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5 Questions To Ask Your Lawyer 960 577 liz-birdbrain

5 Questions To Ask Your Lawyer

Choosing the right lawyer for your individual case is essential to getting the result you want. In order to find out if a lawyer is right for you, here at 5 crucial questions to ask:

1: What kind of lawyer are they?

Some lawyers are “general practitioners” who work on a variety of types of legal cases, including personal injury cases. With a serious personal injury claim, you need an expert lawyer who handles personal injury cases on daily basis. The practice of law has become so complex that is it practically impossible for a ‘jack of all trades’ lawyer to stay on top of all the changes in personal injury law practices. The majority of lawyers who are hired by insurance companies to defend personal injury cases are experienced experts who limit their practice to the defence of personal injury cases. A non-expert lawyer is likely to be at a large disadvantage when they represent a claimant against a law firm that specializes in the defence of personal injuries cases (on behalf of insurance companies).

2: Track record: Have they taken cases similar to this one in the past? How many? What was the result?

Even though a lawyer may specialise in a particular practice they may not be particularly accomplished in it. They may be new to the area of practice, practice it part of the time, or might just be unskilled. How many cases like yours have they handled in the past? Experienced personal injury lawyers who have been helping claimants with cases for many years will have gained valuable negotiation and trial expertise. They should have knowledge about the legal circumstances of a case like yours. In addition to experience, your lawyer to have a proven track record of success on cases similar to yours. Ask the lawyer what results they have had in the past, good or bad. Reading about previous success stories will give you an idea of the possible results and your lawyer’s abilities.

3: How long does the attorney think it will take to resolve this case?

Time is a precious resource when you’re in the processing of claiming compensation, medical expenses and time out of work add up. Knowing approximately how long it will take before you are compensated for your injuries helps in preparing yourself for the process ahead. It is important to know how long your life may be disrupted by attendance at legal proceedings, investigative doctor visits as these unseen time costs can add to the stress of your situation. There are a number of factors that will affect the duration of a trial, therefore while a lawyer will not be able to give you a precise time frame, they should be able to give a general indication based on how long cases comparable to yours have taken in the past.

4: Who will actually be servicing your case?

The lawyer you meet with at the initial consultation should also be the lawyer handling your case in order to get the best service and representation. Most large law firms use an approach where you will be initially speaking to a partner or higher up who is experienced and skilled but then your case will be handed down to a junior lawyer or general team. You need to know the name of the lawyer who is actually doing the legal work on your claim and if that lawyer is a specialist in personal injury law. If not, they are not the right lawyer.

5: Do I feel comfortable with this lawyer handling my case?

This is as an important question as any, as with many things in life, often our gut instinct is right. In your first meeting with a lawyer, you should be able to feel if you can trust them with your personal injury case. Trust, communication and honesty are essential qualities of a good personal injury lawyer and you should only pick a lawyer that you believe can get the best result for you.

Contact us with any queries you may have, and to check all of the above points! We can come out to you for a no obligation free first consultation.

Your Guide To Legal Language 960 577 liz-birdbrain

Your Guide To Legal Language

Having trouble trying to decipher the legal language? Here’s our glossary to all the legal terms and terminology you might need to know.

Affidavit: An affidavit is a written statement setting out a person’s evidence, that is, information that tends to prove or disprove a fact. Affidavits can come from witnesses, experts, or the plaintiff or defendant.

Appeal: A challenge to the ruling on a claim.

Arbitration: A legal negotiation between two parties guided by a neutral mediator without involving courts or judges.

Assumption of Risk: When a person engages in a behaviour and is aware of the risks that can caused injury.

Burden of Proof: The burden of proof is the legal obligation to prove the legitimacy of your claims.

Catastrophic Injuries: Severe injuries which include physical and psychological impairments, often related to the skull or brain, neck, spine, spinal cord, back or organs. Catastrophic injuries can also include burns. See more about these type of injuries here.

Claim: A civil action regarding the physical or mental harm suffered by the plaintiff, or on behalf of the injured victim, due to negligence of the defendant; a request to the insurance company by the insured requesting coverage and payment for damage or injury.

Comparative Fault: Sometimes known as “comparative negligence,” comparative fault gives fault to both parties based on the level their actions were responsible for the injury.

Complaint: The first document filed with the court by the accuser outlining the claim and starting the lawsuit.

Contributory Negligence: The determination that the claimant is partially or fully responsible for the injury based on their actions. Contributory negligence is negligence by the injured party that combines with the negligence of another in causing the injury, which reduces the damages awarded by a percentage.

Damages: Damages are the compensation awarded to the claimant for their loss or injury, what a claimant seeks to recover in a lawsuit, which in a personal injury lawsuit is financial compensation. Damages can take the form of measurable economic damages, such as medical and rehabilitation expenses, wage loss and lost future income, or non-economic damages, which are not explicitly measureable, such as pain, suffering and humiliation.

Defendant: The individual or entity being sued in court.

Discovery: Discovery is the name given to the process by which each party is required to produce to the court and each other party all documents and information in its possession that are relevant to the proceeding.

Evidence: The proof of the claim including testimony, exhibits, documentary material, or demonstrative evidence.

Litigation: The formal process of filing a lawsuit.

Negligence: A failure to use a reasonable amount of care to prevent a foreseeable injury. To prove negligence, a claimant must prove: the defendant had a duty of care or obligation to them, the defendant violated or breached that duty, the breach caused damage to the defendant, and actual damages resulted.

Plaintiff (or Claimant): The injured party filing a complaint.

Preponderance Of Evidence: The amount of evidence needed to win a case.

Statute of Limitations: The maximum time after an event that legal proceedings can take place.

Strict Liability: Liability that does not include fault or negligence.

Settlement: A legally binding agreement between the plaintiff and defendant reached outside of court.

Torts: A civil wrong, in the case of negligence: an action that results in injury or loss.

Verdict: The court’s ruling on a case.

Whiplash: Whiplash (injury) , also known as whiplash associated disorder or a soft tissue injury, is injury to the tendons, muscles and ligaments from the sudden jolting forwards and then backwards (or backwards and then forwards) in a whip-like movement or through sudden forcible rotation.

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What is a personal injury? 1024 683 aelegal

What is a personal injury?

WHAT IS A PERSONAL INJURY?

A personal injury is an injury suffered by a person to his or her body, mind and emotions and is usually due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness.  This also includes wrongful death or situations where the injuries prove fatal.  A personal injury falls under the scope of  Personal Injury Law or Tort Law.

A personal injury claim normally begins with the injured person suing another person, business or a company. In such a case the person suffering the personal injury (the Plaintiff), claims from the negligent party (the Defendant) and demands compensation for the injuries sustained. This is genarally known as damages.

The most common types of personal injury claims are those arising from motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents (Workers’ Compensation), slip and trip accidents (Public Liability) and assaults (Criminal Injuries). The term “personal injury” also incorporates negligence in medical and dental proceedures for example when a medical or dental practitioner fails to exercise reasonable care in the treatment of a patient (Medical Negligence).

Damages which can be claimed are normally categorised as either Special or General Damages.  Special damages are damages that are easily measurable such as medical expenses, loss of earnings and other related expenses. General damages on the other hand are more intricate to quantify and encompass the following heads of damages, namely pain and suffering, loss of amenities of life and the loss of enjoyment of life.

In order to lodge a claim for compensation, and if necessary receive an award from a Court having the applicable jurisdiction, Court proceedings must commence within three (3) years from the date on which the accident occurred, alternatively three (3) years from the date when an injured person becomes aware of the injury (there are however certain further exceptions to this rule).  A failure to commence Court proceedings in time may result in your claim becoming statute barred i.e. you lose your right to claim compensation forever.

Therefore, if you have been injured as aforesaid, you may be entitled to receive compensation by commencing a so called Common Law Claim.

At A & E Legal, we are specialists in personal injury compensation claims.  If you intend to, or have made a personal injury compensation claim and require expert guidance to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation due to you, please contact us for a no obligation free consultation in order for us to assess your claim and advise you accordingly.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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