When a drunk driver causes a car accident that leaves innocent people injured, the injured victims often seek compensation through lawsuits. Personal injury law protects innocent people in situations like this, and personal injury lawyers help these individuals fight for the compensation they deserve. There are several important things to know about the settlement in a situation like this, including the following three factors.
Personal Injury Lawyers Typically Work on Contingency
Most personal injury lawyers do not charge upfront fees when they handle personal injury cases. Instead, they charge contingency fees. The average contingency fee ranges from 33 percent to 40 percent of the total settlement amount the court awards in a case.
While this may seem high, it's important to know that personal injury lawyers are able to recover much larger settlement amounts than people can when they handle cases on their own. Lawyers know the law, and they know how to handle the various court procedures involved in cases. Their experience works to help victims receive the largest amount of compensation possible in these types of cases.
The other important thing to know is that lawyers have risks when taking on these cases. If they lose a case, they do not receive compensation if they only work on contingency fees. The important thing for victims of accidents to know is that they do not have to pay any money upfront with this type of fee structure, and this is important to many people.
Lawyers Fight for Multiple Types of Damages
Personal injury lawyers are also great at knowing exactly what types of damages to request in cases. The main type of damage is designed to cover the physical injuries of the victims of the accidents. These are injuries directly related to the accident, and lawyers base the amounts they ask for on current and future medical bills.
Another type of damage lawyers seek involves emotional injuries. It is not easy to determine a value for the emotional injuries a person experiences after an accident; however, lawyers know how to base the amounts they ask for. They often ask victims to keep journals to record their feelings and thoughts after an accident, and they use these journals to validate asking for emotional damages.
They will also request compensation for other things, including loss of current and future wages and loss of consortium, if applicable.
Lawyers Must File the Case Within a Certain Amount of Time
The other important thing victims should know is that they cannot wait forever to pursue compensation for their injuries. There are laws known as statutes of limitations, and these dictate the length of time a person has to file a case against someone else.
The laws vary from state to state, but the average time frame is one to six years. This does not mean that a person must settle a case within this amount of time—it means the person must file a case within this time frame.
One of the best things an accident victim can do is talk to a personal injury lawyer shortly after an accident occurs. This initial consultation helps accident victims know their rights, the time frames and the process required for a personal injury case.
Car accident cases take time, and innocent victims of accidents should never handle these cases on their own. The Law Offices of Scott J. Forster specialize in personal injury cases, and we can help you settle your case. If you were in a car accident and would like to learn more about your rights, contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer.