Personal Injury Law : 11 Useful Things You Need to Know About It
Personal Injury laws help you claim against the person or organization for compensation. Any mental suffering caused by someone or something like defamation also falls under this. Usually, another party is at fault for the accident or harm. The United States Department of Labor offers damage cover for personal injury at the workplace.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering include any damage, physical or emotional. Physical damage may include back pain, broken limb, organ damage or torn tissue, etc. The emotional damage may include loss of sleep, fear, anger, decrease in quality of life, PTSD, depression, etc. If a person dies in such a case, the family can also claim. This claim can include loss of spousal affection or parental guidance.
Role of a Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers represent the civil rights of a person. They handle all sorts of cases, from accidents to medical or legal malpractice. They also handle workplace injuries. PI lawyers help to file a claim, in probing and gathering evidence, etc. They talk with insurance companies for settlement on your behalf. If the settlement fails, they also represent the client in court.
How much it cost
If you file a lawsuit or go for a settlement, the cost depends on it. The lawyer’s fee generally ranges from 30% to 40% of the total money you get. In case of a claim, you must pay more. In case of a settlement, the lawyers get one-third of the total cash. There are no hourly, fixed rates. They take a percentage as discussed above. For example, if you claim for $50,000, the lawyer will get around $16000.
There are no set-in-stone ways, to calculate the pain and suffering. You can add in the stress, pain, depression, sleep loss, or shock. Extreme conditions demand a higher payment. It helps the insurance companies in getting an idea. Also, factor in the medical bills, travel bills, recovery charges, income loss, and property damage. This way you multiply the bills with the seriousness of the damage. A rough estimate for a shoulder injury is $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the seriousness. Insurance companies also see if an injury is temporary or permanent. Another way is to count the days, fix an amount for a day, and add the days.
It depends on how an accident or injury has affected your life. In most of the personal injury claims, the average amount is $50,000 but it can vary. It differs in terms of general damages and special damages. The basic purpose is to compensate for the damage it caused you. Hiring a lawyer may give you an edge, and you can get higher compensation, up to $80,000.
Insurance companies usually offer compensation within three days to three weeks. With a lawyer, you can submit a settlement claim. You should mention the reason for the claim. You can expect the offer after that. The delay in the offer depends on what reasons are behind the request for compensation.
Process of Claim
The process of a personal injury claim begins with a demand letter. In the demand letter, you ask for compensation for certain damage. The demand letter is the focal point of your request. Your lawyer can help you draw it along with supporting documents. Then an insurance company makes a settlement offer. If you reject the settlement, it will lead to a court case. Usually, your lawyer files a complaint against the insurance company or the party involved to proceed.
How Long a Lawsuit Takes?
In general, if a lawsuit is filed, it can take from one to five years to conclude. A lawyer can help you get quick results, but it cannot ensure the length of time. Certain other things like the seriousness of injury and loss, mentioned earlier are also important. Your patience with the process, and how long you can wait are also key elements. Personal injuries, mostly require urgent payouts. Many people go for settlement before trial.
You must be patient and alert while negotiating a settlement deal. You should have a rough estimate of the amount and ask for a higher price than that in-demand letter. Insurance companies usually make a low first offer. It is a test of your patience. Do not accept the first offer that is made to you. A good way to get around this is to ask for reasons behind the low offer. Personal injury is a sensitive point, so also focus on the emotional side. Even if you are negotiating over the phone, the final settlement should be written. Be persistent, calm, straightforward about your claim. If you think, you cannot handle it, leave it to your lawyer.
Is Personal Injury Settlement Taxable?
No, a personal injury settlement is not taxable if it is received through a lawsuit. Keeping in mind that you haven’t taken a medical deduction before, the total amount is non-taxable. However, if you went for court settlement, only medical expenses are shown on your income. The settlements received for mental injury, are also not taxed. Though, if filing for lost wages, the amount of wage is taxable. The same is for business loss. Tax is applicable on money needed to keep it running.
PI Protection ( Personal Injury Law )
PI protection usually covers car accidents and the injuries you got. It usually falls under car insurance and is regardless of who was at fault. This protection includes medical bills and other expenses. If someone dies due to a car crash, it also covers the funeral cost. Insurance companies over minimum coverage of $15,000.
To conclude, settlements are a fast and easy way to get it over with. It has some downsides too. You cannot revisit the price, once agreed and it can be lower than a lawsuit offers A lawsuit is a long, stressful process, but it can give you the advantage to get a higher settlement value. One big downside is a lawsuit has its own cost with fees and other expenses. The final word stands with your choice. The law is there for personal injury protection you and you get through your bad time smoothly.
Meta-description (Personal Injury Law)
Personal injury includes any damage, physical or emotional. The average settlement amount depends on the severity and level of injury. It can be between $10,000 to $50,000. A lawyer can help you to get a higher settlement value.