Legal & financial aspects of an injury case: how to be fully prepared

Legal & financial aspects of an injury case: how to be fully prepared

Legal & financial aspects of an injury case: how to be fully prepared

Injury cases are complex procedures and can be a bit of a headache. Making sure you are properly informed about the different aspects of one plays a crucial role in ensuring you prove you were not at fault, receive correct compensation and save time and money. 

What is an Injury Case?

This is a legal dispute which arises when another party has neglected their duty of care which has subsequently caused you harm. If you were involved in a car accident or if you were injured at work, for example, then you may be able to recoup your losses as a result of the injury. This might be in the form of filing a negligence claim where someone has failed to exercise reasonable care (such as someone driving whilst drunk, or a local council failing to properly mark a hazard on the road). The main objective of these cases is for the plaintiff (person making the claim) to receive compensation to cover expenses relating to the injury.

Seek Legal Help

You will want to hire a local lawyer to help you should your injury case go to court because the procedures and traffic laws will vary depending on where you are. Take this Oregon traffic law for example, you cannot pass a bus that has red flashing lights and following traffic has to stop with you. Knowing laws like this can be crucial in winning a case consider a free consult with a personal injury lawyer in Hillsboro, Oregon, to see if it’s worth hiring someone to help you in situations like this. You’ll definitely appreciate a lawyer on your side if you’re involved in a dispute with someone else with a legal team.

Getting the Right Lawyer

It’s highly likely that you’re facing an insurance company or another big company, who have a team of lawyers who work cases like this all the time. Ensuring that you hire someone with experience in personal injury claims can make all the difference in not only winning the case but also ensuring you don’t settle for less than you deserve. You can get a pretty thorough understanding by researching online but hiring a lawyer is an easy way to figure out exactly what your rights are when it comes to your injury case.  


Legal Costs

Often, a lawyer will take a percentage of whatever settlement is reached. This can be as high as 40% but the upside is they’ll make sure they get you the highest settlement they can, and in the case they are unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay a dime (well… except maybe a costs and expenses bill). You can opt for paying hourly if you’d prefer, but the longer the case goes on, the larger the bill is going to be.

Gather Evidence

You’ll need to pull together evidence to support your claim which you should start collecting as soon as possible. Here are some examples of types of evidence you can use:

  • Police reports - they collect evidence of things such as vehicle speeds, unmarked hazards, and witness statements
  • Photos and videos - take your own photos of the scene of the accident, the progression of injuries over time, torn/blood-covered clothing and any evidence of negligence.
  • Eyewitness statements - speak to people who were there when the accident happened. You can also have family members testify about how the accident has impacted your life - they are known as lay witnesses.
  • Personal description - your own memory of the event (and its effects) written in as much detail as you can.
  • Medical records - prescriptions, diagnosis reports, lab results and emergency service call reports. 
  • Bills, receipts, invoices of anything relevant that cost you

Research the Other Party

You can look into the person or company you have a dispute with to better understand how to proceed. Understanding any previous lawsuits and cases they’ve had against them and what the outcomes were in the past will better prepare you for how they deal with these situations. You sometimes may not find a lot of information though because if settlements are reached, a non-disclosure agreement may have been signed.

Compensation and Settlements

If you were not at fault then you may be entitled to compensation, with around 95% of cases ending in settlements at some point, rather than going to court. When reaching a settlement you should consider everything that has cost you because of the accident. The amount you receive can vary and depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Severity of injuries
  • Impact of injuries on day-to-day life
  • Cost of treatment
  • Legal costs 
  • Loss of wages

From a 2005 study, the median amount received by the plaintiff was $31,0000, but this was less for car accidents (one of the most common injury cases) where the median was only $16,000. 

Going to Court

If you do end up taking the case to court, rather than reaching a settlement, you’ll most likely end up in front of a judge and 6 jurors. Your job (or at least, your lawyer’s) is to prove the other party neglected their duty of care. You’ll most likely have to take the stand where you can explain how the accident affected your life - you can also bring in your lay witnesses to back up your claims. Be careful to watch out for leading questions and other ways they’ll try and undermine your claims during cross-examinations. Taking your time before the trial to plan your answers will help you through this process and help better present your case to the jury.

Overall, remember each stage of an injury case is important and should be thought through carefully - from hiring a lawyer, to choosing whether to go to court or not, to deciding how much to settle for - your aim is to win compensation to cover the costs that have been imposed on you because of your injury. Understanding and researching in detail the legal and financial aspects, as outlined above, will help you become better informed and prepared, which will ultimately help you win your case.