You can benefit from personal injury advice if you have been hurt and it was somebody else’s fault. You may be able to win compensation to cover your medical costs, other expenses and possibly also an award for pain and suffering. However, everything depends on the individual circumstances of your case.
The first thing to keep in mind is that there has to be somebody to blame for your accident or injury. For example, many personal injury cases result from falls. If you trip on a badly maintained pathway or slip on a wet supermarket floor, you may be able to claim against the owners of the property or more likely, their insurance company. However, if the accident was not their fault (e.g. if your fall was caused by icy weather) then you usually cannot claim compensation.
Personal injury advice is not limited to physical injuries. Of course, these are the most common and usually the easiest to prove. However, there are some other situations that are included in personal injury law.
One is psychological injury. For example, somebody who suffers post traumatic stress disorder is often able to receive compensation. However, not all psychological injuries are as easy to prove as PTSD, and courts as well as insurance companies are very suspicious of these cases. Often, you will be required to show that a physical injury happened at the same time as a psychological injury.
Another situation that falls into the realm of personal injury law is legal malpractice. Here, your case would be that your lawyer was negligent and because of that, you suffered in some way (either financially, or in terms of a prison sentence or other punishment). However, as with medical malpractice, it’s not enough just to be disappointed with the outcome of your case. You have to prove that your attorney was negligent: i.e. that he or she did not act as an attorney should.
If you need personal injury advice, the best option is to contact a law firm in your local area. Many law firms specialize in giving personal injury advice and it is probably best to start with these. You will have a consultation either on the telephone or in person, after which the attorney will be able to tell you whether they can take on your case.
In most cases, you do not pay any legal fees for personal injury advice unless you win the case. This is often referred to as ‘no win, no fee’. This means that you have nothing to lose by consulting a lawyer about your case.
Of course, it also means that law firms will usually not take on cases where the rewards are likely to be small, because they would not cover their costs. So the injury needs to be relatively severe to interest a lawyer. Also, they will only take you on as a client if they think they have a good chance of winning your case.
However, even if you do not think your case has much value, it is still worth speaking with a personal injury attorney. You may want to fight the case yourself and it will be helpful to know how an attorney views your case, even if they do not wish to take it on. For this reason, it is a good idea to make notes during any personal injury advice that you have from an attorney, even in the early stages.