BOOM! You’ve been injured through no fault of your own. Perhaps it was someone else’s wrongdoing, maybe it was negligence or some other cause. Now there are ambulance chasers and well-meaning friends who believe it’s time to “lawyer up” and get the compensation that you deserve. Hold on a minute! Let’s assess what constitutes a personal injury lawsuit and why you need to hire a lawyer.
Naturally, people want to believe that they can file a suit without the help of an attorney. We live in an age where people watch TV shows like Law & Order and C.S.I. and think they can do that in court. They would be sadly mistaken. In addition to filing the paperwork in a timely manner, putting together a winning case takes time, resources, and comprehension of how insurance companies and the legal system works.
One other consideration is the difficulty of handling a case due to injury, or the bereavement of others who would file a case on your behalf because you are unable to advocate for yourself. Between trying to heal and rehabilitate, it is best to hire an expert in the field who negotiates well and wins cases. Click here to find out the right personal injury lawyer to help you.
Defining a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Before filing a suit, let’s understand what will need to be defined for an impending dispute. In layman’s terms, a personal injury lawsuit is defined as a case that arises when someone is injured by another individual or organization who may be legally responsible for your injuries. This could be through negligence.
Some people forego pursuing a lawsuit because they believe they may be at fault. This may lead to a false belief that you don’t deserve compensation for a personal injury. What a personal injury attorney can do is make sure that nothing is unaccounted for; that compensation is acquired to handle things like medical bills, loss of work, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages.
Sadly, the people who wait miss an opportunity because there is a statute of limitations for when a case can be filed.
These cases are often very difficult to pursue without the help of a personal injury lawyer for a variety of reasons which will be covered below.
- Experience: When sitting with a lawyer to talk about your situation, they will be able to explain if it’s worth pursuing legal action. Naturally, you can speak to several lawyers but an experienced one will tell you whether or not you can win the case. If not, it’s best to avoid the time and expenses of retaining a lawyer.
- Fees: Speaking of experience, most personal injury lawyers take a case they feel they can win because they will work with a contingency fee. This means that if the case is lost, you do not have to pay the attorney’s fees. Just remember that you will still be billed for their services. Filing paperwork and time to prepare your case still costs money.
- Navigating the legal system: Your legal team will be familiar with which papers to file for motions, legal procedures and etiquette, medical terminology, and speaking on their client’s behalf. If it’s all they do, then they are well practiced and know what they’re doing.
- An investigative team: Many winning lawyers have built a network of specialists and investigators who can examine the various aspects of your case. For example, medical exams and findings, perhaps accident specialists, investigators who can speak to witnesses, just to name a few.
- An objective viewpoint: When you are injured, the people who love you will be impacted. Fear, anger, pain, loss, and frustration can be a motivating factor, but it can prompt missteps. A seasoned professional with an objective viewpoint will advise you to wait for an appropriate offer if a settlement is on the table. They will also guide you to a quick payout if they believe it is your best chance for any compensation.
- Dispute resolutions: Experienced lawyers have many avenues that they can pursue when it comes to dispute resolutions. Being familiar with your case, and based on their extensive experience, they can often circumvent a lengthy trial and strive for a settlement. They can also guide their client to less costly methods of resolution by recommending mediation or arbitration.
- Knowledge of insurance companies: Personal injury attorneys are used to working with insurance companies and do not tolerate pressure to settle for less than what’s due. Attorneys can also decipher the legalese of the insurance policies and stay on track when they try diversion tactics.
- Negotiating skills: Without the knowledge and skill of a seasoned attorney, negotiating the best settlement would be near impossible to do. Most people can barely get through filing the proper motions to bring a case to court, much less speak effectively on their behalf when put against insurance adjusters or the opposing lawyer. Leave that to the pros for your best chance of proving your case.
- Get past the impasse: Attorneys have no problem haggling back and forth with one another. They are working for the best interest of their client, after all. The problem with an impasse often occurs when a third party enters the fray. For injury cases, it is usually the insurance company. The legal tug-of-war needs a strong team that knows all of their tricks and negotiating tactics. Many insurance companies will flat-out deny a claim with the hope that you will become disheartened and give up. Sadly, many people do.
No one wants to get hurt but no one wants to pay either. When it comes to a personal injury case, especially when you are not at fault, the other side will do everything they can to shirk their financial responsibility.
There is a lot of gray areas that need to be navigated, especially with the complexity of bringing a case to trial. Consulting with a lawyer might be the best money you’ve ever spent to get you on the path to proper compensation, especially if your injuries have impacted your work, family, and life. Remember that there is a statute of limitations that is established state by state. Don’t wait to speak to an attorney. Time is of the essence.
Finally, remember that your case may have a butterfly effect. If your injury was due to someone else’s negligence, the impact of your case may change the course and prompt change so no one else has to go through the pain and suffering.