After you suffer serious injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may find yourself needing a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer offers a number of services that can help you move through the difficult legal process of seeking the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Before you start that journey, however, you may find yourself with a number of questions, including, “What is a personal injury lawyer?” “What does a personal injury lawyer accomplish for you?” “Do I really need a personal injury attorney after my accident?” By answering those questions, you can move forward with your decision more confidently.
Personal Injury Lawyer: Defined
A personal injury offers legal assistance in situations where another individual or entity, including companies and corporations, government agencies, and private individuals, causes injury to another individual due to their actions. Personal injury lawyers offer assistance to the victims of those injuries as they attempt to recover funds from the individuals or entities that caused their injuries.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A personal injury lawyer provides representation for the victim of an injury and advocates on the victim’s behalf throughout the legal process. This includes a wide range of services. It does not matter if the victim needs to go to court to fight for compensation or if the company offers a reasonable settlement. Having a personal injury attorney on your side can increase your odds of getting the full compensation you deserve as well as offering a number of other advantages. A personal injury lawyer can:
Collect evidence related to your accident. The evidence involved in your accident can help increase the compensation you deserve. In order to gain the full compensation you deserve, you may need to prove the other individual or entity caused your accident. Evidence may include:
- Photographs of the scene
- Witness statements
- Video evidence, including traffic cameras and security camera recordings
- Statements from the medical professionals who examined you following your accident
Help you better understand the compensation you deserve. When you suffer injuries in an accident, you may not know what compensation you should expect. Traditional compensation offers include medical expenses, pain and suffering, compensation for lost time at work, and an offer for lost earning potential if you find yourself unable to return to work after your injuries. The amount of that compensation, however, will vary based on a range of factors: the limits of the individual or company’s insurance policy, the extent of your injuries, and how much those injuries impact your ability to enjoy the rest of your life. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide you with more information about the compensation you really deserve.
When you work with a professional injury attorney, you will also receive valuable advice about when to accept a settlement offer and when to keep pushing. An attorney can also help you make the important decision of when to go to court: often because the insurance company fails to issue a reasonable offer or fails to factor the reality of your injuries into the equation.
Negotiate and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. Often, communicating with the insurance company turns into the most difficult part of the process of recovering from an accident. You need to watch your words: you can’t afford to say anything that might jeopardize your odds of receiving the full compensation you deserve. You must remain truthful and factual, but some conversations may remain off-limits with the insurance company. Not only that, you may not understand what insurance agents need from you or how to provide the information they need to come to a decision following your accident.
Having a lawyer to communicate on your behalf can streamline your interactions with the insurance company. Not only does it remove some of the weight from your shoulders as you recover from your injuries, it can prevent you from making mistakes in the process that could jeopardize or delay your settlement.
Increase the odds that you will receive what you deserve from the insurance company. In many cases, simply hiring an attorney can help increase the settlement you receive from the insurance company. Many times, the presence of a lawyer shows your seriousness regarding the claim. Insurance companies often offer higher settlements when the adjusters know that they must deal with a lawyer in the process.
Provide valuable advice throughout the process. In addition to offering a crucial legal perspective about how to navigate conversations with the insurance company, a lawyer can also issue advice about how to proceed with other aspects of the recovery process. Often, lawyers can connect you with physical therapists and individuals who can help modify your home or vehicle to accommodate your disabilities after your injuries, whether temporary or long-term. More importantly, they can help you navigate life as you prepare to make a personal injury claim. How should you handle anything posted on social media about your injuries? What about your daily activities: should you limit yourself to avoid the claim that you have misrepresented your injuries? A lawyer can help you better navigate those important decisions and ensure that you don’t make mistakes in the process that could decrease the compensation you receive.
Represent you if your claim goes to court. Choosing to represent yourself in court may lead to missing evidence, misfiled paperwork, or a lack of understanding concerning how to approach your case. With a lawyer on your side, you can better handle the difficult waters of a court case, from presenting the right evidence to offering the arguments that will help you receive the highest possible compensation for your injuries.
Do You Really Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Many people wonder whether they really need a personal injury attorney after an accident with injuries. A personal injury attorney, they wrongly assume, adds legal expenses to their already huge medical bills. Can you handle your personal injury claim on your own?
No, and here’s why:
Did you suffer injuries in the accident? In any accident, if you suffer injuries, having an attorney on your side can significantly increase the odds that you will receive the compensation you deserve. In many cases, insurance companies fail to issue appropriate compensation offers or settlement offers without the incentive of a lawyer. The adjuster may offer a low initial settlement in the days immediately following the accident, when you have no idea how much your medical care will cost or how much time at work you will miss due to your injuries. The company may fight harder if they think you do not understand the law or understand how much you should receive for your injuries.
Do you have a plan for your future or ongoing medical care? After an accident with serious injuries, you may need ongoing medical care or physical therapy to help you resume as much of your previous life as possible. In the early days after your injury, you may have no idea what that care plan will look like or how much you can expect to pay. An experienced personal injury attorney, on the other hand, may have seen other injuries like yours in the past and will have a better idea of what it will cost for you to make a full recovery. An attorney can also help you shape the right wording on a settlement so that you do not miss any element of compensation.
Do you know how to avoid potential pitfalls when talking with the insurance company? Many people have no idea how to discuss their accident or injuries with the insurance company. They do not know what information to provide or how to negotiate. Not only that, after a serious injury, you may need strong medications to help manage pain. Those medications may cause brain fog or leave you struggling to remember how to handle important tasks. Having a lawyer to communicate on your behalf can help prevent you from making mistakes or increase the odds that you will successfully recover the damages you deserve for your injuries.
What about an auto accident? After an auto accident, you may assume that the insurance company will pay out the amount you deserve for your injuries automatically. Many people assume that the company bases their payments on a specific scale or that they will not increase the payment amount for any reason. In many cases, however, a lawyer can help you negotiate those amounts, especially when it comes to compensation for missed time at work due to your injuries or pain and suffering. Pain and suffering remains difficult to quantify, and different people may experience different levels of pain or different difficulties after receiving the same injuries. A lawyer can help negotiate on your behalf. In the case of significant injuries, an experienced personal injury attorney can increase your payment to the maximum amount allowed by the insurance plan.
Do you really have a personal injury claim? To file a personal injury claim, you need several key elements. First, you need injuries—generally serious injuries, if you need to seek financial compensation from another entity or individual. After fairly minor injuries, you may want to visit a lawyer for a free consultation to determine whether you need to pursue your claim further. More serious injuries, on the other hand, may result in the need to pursue further compensation.
Next, you will need to prove that your injuries occurred because another individual violated their duty of care to you. In a medical malpractice case, for example, you may need to prove that the doctor assigned to your care failed to provide care that would treat your injury, that they misdiagnosed you, or that they caused further injury during the course of their treatment. In a nursing home abuse case, you may need to prove that nursing home staff members committed abuse against a senior during their stay at the nursing home. This violation of a duty of care must have caused your injuries or significantly contributed to them. Personal injury cases do not include instances in which you caused your own injuries. For example, if you chose to climb a shelf in a store and fell, causing back and neck injuries or traumatic brain injury, the store did not violate their duty of care to you and did not cause your injuries, which means you may not have a personal injury claim.
Even if you believe you do not have grounds for a personal injury claim, contacting a lawyer can help you more effectively determine how to proceed following your injuries. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations, which can give you a better idea of whether you have a personal injury claim and how you should proceed if you do.
Do you know who bears liability for your injuries? In some cases, insurance companies and company representatives may struggle to determine who bears liability for a specific accident or set of injuries. Often, you may struggle to determine who needs to pay for your medical bills, your lost time at work, and your pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer can help cut through the red tape, determine fault, and give you a better idea of who bears responsibility for your injuries. If you need to consider multiple individuals or entities, you may need a lawyer to help you proceed.
Are you dealing with an insurance company utilizing bad faith tactics? Even after a fairly mild accident, if the insurance company uses bad faith tactics or fails to provide you with the compensation you deserve, contacting a personal injury attorney will help go after the compensation you deserve.
Call a Personal Injury Attorney for More Information
If you suffered serious or permanently debilitating injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you may need a personal injury attorney to discuss your case and get more information. Because most personal injury lawyers take their cases on contingency fee bases, and they offer free consultations, you can discuss your case with a qualified, experienced attorney at no cost and without further obligations.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765