A Guide to Understanding Your Personal Injury Case

August 10, 2023 | By Impact Legal Car Accident Attorneys
A Guide to Understanding Your Personal Injury Case

When you've been injured due to someone else's negligence, you may have what seems like a million decisions to make: should you go to the emergency room? Should you contact a personal injury lawyer? What should you tell your insurance company? Should you call the police if the accident was somewhat minor? Should you see a physical therapist? How are you going to pay your bills if you miss work? The aftermath of an accident can be intensely overwhelming. That's why we keep our blog updated with content that answers these types of questions. In this post, we've compiled a resource for you that will help guide you in your personal injury case.  

All personal injury cases are unique. While we've tried our best to compile a thorough resource that includes our most frequently asked questions, we understand that your case is unique. As such, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Arizona or New Mexico. We'll review your specific case and give you tailored legal advice. Our initial consultations are free of charge, and you can schedule yours by texting or calling 01 (602) 345-1818. Additionally, you may fill out our convenient online form to request a consultation. 

Where Should I Start?

Navigating a personal injury claim can be exhausting. With so many questions and so many decisions to make, where do you even start? In this section, we'll outline a few important questions and answers and explain the personal injury claim/lawsuit process. 

  1. Do I even have a personal injury case?
  2. How much is my personal injury case worth?
  3. What is the process of filing a claim?
  4. Should I consult an accident lawyer near me?

Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?

The first element you need to verify to have a valid personal injury claim is negligence. An injury is not enough to pursue a personal injury claim. However, if your injury was the result of someone's negligence, you may have a case. Consider a semi-truck driver who runs a red light, which, subsequently, causes an accident and injury. The semi-truck driver owed a duty to use reasonable care in operating his/her vehicle. When she/he ran the red light, she/he breached that duty of care. According to the law, the truck driver would be deemed negligent. If this negligence led to injuries and compensatory damages, a personal injury case exists. The three elements needed to establish a personal injury claim are:

  1. Negligence - The responsible party was negligent or careless 
  2. Injuries - The responsible party caused injuries due to his or her negligence  
  3. Damages - The injury resulted in harm (compensatory damages), such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, etc

Some personal injury cases include car accident casessemi-truck accident cases, dog bite claimsboat accident claims, etc. 

How Much Is My Accident Settlement Worth?

This is one of the most common questions in personal injury law. Plaintiffs want to know if the process is even worth it. They want to know that they will be able to pay their bills and get back to their lives. The purpose of a personal injury claim is to make the victim whole again. In other words, personal injury law is intended to get plaintiffs back to the state they were in before the accident happened. As such, the value of your specific personal injury case depends on the facts behind it. An experienced injury lawyer can take a look at your case to help you get to an estimate of what your injury settlement needs to be to make you whole again. Some elements your lawyer will consider are:

  1. Economic Damages - What monetary losses have you suffered because of the accident? These losses may include medical bills, physical therapy costs, surgery expenses, property repair costs, and more. 
  2. Non-Economic Damages - These losses include things that have a less tangible value than economic damages, such as pain and suffering, anxiety and depression, severe physical pain, wrongful death, loss of companionship, post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional trauma. Your personal injury lawyer can help you get to a monetary value for these damages.  
  3. Factors That May Impact Your Settlement - There are several other factors that may affect your settlement amount, such as your percentage of fault in the accident, the severity of the injuries you sustained, precedence in similar past cases, and more. 

During your free consultation, we will review the above elements to determine how much your accident settlement may be worth. For more information on this, check out our online injury settlement calculator.

The Personal Injury Case Process

While your case is specific to your situation, there is a general timeline that most personal injury cases follow. Misunderstanding this process and timeline leads many people to delay contacting a personal injury lawyer. Delaying your lawyer consultation can be detrimental to your case, and cost you a lot of money in the long run. The typical timeline of a personal injury case includes:

  1. Free initial consultation with Impact Legal - Once you set this up by calling or texting us at (602) 345-1818, or filling out our online form, we will set up a time to review the facts of your case, review any related documentation, and advise you on the legal direction we think you should take. This meeting can be virtual if you prefer.
  2. Development of your legal strategy - Step 2 is all about due diligence. We'll collect all of the evidence, documentation, etc associated with your claim to build a strong strategy to get you the appropriate settlement. 
  3. Settlement negotiations - Before we file a lawsuit, we'll compile necessary documents from the strategy we develop in step 2 and begin communication and negotiation with the insurance company to give them a chance to pay your financial damages without going to court. Usually, your injury lawyer will be able to secure an appropriate settlement for you during step 3. However, if the insurance company is being unreasonable or unfair, we will take it to step 4. 
  4. Filing a lawsuit - In this step, we'll officially file your lawsuit to get you the best possible outcome. 
  5. Discovery - In this step, we will request all evidence from the other side that may support your claim. 
  6. Trial - Frequently, it doesn't get to this step, but if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached outside of court, your case will go to a judge and jury to decide. 

Every case is different, and we will try our best to get it settled for you in the beginning steps. However, if need be, we will fight for you in court. 

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Don't delay your legal consultation. At Impact Legal, your first consultation is completely free. We will review the facts of your case and advise you on the best next steps specific to your situation. To set this appointment up (either via virtual call or in-person), call or text (602) 345-1818. You can also fill out our online form here. For specific answers to your questions, give us a call. We are here to help you navigate your injury claim and get the compensation you deserve and need to recover. 

For more personal injury resources, please utilize our blog. We discuss everything you need to know from the accident to the settlement.