Getting injured is a fact of life; however, if it happens to you at work or at another person’s establishment, you might be able to claim negligence on their part. Fact is; they have an obligation to meet minimum levels of safety on their property, and if you’re hurt because they didn’t, you are entitled to compensation for your suffering and any lost wages as a result of incapacitation.
Personal injury law is very involved, given the wide range of ways you can get injured. In fact, if you’re in the Waco area of the Lone Star State, you can expedite the process with the aid of seasoned attorneys who are well-versed in all aspects of insurance claims and personal injury law. However, the need for a lawyer isn’t automatic; you can first make a checklist to see if litigation can be avoided.
Is There an Insurance Policy?
This doesn’t refer to any insurance policies that you may have – it refers to the party or establishment that may be responsible for your injury. Since slip-and-fall accidents are more common in some places than others, many business owners will purchase an insurance policy to protect against it.
In fact, this is similar to automobile accidents – except in the case of a personal injury on another entity’s establishment, your claim is a liability issue. Collecting your just due is likely to be much more straightforward if the offending/responsible party has liability insurance. If they do not, it could be a long process that involves a personal injury trial and, in the event of a favorable judgment, great difficulty in collecting your award.
The Next Step: Do You Need An Attorney?
If you weren’t hurt badly, and don’t even have to miss any days of work as a result of the injury, then it’s ill-advised to get lawyers involved. However, if you’re suffering any pain or inconvenience whatsoever, then you should at least schedule an attorney consultation – in Texas, with firms that offer case evaluations free of charge. You should be able to get this service in other states, as well.
Even after the initial free consultation, you can often obtain a lawyer on a contingency basis. This means that if they agree to take your personal injury case to trial, they will only collect attorney fees if there’s a favorable judgment. You’ll know beforehand what percentage of the judgment they’re asking for, and would have formally agreed to it before anything moves forward.
The primary benefit of an attorney consultation – even if you don’t think you need or want one – is that he or she can outline viable legal options that you might not have been aware of. Additionally, if the offending party seems prepared to draw out any legal proceedings, your attorney can present his recommended options.
The Landscape of Personal Injury Claims
Such is the nature of personal injury that most cases don’t reach trial. Apparently, especially with the aid of an attorney, the responsible party generally feel like a long, drawn-out trial just isn’t worth the time. If the responsible party has liability insurance, then the situation is often resolved with a payout by their insurance company to you, the injured party.
An additional note: you don’t even have to negotiate with the offending party in most cases. You can simply obtain the details of their insurance company, and file a third party claim by sending them a short letter denoting your intention to pursue the matter. Most businesses will have insurance – in fact, it’s required by law. You’ll then receive a response letter that signals the start of negotiations.
Ultimately, there is no general right answer when it comes to whether or not you should file a personal injury claim – it depends on the specifics of your particular case. A consultation with an attorney merely facilitates the decision-making process.