The legal system is constantly changing and full of rules, terms, and stipulations most people are never forced to know or understand.
To make matters even more complicated, laws and regulations vary state-to-state, so just because you heard something was legal or illegal in one state doesn’t necessarily mean it is illegal in another.
If you think you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, you probably have an infinite amount of questions you would like answered.
As a personal injury lawyer, I have spent years consulting with clients and answering their questions. Because of this, I have created a list of questions I am frequently asked, followed by simplified answers or opinions to these questions.
A simplified definition of a personal injury lawyer is an attorney who helps individuals receive compensation for injuries or illnesses sustained due to an accident or negligence.
Some of the most frequent personal injury lawsuits involved:
Unlike most legal industries (and industries in general), the services of many personal injury lawyers are offered on a “You don’t pay unless we win your case” basis.
This means they don’t charge you hourly for consulting or researching and the only compensation your personal injury lawyer will receive is a percentage of your settlement or verdict should they win your case.
Since most personal injury lawyers offer “contingency fees” (often referred to as You Don’t Pay Unless We Win Your Case), they will get a percentage of the settlement amount.
The percentage the personal injury lawyer will get varies on things like the type of case, the size of the firm, or how long it takes the case to settle or go to trial. In most cases, you can expect your personal injury attorney to charge between 20% and 40%, depending on type of claim or injury you have.
If you live in St. Louis, Missouri, and you are injured while on vacation in Florida, your first thought would probably be to hire a personal injury attorney in Missouri. While this seems like the easiest way to proceed, it is a bit more complicated than that.
In most cases, you will be required to file a lawsuit in the state where the accident occurred. Attorneys are required to be admitted to a state’s bar before they can handle a case in that state. This is the case for not only personal injury lawyers but all types of lawyers in the United States.
However, that does not mean there is no way for your preferred local injury attorney to represent you in your case.
Attorneys are allowed to apply for a Limited Law License in any state which, if granted, would give them the ability to represent you in the state where the accident took place.
This answer to this question is more of an opinionated one and will vary depending on who you ask. Some of the basic steps you can take to finding an attorney include:
For more information, read our guide on The 5 Steps to Finding the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
Like the statute of limitations for every lawsuit or charge, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits vary from state to state.
In the United States, statute of limitations range from one year to six years depending on the state where the injury took place. For example, the statute of limitations for a car accident is 5 years in Missouri (or any other injury-related lawsuit) and two years for medical malpractice claims and workplace injuries.
As stated above, personal injury lawyers may “specialize” in one or several practice areas but many handle any sort of injury case. Most personal injury lawyers also handle workers’ compensation cases.
Workers’ compensation is one of the practice areas in which personal injury attorneys specialize. Having said that, chances are, “workers’ compensation attorneys” will also represent individuals for other injury cases as well.