In legal terms, “injury” is defined as any harm done to a person by the acts or omissions of another. Injury may include physical pain as well as damage to reputation or dignity, loss of a legal right, or breach of contract. In cases of personal injury, lawsuits are focused on injury that results from acts of negligence from either an individual or a business.
The purpose of personal injury laws is to protect people from being harmed by the negligent acts of others. When harm does occur, a personal injury lawsuit is brought in order to compel insurance companies and/or the responsible parties to compensate the injured person — to the extent possible — so that the person is placed back into his/her pre-injury condition. A successful personal injury suit will ensure that the injured party’s medical bills, lost wages (both present and future), pain and suffering, and other related expenses are paid for by the party responsible for the injury.
While there are many types of personal injury cases, the most common is for injuries sustained in traffic accidents. Other types of personal injury claims stem from animal bites, slip and fall accidents, workplace injuries, product liability, and wrongful death. Since personal injury law spans a wide range of topics, many personal injury lawyers will specialize in a few select types. Some lawyers will focus more on individualized injuries, such as car accidents and slip and fall, while others will specialize in larger cases that deal with defective products and large-scale work injury, such as asbestos and mesothelioma. Most personal injury negotiations and litigation involve insurance companies to some extent.
Typically, injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. This means that the lawyer only gets compensated if the lawsuit is successful. If the lawsuit fails, the lawyer does not receive a fee. However, when the judge finds for the plaintiff, the lawyer will receive a percentage of the total amount awarded. The amount varies from state to state, but in most cases, a lawyer will be compensated one-third of the amount granted. The percentage taken for legal services will be disclosed and agreed upon prior to representation.
Have questions regarding a potential personal injury claim? Contact us.