When you suffer an injury from someone else’s negligence, you might be unsure what steps to take next. Some people believe that the injury will heal in time, and there is no need to take legal action. While a seemingly minor accident can result in wounds that heal quickly and do not have a lifelong effect on your future, you can still face costly medical bills and other losses.
Even with severe injuries, many victims will try to handle their own medical and legal issues alone. They might think forgoing legal help will save them time, money, or stress. That is a huge mistake, as hiring a personal injury lawyer will do the opposite legal representation saves you time, money, and stress.
The injury claim process overwhelms individuals already dealing with medical issues. When an accident victim handles their claim independently, there are lower claim offers, an extended claim timeline, and the potential not to receive payment. Accident victims place their faith in the insurance company, not realizing their insurer is looking out for the bottom line and not the benefit of the paying customer.
Don’t wait to contact a personal injury lawyer when you suffer an injury in an accident. While the personal injury process is complex, your attorney can guide you through your options. Remember, a personal injury attorney will not take a case if they don’t believe they can adequately represent the individual and get a successful settlement.
Expediting your claim
The public is under the impression that enlisting the help of a lawyer will prolong the claim process. The opposite is true. A local personal injury lawyer will expedite the claim process as much as possible.
- Prepare and file insurance claims sooner than you can alone. People dealing with injuries do not have the time and energy to take the immediate steps necessary to begin the insurance process.
- Ensure the insurance adjuster does not stall your claim. Insurance adjusters might communicate poorly with claimants, but they know better than to create unnecessary delays with injury attorneys.
A personal injury attorney looking out for your best interests can ensure that there are no unnecessary delays and ensure negotiations are fair and productive, so you get your payment sooner rather than later.
While liability might be clear to you, it can be unclear on the legal spectrum. Many victims believe since they were not at fault, there is no way the other party or insurance company can blame them. Sadly, many victims have to prove their innocence when they do nothing to cause the incident.
Most victims do not know how to gather sufficient evidence of liability or are unsure what evidence they need. They learn quickly that their word is not enough to prove someone else’s fault. A personal injury lawyer knows what to collect and how to prove liability in cases where there are contentions.
Some collected documents include photos of the accident and your injury, medical records, eyewitness statements, and police records. There is much more evidence they can collect to prove your claim and ensure you do not face blame for something you did not do. Liability is critical to compensation; you can lose substantially when the other party shifts the blame. Avoid this with help from a personal injury attorney.
The insurance company will send an introductory offer, but it is usually grossly insufficient to cover your expenses and will not account for future costs. Never – ever – accept an offer without having a lawyer review it first.
The insurance company knows how to push lower claims on claimants, so you will need a lawyer with experience handling claims similar to yours who knows how to negotiate effectively. Some accident victims think they can negotiate with the insurance company until they realize the insurer is unwilling to budge. Do not allow the insurance company to get one over on you while you are in pain. Seek legal help from the start so you never have to deal with adjusters and lowball offers.
Unbiased outlook and communication
Accidents leave victims with a range of emotions, and when you know you are right, you cannot look at your claim objectively. It is understandable to want to get your story out and ensure that every party in the process knows where you are coming from, but saying the wrong thing can also result in total claim denial.
In comparison, while your attorney is looking out for your best interests, they also take an objective look at the details and facts of your claim. They prepare for what the other party will say and the evidence they can present. They present your case factually and not emotionally, strengthening your negotiating position.
Insurance adjusters know that unrepresented claimants might feel helpless and lost in the process. They ask questions to get you to say something off-hand that they can use against your claim. You never have to speak to insurance representatives when you hire an attorney from the start of your case. Your personal injury lawyer will take over all communications and handle them objectively and with knowledge of typical insurance tactics.
The most critical aspect of an injury is getting the proper medical attention. While visiting your regular doctors can help, it is often not enough for a full recovery. You will need specialists and ongoing diagnostic testing. Health insurance doesn’t always cover these expenses, and paying out of pocket can cause financial ruin.
You might be hesitant to seek proper care due to concerns over the expenses. You need the best treatment for your injuries, and you can get that when you have a lawyer on your side. Not only does a lawyer have tools to deal with medical costs, but eventually, your costs come out of your claim and not your pocket.
Severe or permanent injuries
When you suffer a life-altering injury, you will require extensive medical care, which results in huge bills. You might experience life-altering impairments and disabilities. You will need a higher payout than the insurance policy will usually cover.
While any injury claim can be complex, those involving severe or permanent injuries can be even more overwhelming. There is more at stake, and you need a lawyer with experience handling catastrophic injury claims.
Getting through the legal process
The personal injury legal process is full of paperwork and can get confusing quickly when a person does not have a clear understanding or experience. One single mistake on a document or missing a deadline can completely throw your case off.
A personal injury lawyer near you can gather all the relevant information to your claim, deal with law enforcement, and review the laws that apply to your lawsuit. They can find all negligent parties and ensure you have representation throughout the process.
When you hire a local personal injury attorney, they are familiar with the courts and procedures. They guide you through the process, so you don’t need to spend time researching, navigating, and risking errors.
Protect you against the insurance company
The insurance company has many resources available to them, including attorneys. When they see a case is getting complex, they will assign an attorney to the claim. The insurance adjuster often runs everything through the legal department to determine how little they can offer you.
When an accident victim does not have the same legal resources, the insurance company will come out on top. Defense attorneys will try to bully victims, so the insurer does not fully pay the claim. Luckily when you have a personal injury lawyer on your side, the insurance company cannot bully you. Instead, they will fight against the insurance company and ensure you get what you deserve.
Represent you in court
When the insurance company or defense attorney continues to offer lower settlements, the claim must move on to the next step: litigation. The process requires your lawyer to file a lawsuit on your behalf and begin a collection of witness statements, evidence, expert testimony, and more to build a solid case. While the claim can settle at any point during the litigation process, it is vital to have a lawyer who will prepare for trial even if your claim will not make it that far. A trial can be contentious, and you will need a personal injury lawyer with trial experience.
Statute of limitations
Every state will have stringent rules regarding how long accident victims must file a claim. These are statutes of limitations, and you become ineligible for compensation if you miss the deadline.
The clock starts ticking when the accident happens or you discover your injuries. There is no grace period in most cases. Depending on the liable parties in the accident, the statute can be a couple of months (for government entities) or a couple of years (for private lawsuits). While there are general filing deadlines, there are also deadlines for supplemental requests, and if you miss these, there can be delays in your case.
Thankfully, personal injury attorneys know these deadlines and when to file the appropriate paperwork. You will not miss a deadline when you have a lawyer looking out for your best interests. They will keep you informed and ensure they complete and file all the necessary documents on your behalf.
Across the country, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. It is no secret that attorneys can be costly, but when you have an attorney working on a contingency fee, those costs work differently.
Instead of paying a personal injury attorney by the hour, they will get a percentage of the final settlement award. Upon hiring a personal injury attorney, you will get top-notch representation without the fear of paying out of pocket. You have enough financial concerns after an accident; having legal representation should not be one of them.
Not only will you not pay any money upfront, but you will also have access to a free initial consultation. The law firm should not charge fees during your case or hold you responsible for ongoing expenses in real-time. You only pay fees when your lawyer settles your case.
Before signing up for any law firm, ensure you understand how the fee structure works. When your case settles, the attorney will take their fee, pay off your medical expenses, and you will get the difference. Most represented claimants take home much more than those who did not hire an injury attorney.
Peace of mind
There are many benefits to hiring a personal injury lawyer near you to look at your incident and help you understand your legal options. Stress can contribute to your pain, and focusing on your physical recovery can be challenging when you have the pressure of a legal case.
You might need to take time off from work and focus on attending different doctor appointments during your recovery. Medical bills will begin to pile in, and with the uncertainty of the future, it is easy to feel alone and helpless.
Thankfully, you can focus on healing, while your personal injury lawyer can focus on recovering compensation and getting you justice for your accident and losses. You deserve a legal advocate willing to take the legal burden off you and give you the space and time to heal.
In addition to a personal injury attorney, you will also get access to support staff through the law firm. There are many moving parts in these cases, and you must be abreast of the situation at every step. Ask your lawyer how much access you will have to them and who your primary point of contact will be throughout your claim.
After an injury, call a lawyer who is ready to take your case and fight for your rights. While finding a lawyer might seem stressful, hiring one relieves stress from your life. Consultations are free, and you pay nothing out of pocket, so hire a trusted lawyer immediately following your injuries.