Who Is At Fault?
In a criminal court case, the at-fault party is brought to court by the government. The case amounts to the government showing that the accused perpetrated a crime. Personal injury cases are different. In a personal injury case, the claim is brought by one individual against another individual. The case amounts to the injuries of one person were caused by the actions of another. In the case of car accidents, the injured party shows that the other party caused the accident, and therefore caused the injury.
Fault = Liability
When one party is determined to have caused the accident, they are at fault. If this person caused a car accident, for example, his auto insurance provider would accept liability for the injuries caused. This part of the case can be confusing and frustrating. Insurance companies often try to show that their insured (the at-fault driver) was not entirely at fault. Insurance providers do this so they will not have to pay as much money for the damages their client caused. The injury lawyers at The Lions Injury Lawyers, P.C., are well versed in the many excuses insurance companies use to try to deflect liability.
Restitution is the compensation the injured will receive in order to compensate the wrong that was done to him. In a personal injury case, restitution covers reasonable medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Insurance providers frequently fight to pay less than the amount of the injured party's medical bills. They use a host of tactics to try to prove that the injured's bills were not "reasonable." Despite this, a good attorney can make sure the injured party is reimbursed the full cost of their client's medical expenses. The costs you incur to treat your injuries, therefore, are essentially reimbursed. The great unknown amount in personal injury cases comes from what are called general damages, or pain and suffering.
Pain And Suffering
There is a lot of confusion surrounding how pain and suffering is calculated in a personal injury case. There is no simple formula for calculating how much someone's pain and suffering is worth. The question becomes how much an injured person should be payed by the person who caused his or her pain. The at-fault party pays money to the injured party to compensate them for the injuries they caused. In an auto accident case, the driver's insurance company pays this amount. Again, a skilled attorney is critical. Experienced attorneys know what similar injuries were "worth" in previous cases. For example, if an attorney has seen a hundred cases where his client suffered a similar injury, this attorney will have a good idea what the approximate amount of money they should expect from the at-fault party's insurance company. There is no chart that can determine what your injury is worth. One of the best ways to ensure you are getting a fair settlement is to rely on the experience of a seasoned personal injury attorney who has gone through similar cases many times in the past.
Because there is no objective way to evaluate price tag on your injury, the process of evaluating pain and suffering is often a negotiation between the injured and the at-fault party's insurance company. A good lawyer will not accept the first or even second offer. Sometimes it is necessary to file a court complaint against the at-fault individual in order to motivate the insurance carrier to pay a fair price. Without an attorney in their corner, many injured claimants are offered very low amounts to settle their claims. If they are wise and seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney, the amount the insurance company offers often increases dramatically once an attorney is involved.
Is It Fair?
Imagine two people suffer the exact same injury. One person settles his case with the insurance company by himself. The other person hires an attorney. The person who hires a quality attorney will most certainly receive more money for her injuries. Remember, their injuries were exactly the same. It is not fair, but the injured person who hires an attorney to represent her will almost always recover more money.
Your Personal Injury Case
Don't be the injured party that gets taken advantage of by the insurance company. The lawyers representing the insurance companies are very good. You'll need someone with passion, someone ready to fight back and win what you deserve. The experience attorneys at The Lions Injury Lawyers, P.C. stand ready to win the true value of your injury case. Contact The Lions today for a free consultation.