2 Introduction What is Personal Injury? Personal injury is any injury that occurs to your person. Most personal injuries are a result of an accident, although some can result from malicious, deliberate intent. Some personal injuries are Personal injuries can include bodily harm that results from automobile accidents, medical malpractice, workplace equipment malfunction and/or unsafe circumstances, accidents that occur on personal property, and more. What is a Personal Injury Lawyer? A personal injury lawyer is an attorney who legally represents the victim of a personal injury. These experts gather information surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injury in an attempt to prove liability for medical and other expenses that the victim incurs. Personal injury lawyers are often able to obtain an appropriate settlement for their clients, but are also willing to take the case to trial if a satisfactory settlement cannot be obtained. What are the Implications of a Personal Injury? Personal injury victims are often faced with tremendous challenges as a result of their injury. Many require hospitalization and/or emergency care services, while others require ongoing medical attention and/or physical therapy. Others still are unable to return to work in a timely manner. All of these circumstances can create a tremendous financial burden on both the victim and/or his or her family. At Prior, Daniel, & Wiltshire, our goal is to educate you about your rights as a personal injury victim, and then offer guidance regarding your legal options. If you or someone you love has been a victim of a personal injury, we encourage you to contact us for a consultation by calling (706)
3 The Facts Personal Injury Statistics According to the National Center for Health Statistics, personal injuries represent the 5 th leading cause of death for the general population, and is the number one cause of death for citizens under the age of 35. Personal injuries result in 162,000 deaths annually, and are responsible for 29.5 million emergency room visits every year. The Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports a combined total of 45,000 annual deaths from car and truck accidents, with more than 3 million personal injuries occurring from those accidents. Moreover, automobile accidents only scratch the surface of potential causes of personal injuries. The numbers are staggering. Personal Injury Complications Most injuries result from an accident. No one plans for or expects an accident to happen to them, particularly one that results in severe injury. However, accidents can happen to anyone and at any time. In a perfect world, the party responsible for the accident and/or injury would willingly compensate the victim for his or her expenses. Sadly, this is not a perfect world and liability for personal injury cases is often a major point of contention. Personal injuries can create enormous medical expenses and personal hardship due to lost wages, lost physical ability, long-lasting psychological effects, and more. Some unfortunate victims are never able to return to normal activity again due to permanent disabilities caused by the injury. Because of the possibility of enormous ongoing expenses, a party will often deny liability in an attempt to avoid having to pay for more than the immediate medical expenses of the injury. However, a person who is injured and/or disabled because of the actions and/or negligence of another party should not call a personal injury attorney.
4 When You Need to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer A personal injury lawyer can help you to get a fair settlement quickly. Of the staggering number of personal injury claims filed every year, only 4% of them actually go to trial. Of those 4%, 50-60% end in favor of the plaintiff. If you try to represent yourself, you are far less likely to receive a fair settlement or judgment than you would if you had adequate representation. You should call a personal injury lawyer if any of the following are true: You sustained an injury that was not your fault and the responsible party is denying liability. You sustained insurance policy and the insurance company refuses to pay. You received a payment for your emergency medical expenses, but the responsible party denies liability for necessary ongoing treatment. as a result of lost wages from time missed at work and the injury was the fault of someone else. Who You Should Call for Your Personal Injury Case Not all personal injury firms are created equal. If you want to get a fair settlement or judgment, it is vital that you choose a firm that specializes in personal injury cases and has a firm understanding of both the legal process and the tactics likely to be used by the defendant. This firm should have lawyers who possess excellent education, years of experience, and all of the appropriate credentials. A good personal injury lawyer money. Rather, he or she can help you decide on an appropriate and fair amount for your claim, and then fight for that amount. Sometimes, a defending party will offer a settlement that is below the amount you are seeking. In these cases, your personal injury lawyer can council you as to whether or not he/she feels that it is a good offer. Ultimately, however, the decision to accept a settlement or go to trial is yours. Your attorney will tell you the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and may be able to, based on experience, give you an estimate of your likelihood of winning your case at trial. At Prior, Daniel, & Wiltshire, we have many years of experience representing victims of personal injury. What gives us an edge, however, is that we also have experience in representing clients on the defending side of the case. This unique experience, combined with our education and expertise, creates the total package you need from a lawyer who is going to fight for you.
5 Questions to Ask Your Personal Injury Lawyer the following questions: How much experience do you have with cases similar to mine? What is your success rate with cases similar to mine? How solid do you think my case is? based on your personal experience with similar cases? What type of documentation and/or evidence do you need from me to make my case as strong as possible? Is there anyone I should not speak to while my case is pending? What are some things that I can do to protect myself during the course of my case? If my case goes to trial, what types of procedures can I expect? What are your policies regarding legal fees and payment in the event that my case does go to trial? If my case goes to trial, and judgment is rendered in favor of the defendant, what options do I have, if any, with regard to pursuing fair compensation? What are my rights if a person acting on behalf of the defendant begins to threaten or harass me or my family? What can I realistically claim with respect to lost wages, financial hardship, and/or pain and suffering? How long would you estimate it will take for me to receive a settlement or judgment? Is there anything else that I need to do or be aware of to help ensure a favorable outcome? In Conclusion No one should have to pay for the actions, negligence, or greed of someone else. If you have sustained a personal injury, know that you are not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people all across the country have fought the same battle you face, and have come out on top. The key is to obtain excellent representation as early into your case as possible. At Prior, Daniel, & Wiltshire, we are ready to go to battle for you. We are genuinely interested in seeing you get the settlement that you deserve. With four locations in Georgia, there is sure to be a location convenient to you. In Athens, call (706) ; Atlanta, call (404) ; Lake Oconee, call (706) ; Madison, call (706) In addition, you may visit us online at www. pdwlawfirm.com.
7 Questions to Ask a NY Personal Injury Attorney Before You Ever Walk Into His Office 1. Have you handled my exact type of case before? 2. Do you have free books, reports and videos that teach me how this
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