The Details of Demand Letters

The Details of Demand Letters

If you’re pursing an accident injury claim or accident injury lawsuit in the U.S., it’s highly likely that your case is related either to an auto accident (which, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, are at the center of 52% of personal injury cases in the nation) or to medical malpractice (which is the cause of about 15% of personal injury cases in the nation). You might also need to file a claim or lawsuit for cases related to workplace injury or a slip and fall on someone else’s property. The details of your case will, of course, cause you to adjust some of your strategies. If you’ve been hurt in a car crash, it makes sense to hire experienced auto accident injury attorneys, for example, whereas if you’ve been hurt by a medical error, it makes sense to hire experienced medical accident injury attorneys. But some aspects of personal injury cases stay consistent regardless of how you’ve been hurt. One of those aspects is that you’re highly likely to end up agreeing on an informal settlement long before the case gets to trial; in the U.S., only about 2% of personal injury cases end up making it to court. Starting the Negotiation Process So how do you initiate the settlement process? The vast majority of negotiations are begun by what’s called a demand letter. That’s a letter that you, the injured, send to the party you think should be paying the settlement. In most cases, that will be the insurance company of the negligent driver or other party in question. An insurance adjuster then reviews the letter...
5 Ways to Find an Accident Injury Attorney Who Will Represent Your Best Interests

5 Ways to Find an Accident Injury Attorney Who Will Represent Your Best Interests

There are many reasons you might consider hiring accident injury attorneys. The majority of personal injury suits in the U.S. have to do with car accidents, but medical malpractice or on-the-job injuries may also be cause to work with a lawyer; about five out of every 100 employees are injured on the job at some point, and construction accidents alone account for 300,000 injuries annually in the U.S. But if you have been hurt in such a situation, how can you choose an accident injury attorney who will put your needs first and increase your chances of getting the best possible settlement? Here are five tips on what to look for: An Attorney Who Concentrates on Personal Injury Law While there isn’t an official specialty for personal injury law, some lawyers choose to focus their practice on these specific issues. The law is far too vast for attorneys to know all parts of it exhaustively, so it’s very important you work with someone who knows the ins and outs of cases similar to yours. An Attorney With Outstanding Personal Recommendations All attorneys will be qualified in a basic sense in that they’re required to pass exams and remain in good standing with their local legal bar association. But an outstanding attorney will easily be able to give you several personal references that speak to their knowledge of the law and general demeanor. An Attorney Who Listens and Explains Especially if you haven’t done much in the legal system before, an accident injury lawsuit can be an intimidating — even frightening — process. You should feel comfortable expressing yourself to...
3 Things an Honest Attorney Will Tell You About Auto Accident Injury Claims

3 Things an Honest Attorney Will Tell You About Auto Accident Injury Claims

More than half of the personal injury lawsuits filed in the U.S. are in response to injuries incurred in auto accidents, and unfortunately it’s often necessary to file an auto accident injury claim to recoup medical expenses and lost wages after an accident. The U.S. personal injury law industry is a profitable one, worth about $27 billion according to IBIS World Research, and growing about 1.9% each year. Unfortunately, not all attorneys involved in this industry will give you a balanced overview of how these claims work, putting their own profits above your best interests. Here are the three things an honest auto accident injury attorney will tell you about the claims process: Fault and Settlement Values Aren’t Clear Cut Most states use a system called “comparative negligence” to determine fault and compensation for accidents. In general, this is a good thing, because it still allows you to collect a settlement if you were partially at fault for the accident. What you need to know, however, is that this will affect the value of your settlement. Attorneys often talk about getting you the money you “deserve,” but the value of your settlement is determined by a complicated number of factors including fault, injury severity, proof of lost wages, etc.Even once that dollar number is established, car accident settlements are limited by the insurance policy of the at-fault driver in most cases. This means that if your expenses exceed the limit put in place by the insurance company, the only way to get more money would be to go after the other driver’s personal assets. This may or may not...
When You Do and Don't Need to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer

When You Do and Don't Need to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer

Most people know that when it comes to complicated auto accident injury claims, hiring experienced personal injury lawyers can make a big difference. This is because lawyers can help to gather the most relevant evidence, prove substantial injury, and represent the client in either settlement talks or court. But there are cases in which hiring a lawyer isn’t the best move. So when, exactly, is it time to find a personal injury lawyer? Here are some tips on when you need to hire a lawyer and when you might be able to handle things on your own. Do Find a Personal Injury Lawyer If: The Other Party Was NegligentTo prove that the other driver is liable for your injuries, you’ll need to show evidence of two things. First, you’ll need to show that he or she was negligent in driving duties. This might be something as serious as driving dunk (a crime for which 1.4 million people are arrested each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), or something as common as speeding (which actually leads to 40% of all auto-related fatalities in the U.S.). Second, you’ll have to demonstrate that this behavior actually caused your injuries. You’ll want to work with auto accident injury attorneys who know exactly what kind of evidence you’ll need. Insurance Is Balking Some people assume that you only need to hire a lawyer if the other party caused the accident. But lawyers can also help you if your own insurance company is balking at paying out a reasonable claim. Lawyers can often expedite the claims process as well, so you...
5 Tips for Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer

5 Tips for Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers can be invaluable assets to their clients when it comes to getting fair settlements needed to cover medical bills and the associated costs of an injury. They help to gather information, build a case and argue it in court if necessary (contrary to expectations set up by TV, only about 2% to 4% of personal injury cases are settled in court). But how should you choose one? There are numerous options for how to find a personal injury lawyer — in fact, you’ve probably seen ads for a practice on late-night TV. But the real question you should be asking is how to find a personal injury lawyer that meets your specific needs and will always put your well-being first. Here are some tips that can help in your search: Consider the Specifics Not all personal injury lawyers focus on the same areas of the law. A workplace injury case will require specialized knowledge, since it’s necessary to demonstrate that hazardous conditions on a jobsite caused the accident or illness. An auto accident injury claim will require similarly specific experience. Some multi-lawyer practices may center their work on more than one kind of personal injury law, but you should make sure you’re working with a lawyer who has handled other cases like yours.   Get Personal Referrals In general, it’s better to do your own research than to wait for a personal injury attorney to come to you if you want the best lawyers. Auto accident injury attorneys who approach you after a car crash or who run TV ads may not be trustworthy. The best...
School Hazards and Accidents: How American Students Are Most Likely to Get Hurt

School Hazards and Accidents: How American Students Are Most Likely to Get Hurt

Did you know that every other day a student in the United States is hospitalized because of a school-related injury? Across the United States, at least two calls are put in to 9-1-1 services after a student has been injured during school activities each day. In total, students miss upwards of 5,000 days of school each year because of these injuries. Sporting Activities Account for Majority of Injuries According to Statistic Brain, 35 million American children ages five to 18 play an organized sport through their school each year, making athletic pursuits the most popular extracurricular activities in the country. As you might imagine, because of the physical nature of sports, these activities are also rife with student injuries. In high school sports alone, two million students are injured each year, with 30,000 of those injuries leading to hospitalization. Most injuries occur in football and girls’ soccer, with male injuries making up a full 71% of all student sport and recreational injuries in primary and high schools. For Younger Students, the Playground is the Biggest Danger For many young students, the most exciting time of the day is when they get to go outside for recess and play on the playground. Unfortunately, this popularity makes the playground one of the most likely places for children to get hurt during school hours. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children up to nine years old are at their highest risk of injury when playing on their school’s playground. In fact, a preschool or elementary school student is injured every 2.5 minutes on a playground. A Surprising Number of...