After a car accident, consulting a personal injury attorney is recommended if bodily damage occurred from the collision. An injury lawyer specializes in car accident laws to help drivers obtain proper compensation for pain and suffering. Lawyers for car accidents can also help drivers who are at-fault from being subject to the full consequences of the damage caused. Find out how drivers can hire an accident lawyer to receive fair reparation in the following sections:
- Hiring a personal injury attorney
- Types of personal injury compensation
- Negative effects of your actions
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
When hiring a personal injury attorney, clients may be asked to pay a retainer fee. The retainer fee is simply an upfront down payment for legal work that is required to represent a client and work the case, regardless of the outcome. To find out what is a retainer fee that a lawyer usually charges, clients are advised to consult with that attorney, as fees vary from practice to practice.
A contingency fee is another method of payment for legal representation. Contingency pay occurs when an attorney is paid an agreed-upon portion of whatever a client is compensated at the close of a case. A lawyer contingency fee often takes place in cases of personal injury, as such instances result in monetary reparations.
A lawyer hourly rate is determined at an attorney’s discretion, depending on experience and the type of work done. Lawyer rates may be divided between time spent on research and time spent in court, with different rates for each kind of labor. A higher attorney hourly rate is usually charged by lawyers with more experience, but more experienced attorneys may also take less time to settle a case.
Types of Personal Injury Compensation
Car accident compensation usually comes in two forms in the case of personal injury incidents. Compensatory damages refers to monetary compensation for property damage, bodily injury and all aspects affecting such destruction. Personal injury compensation can include payment for medical bills, lost wages due to an inability to continue working and payment for emotional distress and endured suffering from the results of the accident.
Punitive damages are often issued to at-fault drivers who displayed reckless behavior that caused the accident, such as a case of a DUI/DWI. Exemplary damages are meant to punish a reckless driver with such high fines so as to discourage future unsafe driving behavior again. Punitive damages laws are different from state to state, but some may even include criminal charges that lead to a prison sentence.
Negative Effects of Your Actions
For an accident where fault is unclear, an injury attorney is the best source to consult to learn what the negative effects will be for your actions. An injury lawyer can advise you on the best course of action for a case in which both parties share fault for an accident.
Referred to as comparative negligence, the approach of assigning blame to all parties involved in an accident has been adopted by many states. In a case of pure comparative negligence, once the percentage of responsibility has been determined on a client’s behalf, that client will receive the agreed award minus the percent for which he or she was responsible. For example, if a judge and jury decide the amount of damages suffered equaled $100,000 and the client was found to be 20 percent at-fault, then the client would be awarded $80,000.
Contributory negligence is defined as attributing partial or entire fault to the plaintiff who has brought the law suit to court. If the defendant’s accusation is proven true, then the plaintiff may not collect compensation for damages caused by an accident. Negligence law in most states has leaned away from contributory negligence as it does not allow for someone who has suffered to collect reparations for recovery if he or she is found partially at fault.
Mitigation of damages means it is the plaintiff’s responsibility to minimize further damage after an accident so as to avoid a reduction in recovery compensation. To mitigate damages in the event of a car accident, a client should seek immediate medical attention to assess the amount of personal injury caused by the collision. Failure to mitigate damages can result in less compensation from the defendant in the case.