People who suffer a personal injury deserve to focus on restoring their health without undue stress. But the financial hardships that often accompany injuries and illnesses make that impossible. Mounting medical expenses, unpaid utility bills, and late mortgage payments add to the problems good people deal with because someone acts recklessly.
The best way to pay debts and get the compensation you deserve is to hire a personal injury lawyer. At Cava Law Firm in Springfield, MA, we work diligently to hold negligent parties accountable. If you suffered a loss due to someone’s carelessness or deliberate act, this is what to expect during the personal injury claim process.
Common Personal Injury Claims
The term personal injury involves a wide range of issues. The basis of a claim involves you or a loved one suffering a financial, emotional, physical, or quality of life lost due to the actions or neglect by another person or company. These are the most common reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer and pursue a civil action.
- Automobile Accidents: Although Massachusetts is a no-fault state, civil actions can be brought against negligent drivers. Once certain legal thresholds are met, you can recover losses if the other driver is more than 50 percent at fault.
- Brain Injuries: Research has determined that traumatic brain injuries can have a lasting and debilitating effect. Big insurance may bquicklypay you off because they understand the cost of long-term treatment can be expensive. If you hire a personal injury lawyer, an insurance company won’t be able to short-change you.
- Dog Bites: The Commonwealth requires pet owners to keep dogs on a leash when in public and maintain control of aggressive animals at all times. If you or a child were bitten by a vicious canine, the owner failed in their legal obligation to keep others out of harm’s way.
- Slip and Falls: Property owners and businesses have an obligation to maintain a reasonably safe environment. Wet floors, faulty handrails, and trip hazards create slip-and-fall hazards for unsuspecting people. The injuries and losses from hard-impact falls require firm negotiations with insurance carriers or filing a civil lawsuit.
- Wrongful Death: If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone’s reckless or deliberate act, a family member or estate administrator can hire a personal injury lawyer to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Massachusetts, you have three years to file the case.
Experienced personal injury attorneys also handle medical malpractice, hit and runs, assault and battery, and workers’ compensation claims. The underlying principle is that a party has acted carelessly, recklessly, or deliberately, and you suffer losses as a result.
5 Steps in A Personal Injury Claim
The first step to filing a personal injury claim and recovering your losses is to schedule a legal consultation. During the meeting, a wide range of issues will be covered regarding your injuries, pain, suffering, medical expenses, financial setbacks, and diminished quality of life. Once you hire a personal injury lawyer, the following steps can be taken to hold negligent parties accountable.
1: Determine Responsibility
In some cases, it’s relatively simple to determine who was at fault. A car wreck caused by a drunk driver may only require a police report and a breathalyzer. But issues such as medical malpractice or faulty workplace equipment may call for a significant investigation.
2: Gather Evidence
Fact-finding ranks among the most important aspects of a personal injury claim. The ability to provide hard evidence to an insurance company generally makes them more willing to settle the claim. That’s largely because they worry a judge or jury might agree that high compensatory and punitive damages are warranted.
The photographs of an automobile crash site and bodily injuries often prove persuasive. Financial records and outstanding bills demonstrate quantitative losses.
3: Assess Medical Condition
Insurance corporations prefer to limit losses due to injuries and illnesses to the current medical expenses. But researchers have proven that many conditions have a long-term impact that sometimes requires decades of expensive medical treatment. The most prevalent in recent years involve traumatic brain injuries. The lingering effects of head trauma can require lifelong treatment and care. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, long-term medical costs and inflation are typically part of the claim.
4: Calculate the Compensation Amount
There are three factors to consider when arriving at a fair compensation amount in a personal injury claim. The first involves tallying up the financial losses you have already sustained. This usually includes out-of-pocket medical expenses, travel, lost wages, property damage, and other items that have been paid.
Next, anticipated costs must be factored into the claim. These may include future medical expenses, diminished earning capacity, and other expected monetary losses. The final element goes to qualitative losses. Pain, suffering, and emotional distress are the most common non-monetary losses. In a wrongful death case, loss of companionship and affection are impactful losses to consider.
5: Settling Your Personal Injury Claim
Although an attorney files a personal injury civil lawsuit with the courts, the majority of cases are resolved through negotiations with an insurance company. Once you hire a personal injury lawyer, these corporations are effectively put on notice they cannot buy off injured people for pennies on the dollar.
It’s not uncommon for insurance adjusters to start with their lowest offer in hopes that time and stress will prompt injured people to cut their losses. It’s essential to remain patient as preliminary court hearings take place and the insurance company’s representatives raise their offer to a more fair and equitable threshold.
Rarely will an insurance company go to trial because they are worried a judge or jury of your peers will add hefty punitive damages on top of monetary and qualitative losses. But if an insurance corporation or negligent party refuses to settle the case responsibly, we’re fully prepared to see them in court.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Springfield, MA
If you or a loved one suffered a loss due to someone’s negligence or malicious act, it would be fundamentally unfair for them to evade responsibility. At Cava Law Firm, we fight for injured community members to ensure they get the full, fair compensation they deserve. Contact our Springfield office online to schedule a free personal injury consultation.