Boise Personal Injury Attorney

Accidents leading to injuries happen anytime, anywhere. Even if you are the most responsible, careful person out there, you can find yourself injured by the negligence of another person. In fact, the entire basis for a personal injury lawsuit is that another person did not exercise the level of care that another reasonable person would have done under the same circumstances. In other words, the person responsible for your accident and resulting injuries was not exercising a reasonable amount of care; otherwise the accident would not have occurred.

With more than 31 million injuries occurring in the United States each year, it stands to reason that a certain percentage of those will involve some level of negligence, with automobile accidents being responsible for more than half of all personal injury lawsuits. Medical malpractice injuries, product liability injuries, and injuries which fall into the category of “other” (including construction accidents) round out the list of causes of personal injury lawsuits. Slip and fall injuries also constitute a large number of personal injury lawsuits, whether from a work slip and fall, a construction site slip and fall, or a slip and fall at a business such as a mall or grocery store.

An experienced Boise personal injury attorney will be familiar with such personal injury lawsuits as:

  • Premises liability cases such as a slip and fall, or a dog bite could leave the property owner responsible for any injuries caused by negligence.
  • Product liability cases which occur when a product is used as intended, and an injury results from a defective or dangerous design. In a product liability case, a personal injury attorney must determine who, in the manufacturing chain, was at fault.
  • Medical malpractice lawsuits result when a doctor failed to act in a manner in which another reasonable, similarly-trained doctor would have done, and failed to take your healthcare seriously, resulting in harm.
  • Construction accidents are relatively common, considering how chaotic a typical construction site is. In particular, slip and falls and being hit by an object are the most common type of construction accident. Those passing by a construction site could also be injured when something is dropped from a height, or a trip hazard is not clearly marked.
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents are often the result of a negligent driver, and can result in serious injury.

What Constitutes Negligence in a Boise Personal Injury Case?

As noted, when a person fails to act in a manner that another person, in the same circumstances, would have done, negligence may have occurred. There are five basic elements which must be shown to show negligence is present:

·        The defendant was subject to a duty of care;

·        The defendant breached that duty of care;

·        The breach in the duty of care caused harm to the plaintiff;

·        The harm to the plaintiff was predictable, and

·        The injuries to the plaintiff were a direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty.

There is an exception as far as proving negligence in an automobile accident, which occurs in states which operate under no-fault laws. Under no-fault auto accident insurance, each person’s auto insurance pays for injuries and damages which result from an accident, no matter who was at fault. Even in a no-fault state, if the injuries sustained are particularly severe, a personal injury lawsuit could still be filed. Severe injuries are defined as any injuries which results in permanent and significant scarring and/or disfigurement, loss of a bodily function, a permanent injury or, ultimately, the loss of life.

Will Your Boise Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

Although it is dramatic to believe that all personal injury cases end up in a courtroom, with jurors and a judge, in fact as many as 95 percent of all pending personal injury cases end in a pre-trial settlement. This means that few personal injury cases actually go to trial, usually because a settlement is private and a lawsuit is not, as well as because a plaintiff has more control over a settlement than a trial, a settlement ends the lawsuit much more quickly than a lawsuit and a settlement is, essentially, a guaranteed victory.

What Compensation Could You Receive from Your Boise Personal Injury Lawsuit?

You may wonder what type of compensation you could potentially receive from your Boise personal injury lawsuit, if your case is successful. It is highly likely you will be entitled to medical expenses, past, present and future, encompassing hospital expenses, prescription drug expenses, the cost of an ambulance, if applicable, physician expenses, and therapy and rehabilitation expenses. If your injuries are serious enough that you must take off work, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, and if it turns out that you might never work again, you could potentially be entitled to lost future wages as well.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you could also be entitled to emotional distress related to your accident, pain and suffering which interferes with your relationships and property damage. If it can be shown that the person responsible for your injuries acted maliciously or deliberately, then you could possibly be entitled to punitive damages as well, which are meant to punish the person who injured you for their behavior.

How Your Boise Personal Injury Lawsuit Will Proceed

·        Meet with your chosen attorney. This is an extremely important meeting, and you may want to take notes to refer to later. Your attorney will want to hear about your accident and will ask you questions such as what type of insurance coverage you have, and whether you have talked to any insurance representative. Your attorney will want to know about your injuries and will probably ask you for copies of your medical records associated with the accident. You may be asked to sign a retainer contract and the attorney’s fees will be discussed. In many cases personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, meaning you are not required to pay anything up front, but when your case settles your attorney receives a percentage (usually 35-40%).

·        Your case will be started when your attorney files a complaint on your behalf with the court. There may be a series of complaints, answers and other motions during this initial phase.

·        The next phase is known as the discovery phase. This is when each side requests information from the other in order to establish the facts in the case. Discovery may or may not include interrogatories, requests for admission, document production and depositions.

·        The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled prior to trial, and this is where your attorney’s negotiation skills come into play. Through settlement, you agree to give up your right to pursue any further legal action in connection with the accident in exchange for an agreed-upon sum of money. This settlement may come from the defendant or from the insurance company. Before accepting a settlement agreement, your attorney will discuss a variety of issues with you. You will go over the strength of your case and your chances of winning at trial. Your attorney will have a good idea of what you could receive in damages at trial vs. the amount of the proposed settlement.

·        If you and your attorney don’t think the settlement offer is reasonable, you may be advised to take your claim to trial. It is important to know that the wheels of justice turn very slowly regarding personal injury claims and that it can take as long as a year or more for your case to finally make it to trial. The trial will consist of jury selection, opening statements, witness testimony and cross-examination, closing arguments by the attorneys, jury instructions from the judge, jury deliberation and the final verdict.

·        If the jury finds in your favor, unfortunately, this may not be the end. In some cases, collecting the money awarded to you in the trial can be difficult, therefore your attorney’s job may not be over simply because you prevailed at trial.

·        Depending on your specific circumstances, you may be able to file an appeal if the verdict was not what you hoped for.

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Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Sometimes, a person injured by the negligence of another could decide to handle a personal injury case on his or her own, often due to the mistaken perception that a personal injury attorney will take most of the eventual settlement. In fact, a personal injury attorney usually receives about a third of the final settlement, however the attorney bears 100 percent of the risk and expense, should the case not settle in your favor. Further, accident victims who hire a personal injury attorney are likely to receive as much as three to four times the settlement as those who attempt to handle the case on their own.

If you have suffered injury as a result of the negligence of another, your Boise personal injury attorney can handle all the details of your lawsuit while you focus on healing, ensuring statutes of limitations are met, witnesses consulted and subpoenaed, insurance companies dealt with and evidence gathered. In the end, retaining a Boise personal injury attorney will ensure the defendant and his or her insurance company and attorney are aware you have a skilled advocate in your corner who is dedicated to protecting your rights.