A Personal injury attorney Syracuse NY is a trained professional who provides legal advice and representation to people injured in an accident. Unlike any other accident, personal injury lawyers only take on cases wherein the common elements of a personal injury are established. These elements include;
Duty: A person or group of persons have a duty of care
Breach: That the person or group of persons has breached their duty of care by being negligent
Damages: The negligence of duty of care has caused the victim damages, which can be physical or emotional.
For example, the victim of a drunk driving accident may be able to claim damages from the drunk driver who has a duty of care to drive safely and consciously on the road. The drunk driver’s duty of care was neglected when they decided to operate the vehicle in an intoxicated state, leading to an accident that caused the other party’s injuries.
Personal injury lawyers work in tort law, handling cases of injuries caused by negligent and intentional acts. For cases like this, the end goal is to recover the damages suffered by the victim and not necessarily to criminally punish the offender.
Personal injury lawyers use their training, experience, and in-depth knowledge of personal injury law to represent accident victims and level the playing ground as they file injury claims with insurance companies.
As trained professionals, personal injury lawyers handle various injury cases, ensuring that their client’s rights and interests are protected throughout the claims proceeding. Some common types of personal injury cases handled by these lawyers include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, boat accidents, slip and fall incidents, dog bites, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and negligence, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, wrongful death, etc.
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Other than representing clients in various types of personal injury or negligence cases, these lawyers also help clients recover damages suffered due to the other party’s negligence. Some common damages that may be recovered include medical bills or costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of future earnings (for people who suffered permanent disabilities), funeral costs (for wrongful death victims), etc.
It is important to note that you don’t have to hire an injury lawyer for your personal injury claim. However, hiring one levels the playing field and outsources the entire legal stress to the lawyer. Below are some benefits of hiring an injury lawyer.
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Accident victims can enjoy an initial consultation meeting with injury lawyers who will break down their cases into simple and easy-to-understand bits. This part is essential to help victims understand whether they have a claim to pursue.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis; that is, they don’t collect upfront legal costs until they’ve won the case for their client. This partnership agreement ensures that the lawyers do their best for the client and their cases. Injury lawyers will investigate the client’s claims and gather relevant evidence like photos and videos of the accident scene, police and medical reports, eyewitness accounts, expert witnesses, and more. The evidence gathered proves fault and solidifies the victim’s claim.
A huge percentage of personal injury cases end in out-of-court settlements. Most injury lawyers prefer this because it is faster and costs less than the court trial process.
To begin the negotiation process, the injury lawyer will calculate all damages suffered by the client and ascribe monetary values to them based on the losses incurred. The losses are totaled and a demand letter is sent to the at-fault party’s insurer. The insurer can invite the injury lawyer to the negotiation table by presenting a counteroffer to the amount demanded. The negotiation can either end up favorably, with the victim accepting the settlement offer or otherwise.
Injury cases are taken to court for a trial proceeding when negotiations break down. At this stage, the court and jury decide the case’s outcome.
Injury cases that do not end at the settlement stage proceeds to court. At this stage, the personal injury lawyer will handle everything from the discovery phase, where they demand to see the evidence collected by the insurance company, to filing several motions. The injury lawyer will also make court appearances to defend the client’s (victim’s) case while presenting evidence to corroborate the negligence of duty of care.
The judge and jury will determine the case’s outcomes at the end of the trial proceeding. If unfavorable, the personal injury lawyer can further appeal for the court to reconsider its decision.
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