Personal injury law allows you (an injured plaintiff) to get compensation when someone else’s negligent or intentional act caused you (the plaintiff) harm.
What is Personal Injury?
Personal Injury implies that someone has done something wrong, and it’s usually due to negligence. Personal Injury is the result of an action someone took that has reduced another person’s life in some way, shape, or form. The injured may have medical expenses, may not look the same, are in pain, and may not function the same as a result of someone else’s actions. A personal injury claim attempts to compensate for those losses.
Personal injury isn’t about winning the lottery. It’s about compensation for the lack of wholeness or compensation to try to make a person whole. It is a legal system that is an alternative to other ways of making a person whole.
For an insurance company, it appears to be about money. It’s actually about an attempt to balance the scales as best possible because that’s the only remedy available. It’s about squaring things.
What constitutes a personal injury case?
A personal injury case is when one party has been negligent and caused injury to another- physical pain, mental suffering, healthcare expenses, and income loss. These are the foundational elements that a good personal injury lawyer will have to prove. Another consideration is the degree of harm the negligent act, actions, lack of actions, or design has caused. An accident does not always mean that a party is at fault. Both the lawyer and the client must have a degree of realistic expectations. The lawyer will have to prove negligence: under the same or similar circumstances, a reasonable person would have behaved differently, would have taken actions to protect others, and would have acted reasonably and not have caused such an outcome.
A speed limit sign is a good example. We obey the speed limit because there is a possibility of being issued a ticket. Following the speed limit also reduces the likelihood of causing a collision and injuring other motorists. If a crash occurs while driving excessively over the posted speed limit, a driver could be held personally responsible. That’s why the public generally obeys traffic signs, traffic laws, and traffic signals. That’s why we act or try to act reasonably in our lives.
Negligence considers what a “reasonable person” would do, and ‘“reasonable” is a mix of law and fact. One must first be able to prove negligence. Our legal system is a civilized, merciful system of us all governing one another’s behavior.
“I don’t call car accidents- accidents. I call them collisions or crashes. We generally forgive someone if it’s an ‘accident.’ However, it may be more difficult to ignore the event if there are thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills, a loss of income due to time off from work, and the injured person is not the same person moving forward in life.” Steve Howard
What makes a good personal injury lawyer?
The number one consideration for hiring a personal injury lawyer is experience. Many law firms market themselves as aggressive junkyard dog personal injury lawyers. Steve has known many lawyers that have never stepped foot in a courtroom. To be a good personal injury lawyer, a lawyer has had to have lost a case or two. The lawyer has to be willing to tell the client the truth. Share with the client the reality of the situation or case. A lawyer should embrace his role, be honest with a client, and share expectations of outcomes. Steve’s clients have benefited as much from his wins as his losses. An excellent personal injury attorney will take the time to get to know the client, and the bottom line issues the client is suffering from due to the injury. Steve takes the time to learn what is important to his clients, what they’ve lost. What their emotions are relative to their injuries. This process takes time and patience.
Experience, Abilities, Strength
Most personal injury cases are settled. They don’t ever go to trial. In a personal injury case, it’s a matter of “how much, “and a good lawyer can maximize that amount. A good lawyer is one who doesn’t mind putting in the work to maximize the outcome. There are very few absolute slam dunks when it comes to personal injury cases. Roughly half of those clients who believe they have a personal injury case have a case. It takes an act or an omission on behalf of the third-party to have a successful case.
And an injured individual due to negligence may not believe they have much of a case when in fact they are entitled to pursue their rights within the law. A good personal injury lawyer is one who explains and educates the client regarding what they’re entitled to as a result of their losses.
How is a personal injury case different than other cases?
The difference is there is no recovery or success until the insurance company, or the defendant wants to settle, or a jury or judge grants the plaintiff an award. From an attorney’s perspective, it is a commitment of a significant amount of time and resources with no promise of recovery for a client. The insurance company wants to pay the least amount possible. A good personal injury lawyer must be judicious. Would it surprise you to learn that defense attorneys ordinarily won’t settle a case until the compensation owed to them from their clients matches the proposed settlement?
A Jury Trial for Personal Injury Cases
It’s difficult to tell what a jury of 12 people will do on any given day. There is no formula for a personal injury settlement. A jury must consider what amount would help bring an injured person back to wholeness, back to as relatively close to what they were before the injury or collision occurred.
The skills Steve Howard brings to every personal injury case:
- Assessment of concepts of liability
- Recognition of an injury that resulted from the event as opposed to a pre-existing condition or natural development of a condition.
- Medical knowledge and experience with medical records.
- Assess the cues and communication of defense
- Proactive and strength of commitment
- Council client
- Courage to step away
- Ability to see the facts
The very best skill is one that comes from experience. Steve has 33 years of experience in Personal Injury and Worker’s Compensation cases. He puts his experience and knowledge to work for his clients to get the outcome and compensation they deserve. Call Steve to discuss the details of your case.
You have a Personal Injury Case
If you have been injured through no fault of your own, you may have a personal injury case. These types of cases can take time, take resources, and expertise. We are in a position to sit down with you and discuss the details of a personal injury case you believe you might have. Steve Howard does not charge his clients for a consultation to ascertain this information. Steve Howard is an Omaha Personal Injury Lawyer.
To find out if you have a case, contact our office today. The other person’s insurance company may be pressuring you to settle quickly. This could be a large mistake on your part. In order to protect your future health and to get the compensation and medical care, you may be entitled to, reach out to our office today at (402) 281-4680.