Personal Injury Law
Personal injury law refers to an area in civil law which pertains to compensating victims of accidents or wrongs committed socially. The injured party who commences the litigation is termed as the plaintiff while the other party accused is the defendant. Compared to criminal law cases, personal injury cases require a lower burden of proof.
Usually, personal injury cases do not reach trial. They are, most of the time, resolved by reaching a settlement; this is when the issue is mediated or arbitrated and the plaintiff and the defendant negotiate. In cases of personal injury, damages, the amount of money received due to injury, will be calculated.
In personal injury cases, compensatory damages may be economic or noneconomic. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, household help, out-of-pocket costs, rehabilitation, loss of consortium, etc. Those which are for tangible losses as evidenced by documentation are referred to as economic damages whereas noneconomic damages may be pain or suffering; in some states, these are capped.
Questions to Ask
When facing personal injury cases, it may not be enough to face it all by yourself without the aid of any legal professional. It’s best to have a personal injury lawyer with you. Do make sure your lawyer is well-versed with the local law; for instance, if you are from Alexandria, make sure you consult a personal injury lawyer in Alexandria, VA as well.
Be wise in choosing which legal professional you will hire. That being said, here are some questions to ask which may guide you in making your choice.
- Have you handled a similar case in the past?
It is important to ask this question as it tells you what your attorney is capable of. If he has handled similar cases before, look into the results of those cases just to get an idea of the possibilities that might be along your way if you choose this lawyer.
- What is your specialization?
As much as possible, choose an attorney whose specialization lies in civil law or particularly, personal injury law. Although many lawyers have multiple specializations, you don’t really want to go with a jack of all trades but master of none.
- Will other lawyers be helping in the case?
Determine if there is a team who would be working on your case or if he is doing it alone. This is important as this may also dictate the charges, fees, etc. for their services.
- What is the estimate time-frame of the case?
Lawyers will probably be able to come up with an estimated time frame for your case. In other words, ask them to assess your case. Will it take a year? Or would it only be a few months? However, keep in mind that the time frame they give is only an estimate and is subject to changes.
- What is the mode of payment?
Most importantly, determine how your attorney wants to be paid. Ask about this meticulously since lawyer services are not cheap and might make a hole in your bank account. Determine if their proposed mode of payment fits your preferences.