When you’ve suffered from a major injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is the basis for a personal injury claim. Statistics indicate that as many as 400,000 claims are filed in the US each ear, but filing a claim on your own is no easy task. After experiencing a major injury due to an accident or any other reason, you’ll have doctors and insurance agencies calling you left, right, and center. It’s why consulting a personal injury lawyer is often recommended.
But what can an attorney do that you can’t? Here are 6 things that your personal injury lawyer can do for you.
1. They Explain Your Rights
After a traumatic incident, the last thing you want to think about is how you’ll pay for your medical bills. Unfortunately, it’s what most Americans have to worry about after an injury. In this situation, a personal injury lawyer will explain how the accident affects your rights and the compensation you’re entitled to.
They’ll walk you through concepts like the statute of limitations, which is the time limit until when you can file a claim. They’ll also talk to you about comparative negligence to determine whether you were partially to blame for the accident.
2. They Investigate The Case
Before filing a claim, a Clearwater personal injury lawyer will investigate your case. This involves visiting the location where the accident occurred, interviewing witnesses like police officers, reviewing surveillance footage, and analyzing other forms of media.
They may also hire accident recreation experts and expert witnesses to explain how the accident impacts you. Additionally, they’ll speak to your doctors to get a clear understanding of the short and long-term effects you’re facing because of the accident. This process is crucial to prove that the injury has a major impact on your ability to lead a normal life.
3. They Evaluate Your Claim
After gathering information from their investigation, your personal injury attorney will evaluate records to determine fault. They’ll also require your medical records and bills to evaluate your claim and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Since personal injury attorneys usually have experience in a wide variety of areas like auto accidents, medical malpractice, and more, they know what a claim should look like.
In the event that you suffer from a pre-existing condition like diabetes or other autoimmune diseases, it’s likely that you won’t recover in the same way as someone without the condition. Therefore, your personal injury lawyer will ask for supporting documentation to prove that your injuries have exacerbated your pre-existing condition.
4. They Speak To Insurance Agencies
After experiencing a personal injury, different liability carriers will want to speak with you to get a recorded statement. When you have a personal injury lawyer by your side, they’ll guide you on what you should and shouldn’t say. This way, you won’t end up saying something that can potentially affect your claim. They’ll speak with your insurance company to convince them to cover your medical costs and auto repair expenses. To prevent the opposing parties from undermining your claim, your lawyer will refuse liability carriers’ requests to control the flow of information.
5. They’ll Review Settlement Offers
Whether you’ve suffered from an injury on the job or were involved in an auto accident, you can expect the insurance company to lowball you and offer an inadequate settlement offer. However, when it’s your first time being involved in a personal injury case, you may be unable to analyze the offer.
In comparison, your personal injury attorney has years of experience in representing clients and analyzing settlement claims. They know what a good claim should look like. Additionally, they’ll help you understand the different types of damages and how you should receive compensation for wages lost during recovery and future loss of earning capacity.
6. They Represent You In Court, and Otherwise
Statistics show that a majority of personal injury claims are settled before the victim even files a lawsuit. However, in the event that your claim is denied, you’ll need to file a lawsuit and go to trial. In this situation, it’s best to have a professional attorney represent you during legal proceedings.
Your attorney will also prevent other parties from contacting you by informing them that they represent you. This way, all future inquiries or contacts are made through your attorney, allowing them to track the status of your claim, injury prognosis, and more.
Know When To Call a Personal Injury Attorney
In some situations, a personal injury case may look like an open-and-shut case, but it may turn out to be complicated later on. It’s possible that when you first experienced the injury, you didn’t realize that it would have chronic effects. Or, your insurance policy may not have been in effect when the injury occurred. In these situations, contacting a personal injury lawyer is important.
- The insurance company denies your claim: If the opposing party is responsible for your injury, but their insurance company isn’t taking responsibility, you should consult a personal injury lawyer to get their expert attorney. If they feel like you’re owed compensation, they’ll help you file a personal injury lawsuit.
- There were multiple parties involved: In some situations, accidents involve multiple parties or vehicles, which can complicate matters. This usually happens if there is a pileup involving multiple cars or if the drivers are employees, contractors, or subcontractors. Consulting a personal injury lawyer can help in determining the parties at fault.
- You received a settlement: If the opposing party has offered a settlement, it’s worth consulting a personal injury attorney before you accept it. Insurance companies represent their client’s financial interests, so they may try to get rid of the case as soon as possible, thereby minimizing the payout.
Ideally, it’s best to consult an attorney as soon as you go through an accident. But if you don’t and decide to file a claim yourself, you should consult an attorney in the above-mentioned situations.