When You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
No one plans to be in an accident, but when it happens injuries and responsibilities pile up quickly. Your wounds may not fully heal before you start receiving hospital bills, requests from insurance companies, and even police reports. This leaves you completely overwhelmed and stressed. This is the time you should be focused on your recovery, not worrying about filing a lawsuit, bills, and paperwork.
This is when you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
Why Do You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer will walk you through the process of retrieving compensation after being injured in an accident. They will meet with you and provide step-by-step instructions on what needs to be done and when. The following are some examples of cases that a lawyer can be extremely important:
- Your bones are broken, you had to stay in the hospital, or your long-term health was affected.
- Someone died in the accident.
- Multiple people were harmed in the accident.
- Medical treatment costs more than a few thousand dollars.
- You had to miss more than a few of days of work or school, or any other normal activity.
- You had some emotional trauma, pain and suffering, or loss of companionship.
- There’s a dispute over whose fault the accident is.
- The accident took place in a construction zone or other questionable areas.
- The paperwork is not accurate (police report, insurance papers).
- The details of the case are highly technical and hard to understand. (Too much medical, technical or legal jargon).
What Will Your Personal Injury Attorney Do for You?
The first thing your attorney will do is gather all the information about your case. That means they want all the details related to your injuries and a determination of who’s at fault.
Your attorney is going to want:
- Your medical bills
- Medical treatment history
- Police reports
- Surveillance footage
- Any witness statements
The next step your attorney will likely take is to make a demand to the insurer of the liable party. If the initial demand results in a settlement offer, your attorney will review it with you and offer suggestions on how to proceed. Keep in mind, that the initial settlement offer is rarely the final offer. Your attorney will wait until there’s a full understanding of the scope of your injuries and the future costs of any medical care you’ll need.
What Happens If You Have to Sue?
Filing a complaint
If both parties can’t agree on a reasonable settlement, your lawyer may begin the litigation process with your consent. This starts with filing a complaint, a legal document listing your legal arguments, the facts that support your legal arguments, and your demands for compensation.
Once you file the complaint and serve the defendant, they will file a response to your complaint.
The next step is what’s known as discovery. Discovery is where the two sides exchange information that might be evidence during a trial. In most personal injury cases, discovery consists of depositions, requests for documents, and interrogatories. This process can take months to complete.
When discovery is finished, the trial is ready to start. Keep in mind that personal injury lawsuits rarely go to trial. At any point during most trials, a settlement is reached.
Deciding Whether You Need a Lawyer For Your personal Injury Case
Most people don’t understand their rights when they’ve been in an accident. Trying to file a personal injury claim without a lawyer can prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Check out this list before deciding whether or not a personal injury lawyer is right for your case.