What is Personal Injury?
A personal injury is a legal term for harm to an individual’s person, property, or reputation. In the United States, it refers to physical and mental injuries that occur as a result of negligence or intentional misconduct on the part of another party.
A personal injury case is a civil action brought by someone who has been harmed by the negligent or intentional acts of another. A personal injury lawyer helps you file a claim and negotiate with the defendant’s insurer.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Legal claims from motor vehicle accidents are typically governed by the law of negligence. A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay for any damages, either to a person or property, caused by his or her negligence. The injured party, known as the plaintiff, is required to prove that the defendant was negligent, that the negligence was the proximate cause of the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Approximately 4.5 million dog bite injuries occur every year, with one in five requiring medical attention.
When a dog bite occurs, the injured person has the right to be compensated. Homeowner or renter’s insurance may cover the victim’s expenses, but laws in each state vary in determining liability after a dog bite injury.
Premises liability is a legal concept that protects people for injuries derived from unsafe or defective conditions on someone’s property.
Some examples of premises liability include:
Wrongful death lawsuits are an effective way for the estate and/or those close to a deceased person to file a lawsuit against a party who has caused their death. Wrongful death laws vary from state to state, but these kinds of lawsuits are usually filed by a representative of the deceased’s estate. They often happen when someone’s death is caused by negligence or something intentional.
Now that you’ve decided to let The Ford Firm represent you and fight for a fair settlement, you can let us take it from here. We will stay in touch with you every step of the way and will require your assistance and feedback at various stages, but rest assured that the professionals are working hard on your claim so that you can relax and recover.
1 | Gathering Evidence
While you treat for your injuries, we will be hard at work reviewing the accident report, speaking to any witnesses, and gathering your medical records, billing, and any related wage loss documentation. We will also speak to your doctors if necessary to make sure we can present the full scope of your damages to the insurance company and work with you to determine when you are done with active treatment and ready to submit a demand for settlement.
2 | Settlement Demand
Once your medical condition has stabilized, we usually submit a demand package to the insurance company on your behalf. The demand package will include all of the evidence we gathered in the prior phase in support of your claimed damages. Once the insurance company has a chance to review, they usually send an initial offer within 60 days, and that begins the negotiation process between your attorney and the insurance adjuster.
3 | Case Settles or a Lawsuit is Filed
After receiving the initial offer, your attorney will call you to discuss the offer and give their own recommendation as to what would be a fair settlement value for your claim. Your attorney will work with you to determine a goal settlement and will negotiate with the adjuster based on that decision.
Whether or not you decide to take the insurance adjuster’s final offer is your decision. You can take it or leave it. However, insurance companies are known to often deploy a strategy where they know that people don’t want to sue, so they offer low amounts in an attempt to settle. The Ford Firm will be there for you with guidance on whether the offer is fair or if it makes sense to continue with a lawsuit.
4 | Discovery
Once a lawsuit is filed, the case goes into a “discovery” period. This essentially means your Iowa City auto accident lawyer will go and find out more information about the other side, and the other side also gets to find out more about you. The discovery process generally includes one or more sets of written questionnaires called interrogatories, a lot of requests for documents, and deposition testimony.
It’s not uncommon for cases to settle at some point during the discovery phase. Just because you file a lawsuit does not necessarily mean your case will proceed all the way to a trial. Sometimes the parties just need more information, and the case can be resolved once some discovery has been completed.
5 | Trial
If the parties are still unable to reach a settlement at the completion of discovery, the case will proceed to trial. To win, the injured party must prove that the other driver was negligent. The injured party has to show that the other driver failed to use ordinary care and this failure caused injuries. The injured party also has to demonstrate how much money they should be awarded in damages, and why. Often, the other driver, police officers, doctors, and other witnesses testify, after which the jury will render a verdict.
Leaving the fate of your case in the hands of a jury is always a risk, and you never really know whether their decision will be favorable until the results are announced in court. If the outcome is not in your favor, your attorney will discuss with you whether there are options to further appeal, and you and your lawyer at The Ford Firm will proceed based on their decision.
About The Ford Firm PLC
The Ford Firm PLC is a personal injury firm in Iowa City established by Jamie Ford. The Ford Firm operates on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that, unless your case is won by your personal injury lawyer, you won’t pay a dime.
At The Ford Firm, we think it’s important to put our clients above our fees. More than anything, we want to get to know each and every person who comes through our door with a claim, and we want to help them get the representation and the personal injury settlement they deserve. No hoops to jump through, no surprise charges to worry about, no having to worry whether or not your attorney knows your first name. At The Ford Firm, we take your case because we care about you, and we want to see you win.
If you’re in need of personal injury services, get in contact with us here and schedule a free consultation today. We’re excited to meet you, we’re happy to take your case, and we’re more than ready to help you win.