At some point in life, it is not unusual for a large segment of the population to need the services of a lawyer. Whether these services are paid for privately or through state or federal funding, it is essential to locate a lawyer that specializes in the type of case under investigation.
Currently, the cost of civil lawsuits to the United States economy is $239 billion annually. Only 2% of these personal injury tort cases actually go to trial with a lawyer; the remainder are addressed outside the courtroom on a case-by-case basis.
In terms of federal lawsuits, 20% of these are personal injury lawsuits that resulted from vehicle crashes. Product liability injuries comprise 13% of these cases, and medical malpractice cases constitute 10%.
When a Personal Injury Attorney is Needed
In the United States alone, there are approximately six million car collisions per year. This means that there is an average of one accident occurring every ten seconds. Each year, nearly 1.3 million people die in these types of accidents, which is an average of 3,267 deaths per day.
In 2013, there were 21,132 passengers who lost their lives in crashes. It is estimated that another 2.05 million passengers sustained injuries. It was found that distracted drivers were responsible for 3,154 of those deaths as well as 424,000 of the injuries.
Most of these accidents and resultant fatalities are preventable, and the causes for them vary. Drunk driving, for example, is the cause of 32% of these accidents. Driving past the speed limit accounts for 31%, while 16% are from various distractions. Weather conditions have been responsible for 11% of these accidents.
There are, of course, specific factors which contribute to these accidents. In 2012, for example, approximately 10.3 million people claimed that they had been under the influence of illicit drugs when driving. People have also reported that they have driven drunk approximately 300,000 times, but less than 4,000 of these individuals have been arrested for this crime.
Speaking on a cell phone or handling other types of electronic devices is also a common factor. It has been found that approximately 660,000 drivers have been engaged in these distracting behaviors while operating their vehicles.
When a Medical Malpractice Attorney is Needed
Approximately 225,000 people die on an annual basis, according to The Journal of the American Medical Association. In 2013, $3.6 billion was paid out for medical malpractice lawsuits.
There are a variety of causes for medical malpractice. Some are the result of misdiagnosis or a delayed diagnosis, while others pertain to birth injuries and other obstetrical risk factors. Approximately 50% of these birth injuries are avoidable with proper identification and planning.
When an error is made with medication or anesthesia, it can also lead to complications, including death. Surgical errors are also included in this category.
When a Workers Compensation Attorney is Needed
In 2013, there were approximately 917,100 work-related injuries that required people to take time off to recuperate. The number of fatal work injuries in 2013 was approximately 4,405.
The above figures are especially notable when considering that only 74% of the individual states are required to have workers’ compensation. In 2012, the cost to employers to cover workers’ compensation was $83.2 billion, which constituted a 6.9% increase from 2011. As of September 2015, the employer cost for covering civilian employees averaged around $33.37 for each hour worked.
Workers’ compensation claims arise from a variety of work-related injuries. Approximately 85% of these claims are the result of employees slipping on slick floors. Others include workplace discrimination, machine malfunctions, and repetitive motion injuries.
Other Situations Where an Attorney is Needed
In addition to the above examples, retaining a lawyer may also be strongly advised for these situations:
- When applying for and/or challenging Social Security benefits
- When applying for and/or challenging Social Security Disability benefits
- When seeking to file for a divorce
- When filing for bankruptcy