Should you sustain an injury that you think is attributable to the fault of another, there are some key inquiries that should aid in making a determination regarding the wisdom of filing suit. The first thing you need to ask yourself is: was someone negligent in his/her actions and who is therefore accountable for your injury? The second point to consider is how severe is your injury. Did you miss a significant amount of work and were your medical charges beyond what you could afford? The third question concerns the location of the injury incident. Once you answer this question, you will be able to find out who is legally responsible, thus fiscally responsible for your injury.
In the case that you were hurt at your place of employment, you will most likely need to file a workman’s compensation claim. In the case that you hurt yourself in a shop, you could perhaps file a claim against the owner. And last but no least, how long ago did the injury occur? If it happened a while ago, you might not be able to file a claim due to the statues of limitations having run out, so you need to research this.
Now, should you speak with a personal injury lawyer and put them on retainer? You don’t have to, but it is usually a good idea to have a lawyer in your corner. If your injuries are not terribly serious, it is possible to do some early legwork yourself. It may be useful to send a certified letter to the entity you hold responsible for your injury to see whether they are willing to file a claim with their liability insurer. The letter should state that you were injured, explain the nature of the harm sustained, and request that their insurance carrier get in touch with you. Typically, the insurance carrier will send an adjuster of their own in an attempt to reach a settlement with you before you hire an attorney.
If you are concerned that the insurance company is not providing you what you believe is fair, you might want to talk to an attorney prior to agreeing to a settlement. If you have suffered an egregious injury, then you should not deal with it on your own. You should contact a lawyer as soon as you are able. Usually, the insurance organization that holds the liability policy is going to investigate right away, however if you hire an attorney your rights will be better represented and any proof of your claim will be adequately protected.
How are fees handled in personal injury lawsuits? In most cases, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis meaning that you will not have to pay them anything in advance. You?ll pay the lawyer directly from any money you are awarded. The standard contingency fee arrangement is that the attorney receives a third of the final award, but each state has its own allowances and limitations. If you don?t get any winnings, the lawyer doesn?t get any money.
Most initial consultations with the attorney will carry no charge, but if the attorney decides to take on your case they will probably want you to sign a written fee agreement. While the initial consultation is usually free and the attorney will be paid for his time and services upon the final award of the case, it is common for the fee agreement to require the client to pay for expenses such as court filing fees, expert witness testimony, and various other costs. However, the sharing of these fees will probably depend on the lawyer you hire and also what the details of your case are. There are attorneys who request a minimal retainer amount in advance to cover the initial costs of the case. If you find that things are not working well with your lawyer, you may choose to end the relationship. But you should be aware that you may then be responsible for the attorney’s hourly time spent on your case.
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