How Do Contingency Fees Work in Personal Injury Cases? | Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me

Concerns over the “affordability” of a lawyer often deter many people who need legal help. 

The affordability of legal assistance is an especially important issue for those who have sustained physical injuries, as they may have to take unpaid time off work (and are burdened by medical expenses, too). 

Fortunately, this concern isn’t a real one. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis (unlike other attorneys). As such, they don’t cost any money out-of-pocket. They only get paid when you get paid. 

Simply put, most personal injury attorneys are “free” until you get paid, at which point you give them a percentage cut of your compensation (anywhere from 25 to 35 percent, usually). This makes legal assistance extremely accessible to everyone, regardless of income. 

And what happens in the event that your attorney isn’t able to successfully secure compensation for your injuries? Good news. You don’t owe them anything. Not a dime. 

When Do You NOT Need an Attorney After an Accident? 

You ALWAYS need an attorney. No, seriously. You should ALWAYS speak to an attorney after an accident, even if just to have your case evaluated to determine whether you have an actionable legal claim. 

If you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table. And the thing is: it doesn’t cost anything to speak to an attorney and have your case evaluated. So why would you NOT have a brief discussion and see where it leads? 

It’s better to have an experienced attorney review the details of your accident and potential injuries to determine if you have a valid claim than to move forward without a legal opinion, thus leaving money on the table (that you deserve to receive in compensation for your damages). 

Most personal injury attorneys don’t charge an initial lawyer consultation fee, so it costs you nothing to find out if you have a claim for compensation.  

Even if you don’t think you have the money to pay an attorney upfront, with 1-800-the-law2, you don’t pay unless our attorneys secure compensation on your behalf. Contingency fees ensure that you can pursue your claim without any initial costs whatsoever. 

What is an Attorney Retainer? 

Typically, attorneys who will be doing ongoing work or an undetermined amount of work for their client will ask for a retainer agreement, and will charge both a baseline “retainer” fee as well as hourly fees. This type of arrangement is common with business and family law attorneys. However, most personal injury attorneys don’t charge retainer fees or hourly fees. Instead, most personal injury attorneys work on contingency.  

Contingency Fees 101 

Contingency fees require no upfront or out-of-pocket payment. Instead, you sign an agreement that the lawyer will represent you through the resolution of your claim. In return, you agree to pay them a certain percentage of the compensation you receive when you receive it. Usually, this is between 25 to 40 percent, but it can vary depending on many different factors.  

If the lawyer doesn’t obtain compensation on your behalf, then you don’t pay anything. 

This is quite different from having a lawyer on retainer, where you agree to pay them no matter the outcome. With contingency fees, the risk is 100 percent on the attorney. You don’t take on any of the risk burden. 

How Important is a Good Lawyer? 

Hiring a skilled lawyer to represent your injury claim is imperative. After all, a skilled attorney is more capable of securing a financial recovery on your behalf. Ready to call a car accident lawyer? Here are 4 things to look for.

What Sort of Qualities Define “The Best Car Accident Lawyer” for a Personal Injury? 

You want a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law, particularly in representing clients who have injuries similar to yours or whose injuries were caused by a similar situation, such as a car accident or a slip and fall. You also want an attorney who: 

  • Works on contingency fees 
  • Has a positive reputation 
  • Enjoys good online reviews 
  • Is in good standing with your state bar 
  • Demonstrates compassion and understanding 
  • Is a skilled negotiator 
  • Stands up to big insurance companies  
  • Is willing to take your case to trial if it becomes necessary 
  • Has the time and resources to manage your case now 
  • Will return your calls promptly 

Do You Need to Retain an Attorney for Your Personal Injury? 

Remember that even if you don’t think you have a claim or believe your injuries are minor, it’s always in your best interest to speak with a personal injury attorney to clarify your legal rights and options. You could be owed compensation for your injuries and damages. If you don’t have a qualified attorney review your case, you may never know. 

Call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2, or complete the form on this page, to get connected to one of our skilled attorneys in just 10 minutes or less. Thanks to contingency fees, you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket to get started. 

Settlement 101: Maximize Your Chances of Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit 

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be confused, overwhelmed, or curious about the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit and the odds of winning a case, or reaching settlement. We understand completely. The general public holds many misconceptions about personal injury law and the litigation process. In an effort to make it easier to understand, let’s take a moment to explore the concept of personal injury settlements

You don’t have to worry about “winning.” Compensation is available through a settlement compromise with the defendant, the side that’s at fault for your injuries. Even though popular TV shows and movies have led the public to believe that a courtroom dispute is normal, settlement is much more common than trial litigation in court.

How do settlements work, and why are they so common?  Allow us to explain. 

What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial? 

The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled before trial. In fact, industry observers estimate that more than 95 percent of cases end in settlement, not trial. But, why is there such a large discrepancy? 

Personal Injury Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

To better differentiate the settlement process from litigation process, it is important to know that trial is usually a burden for both the defendant and plaintiff. It is:

  • Expensive
  • Time consuming
  • And most of all, uncertain

Settlement Is One Way to Measure Personal Injury Cases Won

In order to minimize the cost and risk of trial litigation, most parties will simply agree to a sensible settlement amount. This allows them to avoid trial while achieving a result that isn’t unacceptable. Uncertainty is fundamental to any trial. Even if you have an excellent case, there is uncertainty surrounding:

  1. Whether the court will find that the defendant is liable for your injuries, and
  2. How much the court will award in damages

It is entirely possible for you to win your case but receive the award of a lower damages amount than expected. For example: $50,000, versus the $100,000 that you desired. This uncertainty is rather significant. Reaching a settlement compromise helps both parties avoid this, and it has the added benefit of saving time, effort, and financial resources. 

How to Increase Your Odds of Winning

The key to a successful personal injury dispute, then, is to maximize the amount that you recover through a negotiated settlement. If you can bring a persuasive claim for liability and damages, then the defendant will offer a higher settlement amount, as this reflects the changed risk profile of the case. 

Confused?  Let’s explore how personal injury settlements are actually calculated by experienced attorneys. 


CALL 1-800-THE-LAW2 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION TODAY.


Personal Injury Settlement Calculator: the Basics 

How Much Should You Ask for in a Settlement?

There is no objective calculator used to determine how much you could make through a settlement. If you understand how settlement negotiations work, you may have a better sense of what to expect. 

As a general rule, settlement amount correlates to three factors:

  1. Success of your claim
  2. Defendant liability
  3. Damages attached to your claim

This can be a bit difficult to understand, so we’ll use a quick example to explain. Suppose that you are injured in a car accident with another driver. Your claimed damages are $100,000. You and your accident attorney gather all the necessary evidence, and formulate a persuasive legal argument. Now, suppose that the evidence is strong, so you have an 80 percent likelihood of proving liability at trial. Your damages claim is also cautious, so the court is likely to agree with the damages potential

A fair settlement would account for that 80 percent likelihood, and so both parties consider a settlement amount of $80,000, or around that amount, reasonable. In this instance, both parties avoid the hassle and cost of trial litigation, and you are able to, mostly, get what you want. 

Find an Attorney to Help You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to significant damages.  Bringing a lawsuit doesn’t have to result in a courtroom trial, however.  In fact, most legal cases resolve through a negotiated settlement. 

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

Settlements are win-win for both parties, assuming that the dispute hasn’t turned too hostile. 

To ensure that you maximize your settlement, it’s important that you work with an experienced personal injury lawyer.  Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a large network of experienced attorneys who can help.  Call us today for a free consultation.  We’ll connect you to an attorney in just 10 minutes or less

If I Get Injured at Work, Can I Sue My Employer? | Workers Compensation Attorneys

In this article, you’ll find answers to common questions about what to do when you are injured at work, or get hurt on the job, Worker’s Compensation, and what to know when considering “Can I sue my employer?”

Additional Topics Covered:

Workplace injuries are surprisingly common across America. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.7 million injuries in private industries alone and 4,764 fatal injuries in the year 2020. If you’ve been injured in the workplace, then you could be left reeling with a variety of different losses. This can be overwhelming and difficult to recover from. Fortunately, the law does provide several paths to justice and recovery. Perhaps most important among the available options is that of workers’ compensation benefits. 

Examples of Damages Recoverable in a Lawsuit

Examples of losses from work related injuries are:

  • Wage loss
  • Medical expenses
  • Disability issues
  • And more

Which Situation Qualifies an Employee for Workers Compensation Coverage?

Workers compensation benefits are paid out to employees who are injured on the job, or who suffer injuries linked to their job duties. These benefits are critical for many employees, particularly those in riskier professions. Let’s take a closer look. 

Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Despite the name, worker’s compensation benefits are not available to all workers. They are available only to employees, not independent contractors. So, how do you recover losses from injuries at work as an independent contractor? Assuming you can prove that the employer was negligent, reckless, or engaged in intentional misconduct, then you can sue them and hold them liable for your injuries without workers comp. Also, these damages may even be greater than your would-be workers compensation benefits. 

What Is the Advantage of Workers Compensation?

Well, for one thing, you get to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit. But more importantly, worker’s compensation benefits are paid out even if your employer wasn’t at fault for your injuries. If you have a slip and fall accident while working and hurt yourself, even if it wasn’t anyone else’s fault, you are still entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits! That’s an enormous advantage for situations where you have suffered a loss, yet no one else is to blame. 

Workers’ compensation benefits are valuable, of course, but they are still limited in certain ways. For example, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover pain and suffering damages and other such losses. Instead, these benefits cover wage loss and medical expenses

When to Hire a Workers Comp Lawyer

Serious Personal Injury

In cases of severe injury, only having access to workers’ compensation benefits can lead to a lower recovery than if you had been able to successfully sue your employer or some other defendant. 

The problem is that workers’ compensation laws shield employers from liability. If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, then you are prohibited from suing your employer for damages. However, there are exceptions that allow you to sue your employer and secure a larger compensation amount. 

Continue reading about: Hiring a Workers Compensation Lawyer Made Easy

Should I Claim for an Accident at Work?

Employer Liability for Employee Actions

To sue your employer and take advantage of the exception, you’ll have to show that:

  • the employer’s misconduct caused your injury
  • it was intentional or reckless misconduct

For example, you can sue your employer if you can prove that they intentionally withheld protective goggles from factory workers in an effort to cut costs. Perhaps they knew that this would increase the risk of injury, but did so anyways because of their new cost-cutting approach. 

What Should an Employee Do If There Is a Workplace Accident?

Workplace injuries can leave employees feeling confused about what to do next. When you get injured at work, here are the first three steps you should take:

  1. Contact a workers’ comp lawyer immediately. They will gather evidence, speak to opposing counsel, and ensure that all procedural requirements are met. Work injury attorneys are comprehensive advocates, and are invaluable at every stage of a dispute. 
  1. Preserve records of the injury. Make sure to save all medical documentation, work documentation, and even pay stubs. These all form an important part of your claim. 
  1. Do not accept a settlement until you have consulted an attorney. Insurance companies and your boss will always attempt to minimize their liabilities. If you don’t have an attorney advocating on your behalf, they will try to push harder for a quick resolution that undermines your claims. 

Find a Workers Compensation Lawyer Near You

If you’ve been injured in the workplace, then the law may entitle you to workers’ compensation benefits, and in some cases, damages through a lawsuit. Workplace injury disputes can be challenging and complex, however, so it’s important that you secure the assistance of a qualified work accident lawyer who can help you at every stage. 

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of attorneys, which includes experienced workmans comp lawyers. It’s worth speaking to one of our network attorneys for guidance on how to proceed with your claims. 

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

Call us today for a free and confidential consultationGet connected to one of our experienced attorneys in just 10 minutes or less

Additional Questions on Workers Compensation and Workplace Accidents:

What is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice? | Lawyers for Medical Malpractice

There are a lot of complex, moving parts that can impact a personal injury case, including the Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice claims. If you’ve been hurt due to medical malpractice or negligence, you may be confused about the litigation process.

To ensure that all case procedures are met, we encourage you to work with an experienced medical malpractice attorneyCall us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a free consultation with an attorney in our network

Of course, if you’d like to learn a little bit more about the law surrounding statute of limitations requirements, read on! 

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is an important concept in all lawsuits, not just medical malpractice disputes.  Failure to abide by the statute of limitations can lead to your case being automatically dismissed, and you being unable to pursue any further legal action. It is critical to avoid violating the statute of limitations. 

What are Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations? 

Simply put, the statute of limitations is a deadline that applies to your legal claims. The length of this deadline period varies from a case by case basis, and even, between states. 

A medical malpractice claim in California has a statute of limitations of three years, which starts counting from the injury date. By contrast, wrongful termination claims in New York have a statute of limitations of just 300 days, which starts counting from the date of termination. 

If you do not file your claim before the deadline passes, then you relinquish your legal right to sue and recover damages. In other words, you’ll have lost your opportunity to obtain compensation under the law! 

Work With an Attorney for Medical Malpractice Early 

The statute of limitations is just one example of a procedural matter that could have a significant impact on your case.  As a non-lawyer plaintiff, you may not even be aware of all the procedural issues that could undermine your claims! For this reason, it’s critically important that you work with an attorney as early as possible. 

See, an attorney isn’t just a courtroom advocate. They play a comprehensive role throughout the litigation process: from investigating the facts of the case and gathering evidence, to negotiating with opposing counsel and eventually filing and arguing your case in court. 

Read More: What does a personal injury lawyer do?

It is your attorney’s job to ensure that your case is taken care of appropriately, which includes meeting the statute of limitations deadline. They are required to do their due diligence to ensure that potential claims are identified, and filed, before the deadline passes. So, choosing the right attorney is key.

Is There a Way Around Statute of Limitations?

If the statute of limitations has already passed, are you out of luck? Not necessarily. 

In most jurisdictions, there is something called the “Discovery Rule.” This works as an exception to the statute of limitations deadline, expanding it under very specific case circumstances. 

How Does Discovery Rule Apply?

Under Discovery Rule, the statute of limitations deadline does not begin to “countdown” until you have actually become, or should have become, aware that there is an actionable legal claim. We know, this is a lot of legalese, so here is an example for application and to simplify. 

What is an Example of Medical Negligence in the Medical Field?

Suppose that you go to the doctor for a diagnostic checkup, because your back hurts. The doctor does a cursory check, and doesn’t ask many questions. Assuming your back pain is simple, he prescribes some basic pain medication. He orders no additional tests and does not refer you to a specialist, despite your explanation of unique aspects to the back issue. They are: dull pain, no history of back pain issues, and so on.

Three years later, you discover cancer that started in your back. There would have been no way for you to know that the first doctor was wrong, but he was. That doctor was negligent, and thereby committed medical malpractice. At the surface level, it would seem that your statute of limitations deadline has already passed, as it has been 3 years since the appointment. However, the discovery rule allows you to start the countdown when you became aware that the doctor committed medical malpractice. Thus, your deadline would still be active, and you could file the claim. 

Do I Have a Case?

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation 

Have you been harmed by a medical professional due to their negligence, recklessness, or even intentional misconduct?  If so, the law may entitle you to significant compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our experienced attorneys can help. Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation.

How Can a Lawyer for Medical Malpractice Help?

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of attorneys committed to working with injured clients who are interested in pursuing claims against those who harmed them. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation. Connect you to an experienced personal injury attorney in just 10 minutes or less

Additional Questions on Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury:

What Percentage of Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?  

If you’ve suffered bodily harm in a personal injury accident, then you may be curious: “What percentage of cases go to trial?” or “What are the chances of winning a personal injury lawsuit?”

After all, you may not be sure how long it will take for your case to resolve. It might also not be clear whether an early settlement compromise is possible, or whether the case will move forward to trial.  

Generally, it’s better for your case to resolve in a “favorable” settlement and not go to trial. This may be confusing. So, let’s take a closer look at the dynamics of a personal injury lawsuit and why a settlement is preferable in most cases.  

Related article: Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend; What You Need to Know Before Speaking with an Insurance Adjuster 

Dynamics of a Personal Injury Lawsuit  

Including medical malpractice, auto accident, and slip and fall accidents, the majority of personal injury claims in the United States are settled before trial. That’s right, most cases settle and never even make it to the trial phase. Industry observers estimate that up to 95 percent of personal injury cases reach settlement, as opposed to trial.  

Why?  

Simply put, trial litigation is emotionally and financially demanding. And, it is also uncertain. Even if you’re sure you’ll win your case, the jury could disagree with the damages amount and award lower compensation than what you feel you’re entitled to.  

As trial litigation is uncertain and expensive for both parties, it’s preferable to negotiate a settlement that “makes sense” for both parties given the circumstances.  

How long do personal injury cases take to settle?  

The time-to-settle can vary from case to case, and ultimately depends on how willing the parties are to negotiate fairly. In very hostile disputes, settlement can take some time (or may not be possible). Skilled attorneys know how to be strong advocates while maintaining a polite, professional relationship with the opposing attorney.   

Negotiating the Settlement for a Bodily Injury Claim  

So, you’re negotiating a settlement for a bodily injury claim. How much compensation should you receive? 

What is a reasonable settlement offer?  

The strategy surrounding accident law and reasonable settlement offers is nuanced, but we’ll do our best to simplify.  

Reasonable settlements fairly account for the uncertainty of the case. What this means is that winning a personal injury case is impacted by:  

  • proof that the defendant is liable, and  
  • proof of damages, like medical expenses and so forth.  

Related article: Why Medical Records Are Key to a Personal Injury Case

Personal Injury Settlement Amount Example 

Suppose that you have injuries from a motor vehicle collision. You sue the defendant, who denies any wrongdoing. Your car accident claim includes $100,000 pain and suffering damages.  

Now, based on the evidence presented in early negotiations and pre-trial hearings, you estimate that you have a 50 percent likelihood of proving that the defendant engaged in wrongdoing and is liable. When accounting for the uncertainty of trial, your claimed damages could be pared down to $50,000.  

What Are the Chances of Winning a Personal Injury Lawsuit? 

Back to our example. You know that the defendant claims that even if they did cause harm, your damages total $20,000. You believe that the chances of winning are 50 percent and the jury will agree with that amount. So, the $50,000 is further pared down to $35,000.  

In this instance, a reasonable settlement offer would likely hover around $35,000, given the uncertainties surrounding the case and type of personal injury.  

What separates an effective personal injury lawyer from a “standard” attorney is their ability to persuade the opposition (and the court) that the case is more obviously favorable to you. This puts pressure on the defendant to settle for a higher amount.  

Related article: Choosing the Right Attorney to Handle Your Personal Injury Case

Contact 1-800-THE-LAW2 for a Free Consultation  

If you have injuries from an accident, then you might have a legal bodily injury claim. It’s important to get in touch with a qualified attorney for legal advice and a case evaluation. A personal injury attorney will also provide guidance on how best to proceed with your car accident, wrongful death, defective products, or other personal injury claim.  

Read about: 5 Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our attorneys skilled in Personal Injury Law are ready and willing to help. We maintain a large network of experienced personal injury attorneys and law firms, who provide free and confidential consultations.  

Call 1-800-THE-LAW2 to connect with an attorney in our network in just 10 minutes or less.  Remember, there is no downside to having a conversation about your case. And, the consultation is free.

We look forward to assisting you. 

Wage Loss Damages In A Personal Injury Dispute

If you’ve been injured due to the fault of another, then the law may give you a right of action to sue and recover damages. If you are employed and are forced to miss work due to the injuries you sustained, then the damages claim is very likely to include what is referred to as “wage loss” damages.

In cases where wage loss damages are available, they tend to comprise a major portion of the total damages claim. Effectively arguing for wage loss damages is therefore necessary to obtain full and adequate compensation.

Let’s take a closer look.

Past And Future Wage Loss

Wage loss can be split into two sub-categories: past and future.

Past wage loss accounts for the wage loss that you — the plaintiff — sustained already due to accident-related injuries. For example, suppose that your legs were seriously fractured in a car accident. As a construction worker, you were forced to take six months off before you could return to work. Your past wage loss claim would account for the income you “would have” earned had you actually worked for those six months.

To support your past wage loss claim, you’ll want to introduce proof that you were forced to take the time off from work (i.e., medical records, testimony from a vocational expert explaining what the requirements of the job are, etc.) as well as how much money you lost as a result (i.e., pay stubs).

Future wage loss accounts for the wage loss that you will sustain. Let’s return to our previous example. Suppose that your injuries are sufficiently severe that you will be forced to take three more months off in order to completely rehabilitate. You haven’t yet taken that time off, but you intend to do so. Though you haven’t yet suffered “damages,” you’ll be able to claim those damages by proving that you will, in fact, have to take the time off in the future due to your injuries.

Loss Of Future Earning Capacity

Claiming loss of future earning capacity is a unique and powerful tool for disputes that involve severe, career-altering injury. Put simply, the loss of future earning capacity is meant to account for career-long shifts in how much you could potentially earn, as the trajectory of your career might have been altered by severe injury.

This can be difficult to understand, so let’s use a brief example for clarity.

Suppose that you are injured in a slip and fall accident at a popular retail store. You suffered serious back injuries. Now, you normally work as a hospital nurse. Due to the back injuries, however, you cannot stand up and walk around for more than 15 minutes at a time. This limitation will follow you for the rest of your working life.

Thus, not only are you forced to miss time for work (past and future wage loss), but your career trajectory is altered. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to work as a nurse again, given your physical limitations. Most clinics and hospitals are unlikely to accommodate your inability to be “on your feet.”

There may still be some options for you to shift into a different career path in the healthcare field. A desk job may be possible, though it may also pay less (on average) and may have fewer promotional opportunities. When claiming loss of future earning capacity, you’ll have to compare your new, alternative career path (earnings potential) with the earnings potential of your previous career path. That difference can and should be compensated by the liable defendant.

Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer In Our Network For A Free Consultation

If you’ve been harmed in an accident that was caused by another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, then you could be entitled to significant damages, including damages for wage loss. Wage loss claims can be surprisingly complicated — as such, it’s important that you work with an attorney who understand how to effectively navigate this challenge.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we are proud to operate a network of hundreds of experienced personal injury attorneys, many of whom have handled disputes centering around complex wage loss issues.

Call us today to connect to a qualified personal injury attorney in your area for a free and confidential consultation — our staff are standing by 24/7, ready to help you connect to an attorney in just 10 minutes or less.

We look forward to speaking with you.

How Do Punitive Damages Work In A Personal Injury Case? | Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the fault of another, then you may have a right of action to sue and recover damages. Every personal injury case is different, however. In some cases, the defendant has engaged in such egregious behavior that the court sees fit to impose what are referred to as punitive damages.

Punitive damages multiply the total damages that you, the plaintiff, can potentially recover through the personal injury lawsuit. In serious accident disputes, this type of damages award can sometimes lead to a multimillion dollar recovery. Let’s explore some basics behind how they work.

What Are Punitive Damages

Normally, damages recovered in a personal injury dispute are compensatory in nature. In other words, they are meant to “compensate” the injured plaintiff for their losses, or put them in a financial position that closely approximates where they would have been had they not been involved in the accident.

What Is the Difference Between Punitive Damages and Pain and Suffering?

Compensatory damages account for a number of losses, from medical expenses, to pain and suffering, to wage loss, and more.

Punitive damages are fundamentally different. They are not meant to be compensatory, they are meant to “punish” the defendant for engaging in extremely problematic behavior. And, they are meant to discourage others in society from engaging in similar behavior. By imposing bonus damages in the form of punitive, the court is thereby punishing the defendant and discouraging others in society from doing the same.

Calculating Punitive Damages

These damages are calculated by multiplying the baseline compensatory damages available in the dispute. The multiplier can go as high as seven times the compensatory damages amount.

How does this work?

Suppose that you’re injured in a slip and fall accident. Your total damages are roughly equivalent to $100,000. After further investigation, your attorney discovers that the business owner knew that there was a spill on the floor of their retail store, but actively discouraged their employees from cleaning it up because they wanted to see a customer slip on it — they thought it would be “funny.”

The court finds this behavior malicious, and they decide to award punitive damages. The court decides that they should be $800,000 (seven times the compensatory damages amount). Your total recovery would thus be $900,000.

Qualifying for Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not available in the large majority of personal injury cases. Where they are potentially available, however, it’s important that you and your attorney push hard for this type of damages award.

Under What Circumstances Are Punitive Damages Available?

In most states, punitive damages are only available if you, the plaintiff, can show that the defendant acted maliciously, intentionally, and/or egregiously. Mere negligence is not enough to qualify for them. The defendant’s conduct must be significantly more egregious for these damages to be available in the personal injury case.

What Types of Damages Is Punitive?

Recall that they are awarded as an attempt to discourage such behavior in society. As such, the behavior must be especially problematic to justify the attempt to discourage it through punitive damages.

What Are Punitive Damages Examples?

In the car accident context, illegal street racing that led to an accident would very likely qualify for punitive damages, but mere speeding would not (unless the defendant was speeding well over the speed limit, and speeding to such an extent that they displayed a reckless disregard for human life).

Drunk driving may also qualify, though the circumstances have to point to particularly egregious conduct. So, for example, if the defendant was warned to stop drinking because they might endanger others, and they laughed it off and said they “don’t care,” that would likely be enough to make punitive damages available.

It’s worth noting that even if they are available, the court is not required to award them. Courts have discretion whether they will impose punitive damages. It is up to your attorney to develop a persuasive enough argument that will “win” the court over.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Our Network for a Free Consultation

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we have hundreds of skilled attorneys in our network, standing by to provide assistance. Call us today to get connected to an experienced personal injury lawyer in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free and confidential, so there’s absolutely no downside to speaking with one of our in-network injury attorneys about your case.

We believe that effective legal help should be easily accessible. To that end, our staff are available 24/7, and can communicate in both English and Spanish. We look forward to speaking with you further.

Pain And Suffering Damages In A Personal Injury Case

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct, then the law may entitle you to damages. The losses can be quite varied in a personal injury dispute, but they are very likely to include pain and suffering damages.

Many first-time plaintiffs do not fully understand what pain and suffering damages are, the unique challenges associated with pain and suffering damages, and how best to maximize these damages.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our staff are standing by to connect you to a qualified attorney who can help you move forward with your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer can evaluate the case comprehensively, and determine an effective strategy for securing the maximum possible damages (including pain and suffering damages).

Let’s take a closer look.

Understanding the Damage Categories

In the personal injury context, compensatory damages for a lawsuit can be split into two relatively broad categories: 1) monetary losses and 2) non-monetary losses.

Monetary losses account for those damages that are financial in nature. They include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Medical expenses
  • Wage loss
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Property loss
  • and more

Non-monetary losses account for those damages that are not directly tied to your finances. In general, non-monetary losses involve problems with your quality of life — whether that occurred for a brief period, or is now a lifelong issue. They include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of guidance
  • and more

Pain and suffering fits into non-monetary losses, and as such, can be somewhat more difficult to “prove” to the court. If you claim $100,000 in pain and suffering damages, for example, you will have to introduce expert testimony and other evidence — and be persuasive in your legal arguments — that show your losses should qualify you for a $100,000 pain and suffering recovery.

It’s worth noting that damages are meant to “compensate” the injured plaintiff by putting them in a position where they would have been had they not been involved in an accident.

In the pain and suffering context (non-monetary), there is really no way to measure — with perfect accuracy — what amount of damages would put you in a position where you would feel fully compensated for the losses suffered. As such, success will often be determined by your attorney’s ability to argue the issue persuasively.

Pain And Suffering Basics

Pain and suffering represents a number of different, related losses. Boiling it down into its simplest components, pain and suffering damages are meant to compensate you — the injured plaintiff — for the physical and mental harm that you sustained due to the accident.

Pain and suffering damages can include everything from the physical pain you experienced after a car accident, to the mental pain you experienced due to feeling humiliated and embarrassed by your post-accident disabilities.

Calculating Pain And Suffering Damages

Perhaps the biggest challenge in claiming pain and suffering damages is evidentiary. In other words, you’ll have to “calculate” a reasonable damages amount based off your physical, mental, and emotional suffering.

This is ultimately a fact-based, subjective endeavor, making it quite difficult to arrive at a number that the defendant is likely to accept.

To get around this conflict, most attorneys ultimately rely on a “multiplier” methodology for calculating pain and suffering damages.

Put simply, the pain and suffering damages are “estimated” at roughly 1-to-3 times the monetary losses. How high the multiplier goes depends on the particularities of your case. If your case involves significant physical, mental, or emotional suffering, then the multiplier is likely to be higher (i.e., up to 3 times the monetary losses).

So, for example, if your monetary losses (i.e., wage loss, property loss, medical expenses, etc.) add up to $100,000, and you were horribly disfigured by your injuries and are unable to engage in any recreational activities, then the physical, mental, and emotional trauma might give rise to a $300,000 pain and suffering claim, for a $400,000 total damages claim.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in our Network for a Free Consultation

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of qualified, skilled personal injury attorneys who are standing by to provide legal assistance. Call us to get connected to an experienced personal injury lawyer in our network — during this initial discussion, they will evaluate your case and provide guidance on how best to proceed.

We believe that friendly, accessible legal representation is critical to success. As such, our staff are available 24/7 (in both English and Spanish) to take your call. Consultation is free and confidential, so don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible to get started with the process.

We look forward to speaking with you further!

The Enforceability Of Liability Waivers In A Personal Injury Dispute

If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the fault of another, then the law may entitle you to damages as compensation. Every legal dispute is different, however. In some personal injury cases, there may be a liability waiver that — at least on the surface — seems to prevent you from suing the defendant and obtaining compensation for your losses.

For example, if you were injured while bungee jumping, the defendant is likely to point to the fact that you signed a liability waiver before you put on the equipment and jumped. This can lead to a lot of confusion for plaintiffs. Does the liability waiver actually apply to their case, or is it unenforceable?

The truth is that many liability waivers are unenforceable. Though businesses will often attempt to minimize their liability by forcing people to sign waivers, that does not necessarily mean that the waiver will be enforced. In fact, there are many exceptions to enforcement.

Let’s take a closer look at some liability waiver basics.

Liability Waiver Basics

Waivers allow businesses to contract around liability — in other words, to reduce their potential liability by adding on new, stricter limitations on injury liability. Worth noting: liability waivers are legal regardless of the applicable state jurisdiction.

What might a liability waiver look like?

Suppose that you’ve been injured in a recreational boating accident. The boating tour operator made all passengers sign a waiver, however, which states that they have given up the right to sue the business for related injuries. More specifically, the waiver states that the business is not responsible for any harm sustained on the boat or due to the boat.

How does this actually work in real-world scenarios?

Generally speaking, courts are uncomfortable with allowing businesses to redraw the bounds of liability to a significant degree. Courts do not want businesses to be able to circumvent their duty of care entirely. As such, they tend to be quite careful not to enforce overly broad liability waivers.

Exceptions To The Enforceability Of A Liability Waiver

A significant percentage of liability waivers are unenforceable, for a number of different reasons. States tend to impose different rules when it comes to liability waivers, but there are some general principles that remain true between states.

Liability waivers must be:

a) Sufficiently specific as to the harm that is covered by the waiver (i.e., limited in scope);

b) Not be coerced and must not be between parties with a significant difference in relative bargaining power; and

c) In accordance with public policy.

So, for example, a liability waiver that shields a boating operator from liability for all harm sustained due to the boat will likely be considered too broad. The waiver is not sufficiently specific or limited in scope, and this “over broadness” is most likely violative of public policy, too.

Now, it’s also worth noting that liability waivers can only cover simple negligence. Even an enforceable liability waiver cannot apply to reckless or intentional misconduct.

Though intentional misconduct is obvious (i.e., if a boating tour operator intentionally crashes your boat to cause you injuries), reckless behavior can be more difficult to understand. As a rule, reckless behavior is when a defendant acts in a way that they know has a substantial risk of causing harm to others, but they disregard this substantial risk and engage in that behavior anyway.

For example, a boating tour operator that does not stock enough life vests is likely engaging in reckless conduct, as they are aware that failing to stock enough life vests on-board is a substantial risk that could lead to injury/death for the passengers.

Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer In Our Network For A Free Consultation

If you’ve been harmed in an accident (in which you may be subject to a liability waiver), then it’s important that you consult a qualified personal injury lawyer for guidance on how best to proceed with the legal dispute.

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a large network of attorneys who are standing by to provide skilled assistance. Call us today to get connected to an experienced personal injury attorney in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free and confidential, so there’s no downside to contacting us as soon as possible.

Our staff are available 24/7 in both English and Spanish. We look forward to speaking with you.

5 Questions To Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer During Consultation

If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by the fault of another, then you may be entitled by law to sue and recover damages.

As you explore your legal options, however, there are a number of issues that you’ll want to have clarified by your attorney. Let’s explore some basic questions that you should ask a personal injury lawyer that you’re considering working with.

1) Are there any potential conflicts of interest?

In personal injury litigation, there are potential conflicts-of-interest that could prevent an attorney from being able to effectively advocate on your behalf. It’s important that you discuss this possibility with prospective attorneys.

For example, there are attorneys who represent plaintiffs and defendants in litigation. This can lead to a potential conflict-of-interest, as the attorney might have represented the defendant in your case before (or they might be interested in taking on that client later). They might not be incentivized to advocate aggressively on your behalf if they believe that there is more money to be made by “playing nice.” As such, you’ll want to assess this before you agree to be represented by the attorney.

2) What are the possible consequences and outcomes?

Perhaps the most obvious initial question you’ll have for an attorney is what you can expect to happen in your case.

Though most litigation is quite complex, and there’s no “certain” answer, an attorney will have an idea of what you can expect under ideal and non-ideal circumstances, from damages to likelihood of proving the defendant’s liability (given the case evidence that they’ve been made aware of).

Understanding what could happen in your case can help you decide whether and how to proceed.

3) What legal strategies are we considering if we move forward?

Though the initial attorney consultation is not necessarily going to lead to a set-in-stone case strategy, your attorney will likely have an idea of what potential legal strategies you can pursue (and are likely to pursue) going forward.

Ask your attorney about the strategic approach. This will give you a clearer understanding of your case and will empower you to request a different approach should you feel uncomfortable with the current one.

4) What will you need from me (i.e., documentation, behavior, etc.) as we litigate the case?

Plaintiffs are a fundamental part of personal injury litigation. As the plaintiff, you aren’t meant to take a backseat.

While your attorney will handle most communications and will take steps to gather evidence and develop your case, they may need you to provide additional information on the case. They will also want to consult you as to what your concerns are and what your goals are throughout the process.

Generally speaking, involved plaintiffs are a positive. Attorneys who more actively engage with plaintiffs are better equipped to effectively litigate the case.

5) Could you highlight next steps, and how long you expect the case to take?

Attorneys cannot necessarily predict how long a case is going to take due to complexities in the legal proceedings, including procedural disputes. But they’ll be able to give a rough estimate for how long the case “should” take. This can be valuable, as litigating a case can be demanding mentally. It’s important to know how long you can expect the fight to last.

You’ll also want to be fully aware of the next steps that your attorney is planning on taking the case. A skilled personal injury attorney should have a “plan of action” in place and should be able to highlight specific steps that they want to take to secure a positive outcome for you.

Contact An Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer In Our Network For A Free Consultation

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we operate a network of experienced attorneys who are standing by ready to assist you.

Call us today to connect to a skilled personal injury lawyer in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free and confidential, so there’s no downside to getting in touch to schedule an initial consultation with one of our in-network attorneys!

Our staff are available 24/7, in English and Spanish. We look forward to speaking with you further.

Top 11 Personal Injury FAQs

This article can help you answer these top 5 personal injury FAQs:

Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQs, About Personal Injury Cases

How Do I Know if I Have a Personal Injury Case?

Speak with a personal injury lawyer. Our personal injury lawyers will talk to you for free to determine if you have a valid case. Don’t rely on the advice of the internet or your friends because they simply can’t tell you what an attorney can. The biggest question is whether you can prove that someone is responsible for your injury; this isn’t always an easy question to answer, and that’s why you should talk to a lawyer.

How Much Compensation Can I Get?

Personal injury cases can vary drastically in value. The case is worth what your damages are. Damages can be medical bills, loss of wages, missed days of work, etc. One guide is to ask how much your medical expenses are. If you have 500 dollars in medical bills your case is worth much less than if you have 50,000 dollars in medical bills. The most open damages are “pain and suffering.” Some would say that pain and suffering is usually three times the medical bills.

What Are the Most Important Things to Do Right After an Accident?

It’s always wise to get medical attention if you are hurt in an accident. With car accidents, make sure to get a police report. Do this even if the other driver tries to pressure you into not calling the police, as it is one of the most important first steps to take. Take pictures, get a police report, get medical attention, get the other driver’s insurance information and license plate.

What Kind of Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Handle?

Personal injury lawyers handle a variety of disputes. In fact, any dispute centering around an injury caused by another party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct “technically” falls under the umbrella category of personal injury. Personal injury disputes include, but are not limited to, the following:

What Are the Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases?

Though personal injury is a broad category that covers everything from pedestrian accidents to
slip and fall accidents, the most common “type” of personal injury dispute are MVA claims, or motor vehicle accident claims. In this sub-category, there is a lot of variety as well. The litigation process for a blind side-impact collision is different than that of a multi-car pileup starting from a rear-end collision.

What Are Personal Injury Cases?

Personal injury is a broad umbrella category that describes any dispute linked to an injury related loss. Typically, this loss is caused by the defendant’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct. For example, a car accident claim and a slip and fall claim would both fall under personal injury.

What Is the Meaning of Personal Injury?

Personal injury is simply a legal case “type” that helps lawyers and courts define a particular category of claims. Personal injury is linked to any claim that arises from an injury related loss. For example, if you get hurt in a car accident, then you have sustained an injury that would give rise to a “personal injury claim.”

What Is the Difference Between Bodily Injury and Personal Injury?

Bodily injury describes the type of injury (physical), whereas personal injury is a case categorization that covers all injury focused claims, such as emotional distress.

How Bad Does an Injury Have to be to Claim?

It has to overcome what is referred to as the “de minimis” baseline. This is extremely dependent on the court’s discretion, but generally speaking, if you haven’t suffered any financial losses due to the injury, it’s not bad enough to be a claim. If you have suffered financial losses, that’s enough to generate a legal claim. This also applies to a minor loss due to a sprained ankle. A tiny, surface-level cut on one’s finger, which required no medical care, is probably not enough to generate a legal claim.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

Personal Injury Claims

A personal injury claim is a case in which you were hurt because of something that somebody else did or was responsible for (e.g., a car accident, truck accident or slip and fall). This usually occurs when someone is negligent. A personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you whether your situation is a personal injury case.

What Does Negligence Mean?

Negligence definition

Negligence defined is basically when someone doesn’t do what they are supposed to do. For example, drivers are supposed to stop at red lights. They have a legal responsibility to do so. So, if a driver sees a red light but doesn’t stop, they were negligent. If they run the red light and cause you to be hurt, then they are responsible for the damages that result from their negligence.

Find an Attorney to Help You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a large network of experienced personal injury lawyers who can help.  Call us today for a free consultation.  We’ll connect you to an injury attorney in just 10 minutes or less.