Personal Injury Lawyer Ames, IA
An Ames, IA personal injury lawyer knows that one of the most critical pieces of a personal injury case is proving negligence. In order to be successful in obtaining a personal injury award for settlement, an Ames, Iowa personal injury lawyer needs to prove that the alleged at-fault party’s behavior was negligent.
If you or a family member has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s actions, contact a personal injury lawyer in Ames, IA from Johnston Martineau, LLP to find out how we can help.
According to Iowa law, negligence occurs when there is a failure to take reasonable care in order to prevent causing injuries or losses to any other party. In order to prove negligence, the following four elements must exist:
- The at-fault party had a duty of care
- The at-fault party breached that duty
- The at-fault party’s breach resulted in the victim’s injuries
- The victim losses because of those injuries
Duty of Care
Proving negligence means proving that the alleged at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim. Our Ames, IA personal injury lawyer provides you with this example:
A person who is granted a driver’s license owes a duty of care to all those he or she shares the roads with to drive safely and obey all traffic laws.
Duty of Care Breach
An alleged at-fault party is negligent if they breach the duty of care they have to the victim. Using the above example of a driver’s duty of care to obey all traffic laws, if the driver ran a red light and crashed into a vehicle that had the right of way, that driver breached their duty of care to other commuters to obey all traffic laws when they did not stop at the traffic light.
Still using the above example provided by our Ames, IA personal injury lawyer, it was the driver’s failure to obey the traffic laws and stop at the red light that directly caused the crash. Had the driver not breached their duty of care, there would not have been a crash.
If the victim suffered injuries and/or damage to property as a result of the accident, then the driver who ran the red light would be legally liable for any losses the victim suffers as a result. If the victim did not suffer any losses, then there would not be any liability on the part of the at-fault driver. In some cases, such as a drunk driving accident, a victim may also be awarded punitive damages which are meant to punish the at-fault party for especially egregious behavior.
Determining If Your Case Is Big Enough for an Ames, IA Personal Injury Lawyer
When it comes to personal injury cases, they vary in severity from simple to complicated. Some individuals can handle a case on their own, while others require the assistance of a lawyer due to the number of twists and turns ahead. Are you wondering whether your case is big enough for a lawyer? After all, your goal in this is to get a chunk of money through a settlement, so you don’t want it all to go to legal fees. The following can help you make that decision.
If your car accident does not include any injuries, or your injuries are as simple as a few bumps and bruises, you may not need to hire a personal injury lawyer in Ames, IA. In fact, hiring a lawyer could end up costing you more than you would receive in a settlement, so it wouldn’t be beneficial. Instead, you should file a claim with either yours or the other driver’s auto insurance company.
When a claims adjuster starts poking around, can you handle him or her? If you have really good negotiating skills, you may be able to take on an adjuster and possibly a personal injury case. If you’re not so good at negotiating or simply don’t know where to start, it might be a better idea to contact a personal injury lawyer serving Ames, IA. If your case requires a good amount of negotiating, chances are it’s complicated enough and will turn out a large enough sum of settlement money to rationalize hiring a lawyer.
An insurance company will never pay out more than the policy limit. What this means is if the defendant’s insurance policy has a $150,000 maximum, and the insurance company has offered you that same amount, there’s no reason to hire a lawyer.
You won’t get more than that from the insurance company at least, but if you want to try for more through a lawsuit, you could hire an Ames, IA personal injury lawyer. Keep in mind the amount of assets the defendant has, because if there are none to pull money from then you may not receive a penny of your settlement.
More Serious Injuries
Some injuries may seem minor at first, but upon further examination will present greater and more serious issues. If you are going to require multiple trips to the doctor, as well as ongoing care for a number of years, it’s most likely your best bet to hire a lawyer. Determining future medical expenses isn’t always easy, but with a personal injury lawyer from Ames, IA by your side, you’ll be better equipped to get what you deserve.
Four Reasons You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
If you file a personal injury claim after an accident, you have the option of either representing yourself or hiring a personal injury lawyer in Ames, IA to represent you. As noted above, unless the claim is very small and/or the injury minor, it is usually in your interest to obtain representation. A personal injury lawyer usually will not charge you any fees unless you win your case, and your initial consultation is usually free. Therefore, you have little, if anything, to lose and quite a bit to gain by hiring an attorney.
Here are some specific reasons to think about hiring an Ames, IA personal injury lawyer.
- You Stand To Recover More Money
Many people mistakenly think that you recover more in damages when you represent yourself in a personal injury case because you do not have to pay attorney fees out of your award if you win. However, the net award, i.e., the amount that remains after deducting the necessary fee, that you stand to recover amount to nearly three times more when you hire an attorney than when you do not.
- You May Not Know What Your Case Is Really Worth
If you represent yourself, your unfamiliarity with personal injury law may cause you to leave money on the table that you may have a legal right to. An Ames, IA personal injury lawyer can apply the law to your case to figure out how much you deserve and help you receive it.
- The Insurance Company May Not Treat You Fairly
The goal of the other party’s insurance company is to settle your case as quickly as possible for as little as possible. You may initially accept a small amount in recompense only to find out later that your case is worth much more. By that time, unfortunately, it is too late. By accepting the initial settlement offer, you forfeit your right to bring further legal action.
- You May Not Recognize Valuable Evidence
Evidence-gathering can be time-consuming and arduous. You may not know precisely what you are looking for, which can make the task even more difficult. You may overlook evidence that you need or not recognize why it is valuable to you. An Ames, IA personal injury lawyer has the experience to thoroughly examine the evidence and collect that which will be of greatest use to you.
Perhaps most of all, what you get from a personal injury attorney is peace of mind that your case is in the capable hands of someone who wants the most favorable outcome for you. When you work with one of our Ames, IA personal injury lawyers, we prioritize your recovery and work to see that your life returns to as normal a state as possible.
Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer Ames, IA Recommends Today
If you were in a personal injury incident, you don’t have to fight it on your own. Whether you know your case is big enough for a lawyer or aren’t quite sure, speak with an attorney today to find out more.
Let an Ames, IA Personal Injury Lawyer Help
If you have been injured as a result of another party or parties’ negligence, contact Johnston Martineau, LLP to find out what legal recourse you may have. A personal injury lawyer Ames, IA clients trust can help you obtain the financial compensation that you deserve for medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses you have suffered. Call today to set up a free and confidential consultation with our trusted Ames, Iowa personal injury lawyer
4 Questions To Ask our Ames, IA Personal Injury Lawyer About Accepting a Personal Injury Settlement
When you are injured through the fault of another, the resulting medical bills and loss of work can cause severe financial problems for you and your family. The insurance company that represents the party at fault may offer you a cash settlement in lieu of a court case. However, the emotional and physical toll of an accident may cause you to accept a cash settlement that may be much lower than your case is worth. Talking to an our Ames, Iowa personal injury lawyer at Johnston Martineau, LLC gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding your offer. We can help you avoid being cheated after you are injured through someone else’s negligence.
- Is the Offer a Fair One?
It can be difficult to gauge whether a personal injury settlement offer is fair, especially if you have never dealt with the situation before. Some insurance companies may offer you a low amount at first. If you have no idea what your case is worth, it may seem like a fair deal. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer representing Ames, IA gives them the ability to assign a value to your case to ensure that you obtain a fair settlement offer.
- Can You Represent Me in a Settlement Case?
If you are still recovering from injuries you received in an accident, it may be difficult for you to muster the energy required to handle a settlement negotiation. Allowing a lawyer to represent you in arbitration or in court may offer you peace of mind that you are getting the fairest deal possible and give you time to heal from your injuries.
- Should I Reject the Current Offer?
Our Ames, IA personal injury lawyer wants you to know that there are many different factors that make up a personal injury settlement. This may include the nature of the incident itself, the types of injuries you received and the degree of negligence involved. All of these circumstances can figure into what your case is worth. Your lawyer is likely to include additional value for other types of damages as well. If the current offer is much lower than what your Ames, IA personal injury lawyer calculates, he or she can reject it on your behalf.
- Can We Avoid Going To Court?
When you are injured and the healing process is a long one, the thought of going to court over your settlement might be an exhausting one. Your lawyer can help you decide whether such action is necessary or work with the other party’s insurance in arbitration so you might avoid the pressure and stress of a court case.
Knowing whether to accept a settlement for your personal injury can be confusing, but there is help available. Contact Johnston Martineau, LLC, a personal injury lawyer serving Ames, IA today for more information.