. Car accidents are a very large culprit of personal injuries. The products that you use can also cause personal injury, sometimes in the form of sickness. When you use these products, it is implied that they are safe. Product liability issues are the responsibility of the manufacturer and perhaps other parties who sold you the product, trained you how to use it, or got involved in some other way. It is also important to understand that personal injury does not necessarily relate to a physical injury to your body. The term “personal injury” is also used to describe injury to one’s emotions or mind.

Seek Good Advice Quickly

sue for compensationIf you’ve suffered through any of the situations described above, there’s a good possibility that you have specific legal rights under the law. It’s important to act quickly, because you might affect your ability to recover what is rightfully yours if too much time passes. Also, you may forget what might be important details of your accident if you wait too long to take action. If you suspect that you have a case, the first logical step is to contact a lawyer. Find a reputable firm like Donaghue & Labrum that offers a free consultation to discuss your case. You want to make sure, however, that the attorneys you speak with are highly experienced in personal injury litigation and will be able to provide you with the best possible legal representation should it come to that. One of the first things to determine, from a legal standpoint, will be whether the person you feel was responsible for your personal injury was in fact negligent. Your lawyer will be able to help you assess negligence from a legal perspective. The standard of taking reasonable care under the circumstances to protect you from harm will form the legal basis for whether a lawsuit is in order or not.

Will You Need to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Depending on the situation, your lawyer might suggest contacting the responsible party and suggesting that they take appropriate steps to compensate you for your injury. The person who was negligent should have insurance in place that will cover what happened to you. Sometimes all that it takes is for your lawyer to send a letter in order for the matter to be resolved. personal injury litigationIf it does not seem likely that a speedy resolution is realistic, your lawyer might recommend that a lawsuit is the proper approach. Your lawyer will consider two separate aspects of your case: liability and damages. What it comes down to is whether the responsible party’s action can be judged negligent. If the defendant in your lawsuit is found liable due to negligence, then damages can be assessed and the justice system will award you compensation for your injury. Filing a personal injury lawsuit is a complicated process that requires the skill and expertise of experience lawyers. It is not something that you should attempt to accomplish on your own. Personal injury law is both technical and nuanced, as is a personal injury lawsuit.

Settling the Case or Going to Court

Once your personal injury lawsuit has been filed, it doesn’t necessarily have to go to trial. At this time the lawyers begin the process of determining, precisely and from a legal perspective, what happened. This process is called discovery. Your lawyer, the lawyers representing the defendant in the case, and the insurance company’s lawyers (if there’s a claim involved), will gather the facts of the case. They will exchange documents, request answers to written questions, and ask questions in person, under oath. personal injury attorneyAs the discovery process proceeds, the attorneys on both sides will be able to determine the probability of a specific outcome more accurately. Interestingly, most personal injury lawsuits never even make it to trial because they are settled out of court. When you settle the case, you accept a monetary payment in return for dropping your lawsuit against the person who injured you. You would sign a release that relieves the defendant from any further liability for your injury and that effectively ends the matter. Settling a personal injury case before it goes to trial is a matter of balancing the settlement offer against what could potentially be won in court and the likelihood of such a victory. Your lawyer will provide you with a realistic and professional assessment of these issues, along with a personal recommendation. The final decision to settle or to proceed to trial rests with the plaintiff — it’s your call to make, and yours alone.

What Now?

If you haven’t already met with an attorney to discuss your personal injury case, now is the time to do it. Donaghue & Labrum has experienced attorneys who have helped many clients injured due to another’s negligence receive the compensation they deserve. Call them now to set up a free consultation and to get yourself the best legal representation in the area.