Just the facts.
There is a debate about whether Sgt. Joe Friday of Dragnet fame uttered the quote, “Just the facts, ma’am.” Nonetheless, the quote remains associated with the iconic television show.
“Just the facts” can also apply to victims of accidents that want to file a claim. If you suffer from one or more injuries that were caused by an accident, you should take time to learn the accident injury claim facts you should know.
The most important fact is hiring a personal injury attorney improves your chances of receiving compensation to cover the cost of lost wages and medical bills. A state-licensed personal injury lawyer can help you gather and organize the evidence you need to persuade an insurance company and/or a civil court judge to approve just compensation for your injuries.
With the following monetary damages running into the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you when the time comes to file an insurance claim and/or a civil lawsuit.
- Medical expenses
- The daily cost of living
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Please note the first four types of monetary damages can be quantified by physical evidence, while pain and suffering are more of a subjective assessment that requires the legal expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Personal Injury Claim Statistics
According to research conducted by the United States Department of Justice, just four percent of personal injury cases ever see the light inside of a civil courtroom. The same research study shows victims file more than 400,000 claims every year. This does not include cases in which both sides agree to a settlement.
Accidents represent the third highest cause of death in the United States. In 2017, nearly 170,000 Americans died because of their involvement in some type of accident.
What Is the Most Common Type of Personal Injury Cases?
Motor vehicle accidents make up more than 50 percent of all personal injury cases. Medical malpractice accounts for 15 percent of all personal injury cases, while product liability accounts for just five percent of all personal injury cases. The study grouped the remaining 28 percent of personal injury cases into one category called “Other.”
What Is the Success Rate for Personal Injury Cases?
Plaintiffs that filed personal injury claims for the injuries and property damage caused by a motor vehicle accident won 61 percent of their claims. The primary reason for the high success rate stems from the type of evidence that plaintiffs submit for an auto accident claim. From photographs of the crash scene to the official police report, plaintiffs can boost their chances of winning a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
None of the other types of personal injury cases achieved a success rate that exceeded 50 percent.
What Does the Data Say About Motor Vehicle Accidents?
In the United States, motor vehicles are involved in an average of six million accidents per year. That turns out to be more than 16,000 car crashes on American roads each day. The six million auto accidents produce three million injuries of which a staggering two million injuries leave victims permanently impaired.
Alcohol contributes to 40 percent of car crashes, with speeding and reckless driving not far behind in terms of numbers. Some form of distraction contributes to 20 percent of motor vehicle accidents. If you text and drive, you are 23 times more likely to end up in a motor vehicle collision.
How Dangerous Are Slip and Fall Accidents?
You might not think twice about the potential harm caused by a slip and fall, but you should.
- Slip and falls produce more than one million emergency visits annually in the United States
- Women slip and fall more than men, but their injuries are typically less fatal than the slip and fall injuries suffered by men
- Five percent of all slip and fall accidents cause at least one broken bone
- Slip and falls represent the most frequent reason why workers take time off from work
- Thirty-three percent of Americans over the age of 65 will fall at least one time
- Accidents involving a slip and fall cause more injuries for truckers than any other type of accident
10 Facts for Personal Injury Claims
Accident injury claim facts you should know go beyond crunching the numbers. When you meet with a personal injury attorney for a free consultation, you can expect the lawyer to present common facts that clients should understand.
You already have too much on your plate after an accident. Let a personal injury lawyer from Morgan & Morgan explain the facts of life for personal injury cases.
Fact #1: You Are on the Clock
It is not the clock that you hear during Final Jeopardy, but you do have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit or an insurance claim. Referred to as the statute of limitations, the deadline for taking any type of legal action is established a certain number of days after the date of the accident that caused your injuries.
One of the greatest benefits of hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is to ensure you meet every deadline mandated by the state where you live.
Fact #2: Act with a Sense of Urgency
Because you face one or more filing deadlines, you need to act with a sense of urgency when contacting a personal injury lawyer. It is a natural reaction to feel sorry for yourself after an accident, but you have to shake it off and move forward with an insurance claim and/or a civil lawsuit. Personal injury attorneys prefer to have as much time as possible to prepare for filing a civil lawsuit or an insurance claim.
The sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer, the stronger your case will be.
Fact #3: Seek Medical Attention
Many accidents cause injuries that require medical attention either at the scene of the accident or at the nearest emergency medical care center. However, some accidents do not appear to leave as much as a scratch on a victim’s body. This does not mean you should not seek medical care after an accident if you feel fine. Some accidents, especially those that involve motor vehicles, leave behind hidden injuries such as a concussion or internal bleeding.
Fact #4: Contingency Fee is the Way to Go
You have two options when it comes to paying your personal injury lawyer: Hourly or contingency fee. Unless your claim is clear-cut, you should hire an attorney on a contingency fee basis for two reasons. First, you do not have to pay any upfront fees. Second, lawyers that operate on a contingency fee basis tend to be more motivated to represent their clients’ best interests.
Fact #5: Plaintiffs That Hire Attorneys Win Larger Settlements
This is not a fact that we pulled out of thin air. Statistics demonstrate that victims of accidents that hire a personal injury lawyer receive settlements that are 3.5 times larger than the settlements awarded to plaintiffs that fought a legal fight on their own. In addition to the lawsuit statistics, the numbers also favor accident victims that hire an attorney to file an insurance claim.
Fact #6: Save Every Document
You can expect to receive a considerable number of documents that are associated with your case. Organize your documents in different files and keep track of them to avoid not having the information your lawyer needs to file an insurance claim or a civil lawsuit. Copies of medical records represent the most important documents that you need to organize. Make sure to save every email that is associated with your case as well.
Fact #7: Stay Off Social Media Sites
We are not suggesting you shun your grandparents, parents, or grandchildren online. Instead, you should not discuss your case in any way on any of the social media sites. You have heard the phrase, “Anything that you say can be used against you in a court of law.” Well, for a personal injury case, the same legal principle applies to plaintiffs. You want to avoid leaving incriminating information online such as downplaying the seriousness of your injuries.
Fact #8: Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions Closely
It is a given that you will follow the legal advice offered by your personal injury lawyer. What is not as likely in many cases is plaintiffs following the medical advice of their doctors. You have to follow your physician’s instructions to file a civil lawsuit and/or insurance claim. Deviating from a treatment and rehabilitation program can cost you money when the time comes for you to win a claim and/or a lawsuit.
Fact #9: Patience Is a Virtue
Good things happen to those that wait.
Although you are on the clock when filing the paperwork required for an insurance claim and a civil lawsuit, the same cannot be said for an insurance company and the judicial system. Personal injury cases take time to resolve, which means you should remain patient throughout the process. Wondering when you are going to get paid only leads to stress and frustration.
Personal injury checks typically arrive between four and six weeks after a case is resolved.
Fact #10: Pain and Suffering Is Difficult to Quantify
Despite what you might read, placing a dollar amount on pain and suffering is hard to do. There is a formula that some attorneys use to measure pain and suffering, but the fact remains that it is impossible to quantify emotional distress. How do you put a number on the many sleepless nights that you relived the accident?
Receiving compensation for pain and suffering requires the legal expertise of a personal injury attorney who has spent years presenting convincing arguments that lead to awards for emotional distress.
Bonus Fact: Not Just Any Attorney
Too much is at stake to cut corners for hiring the best personal injury lawyer. You want to work with an attorney who returns emails and phone messages promptly, submits all documentation before deadlines, and has won numerous financial awards for clients.
Morgan & Morgan is not just any law firm. Schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers to determine the best course of action.