Recovering from an injury due to someone else’s negligence has huge costs associated with it. You have to pay medical expenses, deal with loss of income, and potentially replace or repair property. It’s tough on businesses, too, in fact, businesses in the United States lose over $225 billion per year due to employee illness and injury.
The world of personal injury law is vast. It covers everything from car accidents, to slip and fall injuries, to bicycle accidents. Regardless, if you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, then there are some factors that make retaining a personal injury attorney necessary.
Not sure if you should hire a personal injury attorney? We’ve got you covered. Read on to see if you could benefit from having an attorney on your side.
Your Injuries Are Severe
Not all personal injury cases involve extensive or severe injuries. Some car accidents involve nothing more than mild whiplash. For cases like these, you may not need an attorney because you are unlikely to need a significant amount of expensive medical treatment to recover.
But if you were in a car accident that left you with two broken arms and unable to work for months, then it is critically important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible to protect yourself.
You Are Now Disabled
In the world of personal injury law, there are different classifications of disability. These classifications come into play when determining the amount of compensation you’ll receive from the opposing party or their insurance.
For example, if you are permanently disabled and unable to work, then your award would include payment for future earnings. But if you are only temporarily disabled, then your award would only cover the time in which you were unable to work. Both types of disability allow plaintiffs to receive compensation for pain and suffering, as well.
With all these distinctions, it’s important to retain an attorney who has the knowledge to know when an offer is right and fair, given your circumstances.
Your Injuries Were Complicated by Poor Medical Care
When you receive medical care immediately following your injury, your hope is that the doctors and surgeons that treat you aren’t going to make huge, life-altering mistakes with your care. Unfortunately, many doctors and surgeons make mistakes that complicate the injuries you received.
It’s important to have an attorney in these situations because there may be multiple defendants in your case. On top of that, there are multiple applicable statutes and cases that dictate the duty each individual party owed to you, some of which do not coincide with each other.
An attorney can help make sense of the proportion of damages the doctors and the opposing parties are responsible for.
You Don’t Have Paid Time Off
If you’re one of the people who have plenty of paid time off stacked up to use while you recover from your injuries, then consider yourself lucky. Twenty-five percent of private-sector employees do not receive paid time off from their employer, and, unlike in European countries, the United States does not mandate paid time off.
This means that injuries that cause you to miss significant amounts of work are particularly detrimental. Without an attorney on your side, you can count on insurance companies to try and undercut the amount of compensation you receive for lost wages, or for the loss of your job altogether.
The Insurance Company Is Giving You a Hard Time
Speaking of insurance companies, dealing with insurance companies, no matter how big or small they are, is one of the most frustrating aspects of personal injury cases. It seems as if, no matter what your actual expenses are, the insurance company is always trying to shortchange you.
For example, if you are in a car accident and your car is totaled, the insurance company is going to pay you the lowest possible value for the car. You need an attorney who is familiar with how insurance companies operate to stand with you to make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
There Are Multiple Parties Involved
Fault is one of the most complicated aspects of personal injury cases. In two-party accidents, the claims adjuster and, if applicable, the police department will make a decision about who was at fault for the accident. Sometimes the claims adjuster will place all of the fault on one person, while other times he or she may split it between the two parties.
Split responsibility for accidents reduces the total amount of money you’ll receive from the insurance company to the point where both involved parties receive compensation for their damages. But it also complicates things when you go to trial, especially if you’re partially at fault.
Tennessee law utilizes a concept called comparative fault to determine the extent to which each involved party was at fault for the accident or injury. Plaintiffs can still recover if they are at fault unless the plaintiff’s responsibility was 50 percent or greater. Awards for damages are reduced by the amount of fault you bear, so if you’re five percent at fault, then you’ll only be compensated for 95 percent of your damages.
Tennessee also imposes joint and several liability when there are multiple defendants in a case. This means that each defendant is only responsible for paying out their portion of responsibility. If the plaintiff does not name every potentially responsible party in the case, then the plaintiff will only receive that portion of their damages.
For example: if you and a friend are drag racing in a parking garage and two other drag racers show up. If you are injured in the course of the drag race due to the negligence of the three drag racers, but you only name one defendant and he is determined to be 30 percent responsible. In those instances, you will only receive 30 percent.
A good attorney will help you identify all relevant parties and make sure they are included in the case.
Ready to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Recovering from things like traumatic car accidents or painful slip and falls is not an easy or inexpensive process. This is especially true when your expenses associated with the accident pile up without relief in sight. Don’t trust insurance companies to be upfront with you or hand you a fair offer for your injuries — contact a personal injury attorney instead.
Want to maximize your chances of receiving a fair settlement or succeeding at trial? We can help you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation about your case.
Posted in: Personal Injury