The term "personal injury" is used often in a law office. What does it actually mean? Personal injuries may be caused by a lot of things: car wrecks, big rig accidents, nursing home neglect, or slip and fall situations. No matter the cause, you have suffered a personal injury if you have been injured, physically or emotionally, by the actions or negligence of others - something someone else did or failed to do. If this describes your situation, you may be wondering if it's time to consult a quality personal injury law firm. Before making that decision, it's important to know exactly what a personal injury lawsuit entails.

Types of Injury

If you decide to file a lawsuit, you will be suing a company or another person for compensation to cover the damages they caused you. Personal injury is not limited to physical injury; your injuries will likely be a combination of:  

  1. Bodily Injury – You have been physically injured because of someone else's negligent behavior. Accident lawyers should be contacted immediately in these cases. 
  2. Economic Injury – You have been impacted economically; for example, the value of your property has lowered because of another person or company. You may  be able to sue them for personal injury of an economic nature.
  3. Slander & Libel – Your reputation has been damaged by the behavior of another person or company. This may have led to tangible economic and/or physical injury.
  4. Intentional – Assault and battery are considered intentional personal injury cases. You should definitely consult a personal injury lawyer if someone purposefully attempted to physically harm you. 
  5. Product Defect/Liability – You would file a product liability lawsuit if you have been injured because of defects in the design or assembly of any product, or because of breach of warranty or false claims about that product.

Pick a Winning Team 

Accidents and related injuries are always sudden and unplanned. No one gets a text message saying, "Attention: On Tuesday a car will run a stop sign and hit you!" You may be disoriented, hurt, and dealing with hospitals and doctors. Your legal rights are probably the last thing on your mind. Soon, though, you'll be asking questions like, "When can I go back to work? What about the income I've lost? How will I pay the medical bills?" It's complex and confusing. This is when a good personal injury firm will be invaluable. A good attorney will be able to explain each step of the legal process to you, walking you through the whole thing. It's a team effort. 

May the Odds be in Your Favor 

Personal injury attorneys have spent years working with cases like yours. After an accident, your injuries will need the most immediate attention. But once you've been treated, it's time to negotiate with insurance companies. For the defendant (either an individual or an insurance company), the primary goal is to settle the case with as little consequence as possible. It may even feel like they're trying to get away with it completely! If you represent yourself in these negotiations, you may get a lower settlement offer. And if negotiations don't work, you'll be looking at a court case or mediation hearing. At that point, you'll be glad to have a personal injury attorney at your side. 

Statistics show that insurance companies settle more quickly when dealing with an established, reputable personal injury law firm than with unrepresented individuals. They don't want to get stuck in long court cases; no one really does! In general, you can expect to receive a much bigger settlement from working with a personal injury lawyer than if you attempt to negotiate on your own. 

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident like those listed above, please contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.