What Is a Personal Injury Case?

It’s a fair assumption to say that you’ve seen personal injury ads online or on billboards around town. They often carry messages like, “Injured in a car accident? Call our personal injury lawyers today!” 

You may not give them much thought most of the time, but if you ever experience an injury that leads to medical bills and lost wages, you might be reminded of them. And you may wonder what a personal injury case is and whether you qualify for one. 

Not every injury gives you grounds for filing a personal injury claim, but many do. Therefore, if you’ve recently been injured, it’s worth taking the time to understand the workings of a personal injury case and how a personal injury lawyer might be able to help you recover compensation. 

Understanding Personal Injury Law

Understanding Personal Injury Law

One of the most common areas of confusion surrounding personal injury cases involves the legal aspect. It’s important to understand that there are two main areas of law that concern most people: criminal and civil. 

Criminal law is the type of law you often see portrayed on primetime crime shows, wherein people fight over cases surrounding legality. It has nothing to do with personal injury cases, which instead fall under civil law

Civil law isn’t about crime. It’s more concerned with ensuring people have avenues for seeking justice when someone’s actions cause harm. To that end, personal injury law allows you to seek compensation for injury costs if you can prove that someone else was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries. 

In some cases, though, criminal and civil law can appear to overlap. For example, if you’re injured in a drunk driving car accident, the other driver will probably be arrested and charged with DUI. However, the driver’s criminal case doesn’t reimburse you for accident costs. To do so, you need to file a personal injury claim. 

Common Types of Personal Injury Cases

Most of the time, a personal injury case involves obtaining compensation through an insurance claim. On the surface, that might sound simple, but in reality, it can be difficult to achieve. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that usually put up a fight over paying out for an injury claim. 

As a result, lawyers who practice personal injury law usually focus on certain areas. That allows them to develop extensive knowledge of the intricacies of a certain type of insurance claim and the work that must go into building a successful case. 

Experienced personal injury lawyers often handle a wide variety of case types. 

Some of the most common include the following:

In addition to establishing cases based on accident types, some personal injury lawyers also focus on specific types of injuries. 

These areas of focus are most common with catastrophic injuries, like spinal injuries or brain injuries. Serious injuries like these often have a life-altering impact. The victims frequently need to recover future costs for things like lifelong attendant care or expected future wages. 

When you need to recover compensation to recover the future costs of an injury, it’s a good idea to look for a lawyer who has experience handling cases with a specific injury type. 

Elements of a Successful Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury law is based on the legal concept of negligence, the legal definition of which requires proof of four key elements, which are as follows:

  • Someone owed you a duty of care
  • They violated that duty
  • You were harmed as a direct result
  • You can offer proof of the damage 

Proving negligence is one of the most important reasons you need a skilled personal injury lawyer working on your case. If a lawyer can build a case showing how the circumstances of the accident meet all four of these points, you have a successful personal injury case on your hands. 

A “duty of care” is a legal concept in personal injury law. Generally, it means that another person has a basic obligation to show care and consideration for your safety and well-being. For example, every driver on the road has a duty of care toward other drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. 

If a driver breaks the law, whether by driving recklessly or failing to pay attention, the duty of care has been violated. However, it can take a lot of work for a lawyer to prove that is what happened. They might need to collect traffic camera footage and witness statements or hire an accident reconstruction specialist.

However, if your lawyer can successfully prove negligence, the person who harmed you becomes liable (or financially responsible) for your injuries. In the example of a reckless driver, their insurance company becomes responsible for paying for your accident injuries. 

The Process of Building a Personal Injury Case

The only way to find out whether you have a valid personal injury claim on your hands is to consult a personal injury lawyer about your injuries. Most offer free consultations, so you won’t have to pay anything to learn more about your options. 

If a lawyer thinks they can reasonably prove negligence, they’ll likely agree to take on your case. From that point onward, your lawyer will do most of the work, handling the following tasks while you focus on healing from your injuries: 

  • Conduct an investigation
  • Collect evidence
  • Build a case for negligence
  • Identify your case value
  • File an insurance claim
  • Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company

When an insurance company refuses to settle, a personal injury lawyer might recommend filing a lawsuit and taking the case to court. However, most cases end during the negotiation process.

Working with a personal injury attorney doesn’t usually involve much financial risk at all. They often work on contingency, which means they don’t require upfront payment. You’ll only have to pay for their legal services if they successfully recover compensation for you. And even then, the money that goes to them will be a portion of your winnings, not an out-of-pocket payment.

Don’t Wait To Consult a Lawrenceville Personal Injury Lawyer

If you think you might qualify for a personal injury claim, don’t wait to ask for help. Turn to Lawson Personal Injury Attorneys, a personal injury firm located in Lawrenceville, GA. Founding attorney Yari Lawson has successfully recovered millions in compensation for the clients he represents. 

Call us today at 678-446-3655 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer.