If you have been injured and are unsure whether it is appropriate to get legal counsel, it is always a good idea to talk to a lawyer. There is never a downside to consulting with an attorney about your issue — the sooner, the better — especially with free consultations and no upfront costs.
Accidental injuries happen all of the time. If someone is injured due to someone else’s negligence, they are entitled to compensation. By speaking with a personal injury attorney, you can use their expertise to assess your case, greatly improving your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
What Is the Role of a Personal Injury Attorney?
Regardless of the circumstances, your personal injury attorney will take various actions to resolve your injury case. Below is a summary of some of the most frequent tasks a personal injury attorney will carry out on your behalf.
Research the Facts of Your Case
When you get in touch with a personal injury attorney, they will investigate your case immediately.
Your personal injury lawyer will put together the details of your incident by reviewing the information in the police or incident report, reviewing any video footage, and talking to witnesses to get their accounts. This information will help them settle your claim for the most reasonable sum.
Attempt to Negotiate a Settlement
After understanding the facts of your case, your attorney will reach out to negotiate with an insurance adjuster.
Every insurance policy is different. Some are far more intricate than others. Every adjuster approaches discussions differently, too. Attorneys know your rights and how to bargain with adjusters to obtain them. Once the lawyers know your case’s facts, they can use that information to get you the best payment possible.
Sue the Opposing Party
Insurance companies will constantly look for an excuse not to pay since they want to turn a profit. Oftentimes, insurance adjusters won’t offer a fair and reasonable payment for any injuries you suffer.
In that case, your lawyer will file a lawsuit against the insurance company on your behalf. The attorney will draft a “complaint” that describes the specifics of the collision and explains why the insurance company should bear the cost.
Your personal injury attorney will tirelessly negotiate, conduct research, and draft motions to resolve your case.
Defend You in Court
The judge will order a trial in your case if the insurance company doesn’t negotiate and the parties can’t come to an agreement.
At trial, each party has the opportunity to convince the jury of their own or another party’s responsibility for the injuries. For instance, while your lawyer would claim that the defendant’s actions caused you serious harm, insurance companies may contend that your injuries were caused by something else.
Signs You Should Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
Below are some of the telltale signs that you should contact a personal injury attorney.
You Are Feeling Worse than You Anticipated
After an accident, your adrenaline will pump, and you may not feel injured. Many victims forgo medical treatment, and you may not even visit a doctor. Because of this, many accident victims delay hiring legal counsel.
However, days later, crash injury pain can worsen, and the victim will realize that they’ve suffered an injury that won’t go away.
Doctors can help you with your physical rehabilitation. Still, you’ll need a lawyer to help you collect the compensation you need to fully recover — especially if your injuries are severe enough to change your life forever.
The Insurance Claims Process Has You Overwhelmed
After an accident, it may feel like every piece of mail you receive is filled with letters and forms, and every single phone call is from an insurance company. You need to recall claim numbers and keep up with the paperwork.
For example, it’s common for insurance companies to request (or demand) that you provide a statement immediately after your accident. You might not even be aware of what occurred at this point. You haven’t had time to absorb the accident because you are still shaken.
The pressure of responding to requests and answering questions from insurance adjusters becomes overwhelming, and you may not have the time or resources to cope with it all. An attorney can help you piece all of the information together and respond to any insurance company requests.
It’s time to seek assistance from an attorney when handling the accident’s aftermath becomes exhausting. Your attorney will bear the burden of managing all of your invoices and documentation and communicating with the insurance providers handling your claim.
We can’t erase what occurred to you, but we can simplify your life by removing any obstacles to your recovery.
The Medical Bills Start to Rack Up
It’s no secret that medical costs are significant, and you might not be aware of how quickly costs can start to add up.
Common Types of Personal Injury Expenses
Accident victims often realize they need to contact a personal injury attorney when they see the financial toll it takes on their families. Oftentimes, they seek assistance because their lives are already too uncertain without also jeopardizing their financial security.
Even if the other motorist was at fault for the collision, going through your insurance will require you to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for auto repairs. However, if the fault of the accident is disputed, you may have to wait weeks while the insurer takes time to determine who should pay and how much.
Yes, you have insurance, but it doesn’t provide complete coverage. In addition to a deductible that may be a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, you are accountable for copayments that range from 10-25%. These copays might mount up quickly during the weeks and months of your recovery.
For example, the average cost of a hospital stay in the United States is $11,700. While some of that may be paid by your health insurance, you don’t want to be stuck with a giant hospital bill due to an accident that wasn’t even your fault.
In worst-case scenarios, your injuries can prevent you from working for an extended period; how long is still unknown. Your income, which your family relies on, has abruptly halted, but your expenses haven’t.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Anyone can feel overwhelmed and upset when dealing with an injury in the wake of an accident. Every day you might face physical and mental obstacles, growing medical debt, lost pay, and other difficulties.
A lawsuit is a significant opportunity for many plaintiffs to recover damages for losses they sustained due to another party’s carelessness. You have the right to make a personal injury claim as an injured party in order to seek compensation, but only for a limited period of time.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations may significantly impact how long you have to file a claim for the injuries you experienced. Understanding how the personal injury statute of limitations operates could help you defend that right and avert problems with your claims in the future.
The personal injury statute of limitations establishes a strict deadline for an injured party to file a lawsuit following an accident. In general, if you intend to submit a personal injury claim, you must resolve the issue or initiate legal action before the statute of limitations expires.
There are occasional exceptions, but generally speaking, lawsuits that are filed after the statute of limitations has passed are dismissed since there is no longer a right to sue.
Every state has adopted a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations may be anywhere from one to six years long, depending on the state where the accident occurred.
In addition to the state, the kind of claim you intend to bring may impact the amount of time you have.
Most states have statutes of limitations that apply only to personal injury lawsuits. Still, other states have lengthier deadlines for bringing certain lawsuits, such as those for sexual assault or defamation, or shorter ones for those involving medical negligence.
An expert personal injury lawyer can provide guidance specific to your case if you are considering filing a claim but are uncertain about the statute of limitations.
When Does the Statute of Limitations Start to Run?
The statute of limitations usually starts to run from the day the accident occurred in personal injury claims. This is typically the day of the accident.
For instance, if you were injured in an accident when you slipped in a pool of water at your neighborhood grocery store, the statute of limitations would start on the day of your fall.
What You’ll Understand After a Consultation with an Attorney
Once you have decided that you may need an attorney, you should begin to research attorneys in your area and schedule a consultation. A consultation is a brief discussion between an attorney and a potential client where you can explain the facts of your case.
A lawyer-client relationship is not automatically established the moment the consultation ends. However, the lawyer should hear the specifics of your case and give you some crucial information.
You should be able to ascertain some of the following after your initial session.
Whether You Have a Claim Against a Defendant
A review of the circumstances and potential legal defenses around your situation should be part of the initial session. Based on the laws at issue and the details you offer, the attorney should be able to determine whether you have a solid legal case.
Whether the Attorney Is Right for the Case
The lawyer should be able to inform you if they handle cases like yours or if you need to look for a different kind of lawyer. In rare circumstances, the lawyer might give you a direct referral to another lawyer who can better serve your needs.
How Much Their Services Will Cost
The topic of attorney fees should be discussed during the initial session. The lawyer should outline the fee arrangement and give a general sense of the price (e.g., contingency fee, flat fee, or hourly fee).
Suppose that you and the lawyer decide to establish an attorney-client relationship after your initial session. In that case, the lawyer will provide you with an engagement agreement (or take down your contact information and send you an engagement agreement to sign later).
When you and the lawyer both sign the contract, an attorney-client relationship has begun.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’re ready to pursue a claim with a personal injury attorney, contact The Joel Bieber Firm today for a complimentary consultation.