Legal cases are complicated: we know. Understanding the ins and outs of how to handle a case, from finding a good lawyer to filing the case and everything in between, can feel a little overwhelming and a lot like a nightmare: especially when it’s relating to a sensitive issue. Personal injuries can be extremely taxing and hard to deal with on so many levels. Legalities are probably the furthest thing from your mind when you’re going through recovery or even dealing with lifelong pain, loss, or trauma. That’s why we have put together a basic guide of everything you need to know about the legal side of a personal injury case. Keep reading to find out all the basics of what you might need to know.
What Constitutes A Personal Injury?
A personal injury is a legal term used to describe any injury to the physical body or even the mind, regarding mental health. The issue becomes a legal one when there is someone else who might be legally responsible for that injury, and this could happen in numerous different ways. When you’ve suffered a personal injury and want to claim from those who you deem legally responsible, that is when you will look into a personal injury case.
Some of the most common examples of personal injury cases include motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, neglect or misdiagnosis, injury from a slip and fall, personal injuries suffered on work premises, injuries sustained from dog bites, and injuries that stem from the use of a defective product.
You can also file a personal injury claim if your mental health has suffered as a result of a physical injury or another traumatic incident at someone else’s hands. This could be due to various reasons, usually related to a physical injury, such as no longer being able to partake in daily activities, or feelings of depression and hopelessness caused by pain, suffering, and loss of physical abilities.
When Should You Contact A Lawyer And What Will They Do For You?
A difficult question to consider is whether or not the situation warrants getting in contact with a personal injury lawyer. The idea of it might seem extreme, but if you are suffering physically, emotionally, and/or financially due to an injury caused directly or indirectly by someone else, it might be a good idea to find a good lawyer. If you’re unsure of whether the person is at fault or not, a lawyer will help you to look at the evidence and determine the prospects of your case. Rather than dealing with the stress of trying to figure it out on your own, it’s best to contact a professional.
Your lawyer would need some information from you, and the more details you have, the better for your case. This is why it’s important to gather evidence and information at the time you sustain any injuries – photographs are helpful as well as contact details and information from any willing witnesses. However, aside from this initial gathering and sharing of information, there is not much else that will be required of you. A good lawyer who specializes in personal injuries will be able to provide you with all the other information you need and help you through the process of your claim.
What’s The Process?
Knowing beforehand what you’re getting yourself into is an important part of taking any legal action. You need to be aware of who to contact, what to do, how to do it, and the financial implications in order to determine whether or not you want to make the move.
The first part of the process, as mentioned above, is to take careful note of how the injury was sustained. Make notes, take photographs, talk to witnesses and gather any other forms of evidence that prove that the person you’re holding responsible is at fault. This information will be crucial later when speaking to a personal injury lawyer.
Next, it’s imperative that you receive a full medical check and seek treatment for your injuries. Doing this as soon as possible will help you in two ways. First, it will show in court that you care about your recovery and have seriously been impacted by the injury, and second, it will provide you with important documentation about your injury which will be relevant in your personal injury case. If your claim is successful, your medical fees will be covered so this should not hold you back from seeking help and treatment for your own recovery.
Once you have spoken to medical professionals and begun treatment for your injuries, the next step is to get in contact with a good lawyer and file your claim. Depending on where you live, there will likely be a time frame on how long after sustaining an injury you can file a claim. This is why it’s best to contact a lawyer sooner rather than later and get the process underway before your claim is void. Your lawyer will help you to make the right decisions when it comes to accepting settlements or taking the case further.
How Long Will It Take?
Unfortunately, there is no real timeline to determine how long a personal injury case can take to be wrapped up. The settlement could be organized and settled within a week or two, or it could take as long as months to years to come to a conclusion. It’s important to play open cards with your lawyer about what you’re willing to deal with in this case, and they will advise you on the best route to take for your personal needs and desires for the outcome of the case. In the meantime, it’s important to support your own case by taking your recovery seriously and discussing with your medical practitioners, legal entitles, therapists, family, friends, and colleagues how the injury has impacted your life, day-to-day activities, and work. Documenting your experience and recovery journey from the very beginning is a good way to keep track of feelings and experiences which could be helpful in your case.