Personal injury or tort includes car accident cases, medical malpractice, dog bites, defamation, battery, assault, and intentional tort or harm.
Being involved in a personal injury accident is a frustrating situation because it doesn’t only sustain physical injuries, it’s also a psychological and financial burden. That’s why you need to hire a good personal injury lawyer, like those on Legacy Car Accident Lawyers.
What are the leading causes of truck accidents?
There are many causes of truck accidents and knowing about them can help one prevent the risk for accidents in the future.
The stopping distance and weight are common accidents in the case of truck accidents. It’s going to take a lot longer to stop a tractor-trailer than a motor vehicle.
A passenger car needs around 306 feet for stopping after braking, whereas a tractor-trailer is going to need 525ft. It’s about the length of 1.5 football fields.
Let’s not forget the speed when applying the brakes. The faster a truck is going (or any other vehicle for that matter), the longer it’s going to take to stop. Add the size and the weight of a big truck into the equation, and you get the picture of why truck accidents injuries are so common.
What do accident statistics say?
Statistics from 2014 revealed an increase of fatalities from truck accidents and more than half of them involved a revolver.
It’s important to mention that most crashes involve more than just one factor (vehicle failure, following too close, fatigue/falling asleep at the wheel, overcompensating while steering poorly, physical impairment).
Here are some numbers for better understanding:
- 10% of truck drivers felt under pressure
- 19% of drivers didn’t know the route
- 5% were driving in an aggressive way
- 27% of trucks presented brake problems
- 1% of the drivers were sick
- 7% of the drivers were tired
Why hire an attorney after a car/truck accident?
Even if some of the reasons are a bit obvious, let’s list them for clarification:
- He/she can negotiate with the Insurance Company a lot better
When you’re involved in a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company has to get in touch with you for obtaining a statement about the accidents.
Unless you have experience in negotiating with the insurance company, you should always get some help from an attorney. He/she is going to obtain a fairer settlement from the insurance company nine times out of ten.
- He/she can prove liability for your injuries
Establishing one’s fault in a car/truck accident is the most challenging part. It’s going to be challenging to do it on your own, without any help from a lawyer.
An experienced lawyer is going to check the evidence and figure out exactly what happened.
Here’s what a lawyer has to do for proving your innocence:
o Obtain the police report
o Interview witnesses
o Speak with the medical doctor who treated your injuries
o Collect your medical records
o Reconstruct the accident scene
- Establish the value of your injuries
Putting a number for the damages that you suffered is more challenging than one may think. However, when you hire an experienced lawyer, he/she is going to be capable of figuring out the right value of your claim. He/she isn’t going to take a settlement that doesn’t cover all of your loses.
- File a personal injury lawsuit
When you hire a personal injury attorney, he/she is going to recommend to check all of your legal options. Should the insurance company doesn’t come to an agreeable settlement offer, your lawyer is going to file a lawsuit for obtaining the compensation you deserve.
No matter how the negotiation is going, your lawyer is always going to be ready to take it to court if he/she thinks that it’s your best shot for getting the rightful compensation.
But, how much will hiring a personal injury lawyer cost you? Here are some of the costs that you should consider.
- Contingency Fee
A personal injury attorney in a contingency fee arrangement agrees to receive a fixed percentage, which is usually one-third of the total amount of settlement. A contingency basis is generally called “no win”, “no fee”. It means that if you win the case, you’ll pay the lawyer’s fee that comes out of the compensation or the money that the court has awarded you.
Here are the facts about the standard contingency fee for personal injury lawyers:
- Most personal injury lawyers charge 25% to 40% which depends if the personal injury case settles with or without filing a lawsuit.
- If you’re awarded 100,000USD in a personal injury case, it means that your attorney will receive 33,000USD, and you’ll receive 67,000USD of this settlement.
- One major advantage of this system is to allow the injured party or the victim to hire a trusted, reputable, and experienced personal injury lawyer without paying the upfront legal cost.
- The contingency fee percentage of personal injury lawyers differ based on the stage of your personal injury case, but you can always negotiate to reduce the amount or agree to an alternative agreement.
- Legal Fees Before Filing a Lawsuit
Your personal injury attorney serves as your legal representation throughout your case. All aspects of your case will be investigated, including the minute details of the incident for documentation purposes to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve. Since most lawyers work on a contingency basis, shifting fee limits apply in most states, depending on the stage of a personal injury case.
Here’s how it works:
- Expect that a letter will be drafted by your personal injury lawyer that explains your injuries and the compensation or payment demand. The letter will be sent to the wrongdoer or the person or business that caused your injury.
- A good case will proceed with further negotiations if the wrongdoer makes a counteroffer before filing a lawsuit or filing a formal complaint in court.
- When the case has been settled before filing a lawsuit, your personal injury attorney cannot receive more than 33% of the total amount of money you’ll receive from the settlement.
- Legal Fees After Filing a Lawsuit
If the wrongdoer will not take the personal injury settlement negotiations seriously or fails to answer your demand letter, you can file a lawsuit. Remember that as your personal injury case progresses, it means it will get more costly.
A personal injury lawyer should receive a higher percentage, usually about 40% if a personal injury case settles after you file a lawsuit. That’s why it’s important to consider the expenses of a lawsuit before rejecting a pre-lawsuit settlement offer. The total costs and expenses, including the legal fees, may reach as high as 45% to 60% of the full settlement, most especially if the settlement doesn’t occur until close to trial.
- Other Legal Costs and Expenses
There are other legal cost and expenses you need to consider as your case progresses aside from the attorney’s fee. Many personal injury attorneys cover the costs and expenses of a case and deduct them from the settlement. Other personal injury lawyers charges for the costs and expenses when they become due.
Here are the costs and expenses associated with a personal injury case:
- Police reports: 2 to 5USD each
- Medical records: 1USD per page and 10 to 120USD for a copy of x-ray films, biopsy slides, or imaging tests
- Expert witness fees: 200 to 600USD for medical and non-medical experts
- Filing fees and Postage: 50 to 100USD
- Depositions: 330 to 500USD
- Investigators: 40 to 100USD per hour
- Trial exhibits: 500 to 1,000USD
It’s a common practice that the settlement check is sent to the personal injury lawyer to ensure that they will get paid for the legal services and expenses for your case. Once they’ve received the settlement check, you’ll be contacted accordingly. They will explain the amount of the legal fees and expenses that will be deducted from your settlement, and you can always dispute certain charges. If ever you’ll switch lawyers, your first attorney will have a lien for the legal fees and expenses on the case.
When choosing a personal injury lawyer, it’s important to consider the expertise and experience, as well as the legal fees and costs associated with your case. Dealing with a lawsuit can be a time-consuming and daunting process, but it’s a good way of obtaining justice for your case so you can also get the proper compensation. Talk to your lawyer and know your options.