I Got Hurt and It Was Someone Else’s Fault: What Do I Do Now?
Every day, all across America, people are injured because of someone else’s behavior. If you are injured by someone else, you need to know the basics of how to get started on putting your life back together.
Types of Personal Injury:
Typically, there are three grounds, or reasons, for personal injury claims.
- Negligence: If the actions that a person takes that result in the injury of another fall below the level generally accepted by legal standards by failing to show reasonable care for the safety of others. Auto-accident, 18-wheeler injuries, and slip-and-fall cases are good examples of negligence cases.
- Strict Liability: Strict Liability means exactly what it says: if you are injured because of something a product has done because of a defect or side-effect, they are held strictly liable for the injury you received. Product’s liability is the best example of this.
- Intentional- Intentional wrongs are injuries received as a result of another person or business entities intentional action. Examples of an intentional wrong would be intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, or false imprisonment.
Once you understand what category you likely fall under, you will know who to contact going forward.
Your attorney will likely begin to work on the facts of your case. They will contact the insurance company and find out who is responsible for the accident. They will file actions, depose witnesses, seek settlements, request mediation, and if need be represent you at trial. They will likely do all of this on a contingent fee basis, which means that they only get paid when you do.
A contingent fee is where a lawyer fronts you the cost of litigation and does not bill you by the hour, but instead takes a percentage of the settlement or judgment you receive. If you don’t win, they don’t get paid.
Many attorneys do a sliding scale contingent fee which is where their fee increases as the case progresses. The amount generally increase on a sliding scale from 20% to 30% to 40%. In many states, 40% is the maximum percentage that can be taken. This allows the attorney to take a share based on several reasons, for example: the amount of time spent on the case, the complexity of the work, the loss of opportunity as a result of taking the case, and the cost of the litigation. There are other factors that go into what constitutes a reasonable fee, but these are most of the big ones.
Sliding scales are fairer to clients than taking a flat contingency fee because if the case is early on and a settlement is offered, the maximum fee would likely not be fair to the client. As attorneys, our job is to get you the maximum amount for your injury.
Finding the right attorney is pivotal for your case. If you have any questions or comments about your personal injury, feel free to contact our office.
Guest and Gray is the highest rated local car accident and injury law firm. Scott Gray is the only SuperLawyer rated Personal Injury lawyer in Forney, and we are ready to fight for you.