Accidents can happen anywhere and when we least expect them. Whether you’ve been involved in a crash with a semi, or you slipped on a spilled liquid in a grocery store, the injuries you sustain can upend your life. At Thomas Law Offices, we recognize how challenging it is to deal with the aftermath of an accident—especially one that wasn’t your fault. That’s why a personal injury lawyer from our firm is ready to provide you with strong legal representation so you can get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.
Personal injury law is a broad area of law, also known as tort law—which covers private and civil wrongs and injuries. The ultimate goal of tort law is to make the injured party whole again and to discourage the negligent party from taking similar actions or inactions in the future.
When you work with a personal injury attorney, they will help you receive compensation for your losses, as well as protect you from being victimized by insurance companies. The lawyers at Thomas Law Offices have extensive experience managing all types of personal injury claims, and we’re prepared to take yours on next.
Personal Injury Cases We Handle
As personal injury attorneys, clients come to us after all types of accidents. Some of the most common cases we take on involve the following:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Medical Malpractice
- Wrongful Death
- Premises Liability
- Slip and Falls
- Product Liability
- Construction Accidents
- Birth Injury
- Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Sexual Assault
- Social Security Disability
No matter what type of accident you’ve been involved in, our personal injury attorneys are prepared to evaluate your situation and help you file a claim to seek compensation. That compensation can be used to manage the consequences of your accident.
It’s important to note that the sooner you come to us after your accident, the better your chances are of recovering full compensation. Not only will the evidence we produce be stronger, but you’ll be less likely to run into an issue with your claim’s statute of limitations.
The Consequences of Personal Injury Accidents
After an accident, you’re likely going to be aware of any visible physical injuries and pain you’re experiencing. That, unfortunately, is not where the consequence end. If you’ve been the victim of an accident, you’re likely also dealing with emotional trauma and financial losses on top of those physical injuries. It can be challenging to manage those losses while trying to maintain your previous way of life.
At Thomas Law Offices, we firmly believe accident victims should not have to choose between receiving proper care for their injuries and putting food on the table. In order to understand the compensation you’re eligible for when you file a claim, you first need to understand the losses you’ve endured.
The type of accident you’re involved in, as well as its severity, will have an impact on the seriousness of your injuries. Physical injuries that tend to heal after proper treatment include lacerations, contusions, and broken bones. More serious injuries, like spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injuries, and burns, can take significantly longer to heal and may have a life-long impact on a person’s life.
Because not all injuries are visible or immediately noticeable, it’s imperative to seek medical attention after an accident. Only a qualified medical professional will be able to assess your physical health, diagnose injuries, and supply a treatment plan. Once you have that plan in place, it’s important to abide by it, as doing so will improve your chances of a successful claim.
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events. While ongoing, relentless stress can result in emotional trauma, one-time events like car accidents or violent attacks can cause serve emotional distress as well.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with psychological trauma include shock, denial, confusion, anger, anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, nightmares, racing heartbeat, and muscle tension. As you can see, the symptoms are both emotional and physical. It’s important to remember that responses to trauma are normal reactions to abnormal events.
While a medical doctor can evaluate, diagnose, and treat physical injuries, it’s not always that clear of a path for emotional trauma. Victims may need to seek counseling or therapy. Depending on the severity of the trauma, or if the accident results in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the patient may need to try medication to manage their symptoms so they can work on moving past the trauma.
While the physical injury and emotional trauma are often dealt with immediately after an accident, the monetary losses can take time to make their appearance. For personal injury claims, we often separate the losses you’re seeking into the two following categories:
- Economic Damages. Calculable losses, like medical expenses and lost wages, fall into this category. To determine what you’re owed in terms of economic damages, your lawyer will collect hospital bills, lost wage statements, applicable receipts, and other documents to add up what you’ve lost in terms of actual monies. Depending on the severity of your injuries and their impact on your future, your lawyer may also look to obtain compensation for future medical expenses, future lost wages, or diminished earning capacity.
- Non-economic Damages. Non-economic damages are more challenging to calculate than economic because they are based on more subjective losses like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and disruption to one’s life. To determine a reasonable amount, your attorney will determine the severity of your injuries and look at similar cases from the past.
In addition to economic and non-economic losses, you may also be eligible for punitive damages—which serve to punish the at-fault party for gross negligence. These are rarely awarded but may be available in situations involving an intoxicated driver or inexperienced doctor. Your attorney will determine if seeking punitive damages for your claim is worthwhile.
Personal Injury Law and Negligence
In most instances, personal injury claims rely on the legal concept of negligence, which revolves around establishing how the other party caused the accident and the resulting losses and injuries. Establishing negligence is a multipart process that involves proving duty, breach, causation, and losses.
Duty of care is a legal term that refers to a person’s responsibility to avoid causing someone else harm. Drivers, for example, are supposed to operate and maintain their vehicles in such a way that does not contribute to dangerous conditions. The type of claim you are filing will determine the duty you were owed by the defendant.
Once you’ve established you were owed a duty of care, your lawyer will look to explain how that duty was breached. Continuing with the driving example, if a driver fails to yield and stop at a traffic light that’s turning from green to yellow and red and strikes a vehicle in the intersection that had the right of way, they failed to abide by their duty to drive safely.
The next step in proving negligence involves explaining how the accident caused your injuries. At this stage, medical experts or accident reconstructionists may be useful to have by your side. Once you can clearly exhibit how the at-fault party’s actions caused your injuries, you can move to the final element of negligence.
When your attorney has established duty, breach of duty, and causation, it’s time to calculate your losses. This is where the value of your case comes into play, which will be determined by your economic and non-economic damages discussed above.
The Role of a Personal Injury Attorney
To become an attorney, there is a certain path of training and education you need to follow. In addition to earning an undergraduate degree and passing the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) with a reasonably high score, potential attorneys also need to earn a law degree and pass written bar examinations to start practicing law and representing clients.
Personal injury attorneys handle investigations, formulate legal theories, draft pleadings, motions, and discovery requests, and interview witnesses—among other things. When you seek legal representation, your lawyer will explain your legal options, guide you through the claims process, and fight on your behalf to secure a fair monetary recovery for what you were wrongly put through. Most attorneys juggle large caseloads and work on tight deadlines, so it’s important to find an attorney who’s organized and dedicated to their work.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Case
With so many lawyers and law firms out there, it can be challenging to find the one that’s right for you. To improve your chances of pursuing a successful claim, you’ll want to start by researching law firms that handle personal injury cases. You can ask friends and family members if they’ve had any positive experiences with personal injury firms and add those places to your list. Make sure the list you start has firms that specialize in personal injury cases or your specific type of claim.
Once you’ve started to narrow down your list, you should look at reviews and referrals for the firms you’re considering hiring. You can check Google, as well as the firms’ websites and social media pages. While positive reviews do not guarantee you will have a similar experience, they do indicate that others have pursued successful cases.
When you have a short list of potential attorneys you would like to handle your case, it’s time to set up some consultation. In most cases, personal injury evaluations are free of charge. The meeting gives the attorney time to learn about your case and whether they can help you, and you get to learn about the attorney and decide if they’re the person you want to work with. Once you’ve decided on a lawyer, they will walk you through the paperwork and contracts, so they can get started representing you.
Contact Thomas Law Offices
At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury lawyers believe accident victims deserve a complete chance at recovery. While filing a claim can seem like a complex process, our attorneys can break it down step by step to ensure you understand what’s happened the entire time.
While we will strive to settle your claim through negotiations, it’s important to understand that is not always an option. If the opposing party is unwilling to negotiate terms or come to a fair settlement agreement, we can help you pursue your claim in court to get a favorable verdict from a judge or jury.
If you’re interested in learning more about the personal injury claims process or you’d like to get started, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. We’ll review what you’ve been through and provide you with sound legal advice on how to best proceed.
Thomas Law Offices has brick-and-mortar offices in Louisville, Illinois, Cincinnati, and Columbia. If you live in one of those cities or a location nearby, you can visit our office to learn about your legal rights and options. Our office addresses include:
- 9418 Norton Commons Boulevard, #200, Louisville, Kentucky 40059
- 30 N LaSalle Street, Suite 4020 B, Chicago, Illinois 60602
- 250 East Fifth Street, Suite 440, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
- 2600 Forum Boulevard, Suite B1, Columbia, Missouri 65203
In the event you live in another part of the country, we are still here for you. With today’s technology, we’re only a phone call or video chat away from helping you learn about your options after an accident.