What is a personal injury? A valid personal injury claim can arise when someone is injured by another person or thing. Not all injuries are compensatory, or in other words, not all injured persons have a valid claim. In order for a claim to be compensatory, some duty must have been breached. Personal injury claims that arise from the tort called “negligence,” which involves an act or an omission, a duty to act or not to act, and an injury that was caused by the act or omission.
For example, automobile collisions are generally negligence actions. If a person intended to strike another person or property with an automobile, that would be an intentional “tort”. Torts are also compensable and generally have different statutes of limitations and sometimes different awards are available such as punitive damages.
It is often complicated and unclear whether a compensable claim exists and usually it depends on several factors. Here at DiScala & DiScala, LLC, we have years of experience bringing and defending personal injury claims. We can generally determine during the initial interview whether a potential claim is likely to be successful, and because we have experience on both sides of the bar, having both defended and prosecuted cases, we can effectively assess and evaluate your case.
Generally, four factors are present in successfully “tried” personal injury lawsuits. We use the acronym HILL to describe the elements of a cases that we usually bring to trial.
“H” stands for HUMAN. The genuine, honest and helpful client will generally fare better in court. It is our job to help prepare a client to be a good witness on their own behalf. The more a client is willing to help with their case, the better the witness can present their version of events. While most of our cases settle out of court, we spend hours preparing the client to do as well as possible should they need to testify.
The “I” in HILL is for IMPACT. This applies to automobile collisions. If the impact is scratches only to a bumper, the client may still have a serious injury. However, the insurance companies know as well as we do that minor property damage does not usually result in a large award. Juries are very skeptical about injuries arising from minor damage to property. These cases present particular challenges for trial attorneys.
“L” stands for LIABILITY. Whose fault is the accident? Often, fault or liability is mixed. As long as the liability is less on the client than that attributed to the defendant, we have solved the liability problem.
The final “L” in HILL is for LOSS. What objective measurement do we have to determine the degree of injury? Often, it will be in the form of medical treatment, disfigurement or worse. Case value depends upon many factors but the most important are the extent and severity of the injury or loss.
In personal injury cases:
1. You will never pay us a single dollar out of your own pocket.
2. We only get paid out of your settlement money.
3. We will not take any fee from you of any kind. Our fee is earned entirely from the settlement we win for you.
4. We will not take any advance payment from you. Our office advances all costs and we have the resources to hire nationally
renowned experts. Our costs are paid out of the compensation that we win.
5. No client has ever paid us a fee until we won their case by receiving money for them as compensation.
6. If we never collect money damages for you, you will never pay us any attorneys’ fee or costs.
7. If we never collect money damages for you, you will never be asked to pay us any attorneys’ fee or costs.
8. You can call us to discuss your case at no-cost whatsoever. You will never be asked for payment or any fee to discuss your case
with our office.
9. We give all our clients a written fee agreement, guaranteeing that we get paid only when we receive the settlement check – you
have it in writing!
10. No hidden fees – ever.