10 Things Your Personal Injury Lawyer Should Do!
Most people who find themselves in need of a personal injury lawyer don’t really know what to expect. After all, it’s something very few people will need to do more than once in their lives.
But it’s important to understand how a personal injury lawyer can and should help you. Make no mistake: all personal injury lawyers are not equal, which is why you should do your due diligence before hiring a lawyer to build your case and represent you.
To help, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things a personal injury lawyer should do for you, from investigating your case and calculating your losses to negotiating with insurance companies and recruiting the help of expert witnesses.
If you believe you may have a personal injury case and would like to have a FREE initial consultation, please get in touch with the Mississippi personal injury lawyers at Roberts Wilson, P.A. today.
1. Investigate the Facts In Your Case
Ultimately, your case is going to rely on facts. Your situation is surely frustrating and upsetting – if not traumatizing – but that is not what’s going to matter to insurance companies. What will matter are the facts:
- How did the accident take place?
- Who caused the accident?
- What were the consequences of the accident?
These are the questions a personal injury lawyer should seek to answer from the very beginning to build a strong case on your behalf.
2. Gather Evidence
When building a case based on facts, personal injury lawyers should also begin to collect evidence. This can include:
- Photographic evidence from the scene of the accident showing skid marks
- Driving logs showing that a truck driver had been on the road too long
- Cell phone records proving someone was on the phone when the accident occurred
- Documentation indicating that a property owner had been alerted about dangerous conditions on their property but had done nothing about it
- And much more
These pieces of evidence can be detrimental to a personal injury case, ultimately meaning the difference between recovering compensation and not – which is why it should be a primary focus for any personal injury lawyer investigating and building a case.
3. Determine the Full Value of Your Losses
Proving that you deserve compensation is the first step; but determining how much you deserve in compensation is also critical to your case. A good personal injury lawyer will understand that you may deserve compensation for more than just immediate medical bills. You must also consider:
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of wages
- And more
In some situations, it may even be important to consider punitive damages, which are sometimes awarded to punish the negligence or recklessness of an individual.
Ultimately, what’s most important is that you can recover the compensation you need and deserve for the damages you have sustained, which is why it is crucial your attorney considers the full value of these damages.
4. Deal With the Insurance Company
Every personal injury case has an opposing side. Often, it comes from the other party’s insurance company. And make no mistake, insurance companies are very good at what they do. They are highly skilled at using victims’ lack of legal knowledge to their advantage. Insurance companies are not your friends in accident cases.
For example, they may ask you to give an official statement that they can later use to claim you have contradicted yourself. Or they may offer you a lowball settlement that they try to get you to quickly accept, knowing that your claim is worth far more.
A personal injury lawyer will be well aware of these tactics, protecting your rights and interests every step of the way.
5. Help Stop Bill Collectors
As you are building your case, you may also be facing significant bills, particularly medical bills, that may lead to bill collectors’ attention. This can be an extremely frustrating situation, especially if your injuries have made it difficult or impossible for you to work, leading to further trauma and pain.
Your personal injury lawyer should step in to direct all communication through them to keep you from these relentless requests while you await the outcome of your claim.
6. Help You Get the Medical Care and Diagnostics You Need
Unfortunately, the cost of proper medical care and diagnostics is not cheap, which is why some accident victims hesitate to get the attention they need.
But failing to receive the appropriate treatment may be used by insurance companies as a way of arguing your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
This is another area where a personal injury attorney can step in to provide the support and guidance needed to get the care you need to treat your injuries.
7. Speak with Experts To Support Your Case
While your personal injury attorney should possess the legal knowledge and experience needed to build your case, there are situations where other experts – such as medical professionals and accident reconstruction specialists – can help build the strength of your case.
Your personal injury lawyer should have the network to identify reliable expert witnesses who can do so.
8. Negotiate for the Maximum Compensation You Deserve
Even if an insurance company is willing to settle your claim, your lawyer’s work may be far from over. This is because the insurance company is almost certain to offer less than you deserve, which could result in a lengthy and complicated negotiation process.
Ultimately, it should be your decision whether or not to settle, but you should be able to rely on your attorney to give you the appropriate guidance and support to help you make the right decision.
9. File a Lawsuit if a Fair Settlement Cannot Be Reached
If you are unable to reach a satisfactory settlement with the insurance company, you and your attorney may decide the best option is to file a lawsuit and take the claim to court.
While this can introduce some uncertainty to your case – there is never a guarantee you will win – it may be the only way to recover the compensation you need for the damages you have suffered. And your attorney should be there every step of the way to advise you, help you make the right decision, and – if it comes to it – file the lawsuit.
10. Prepare Your Case & Represent You in Court
If you do ultimately decide to take your case to court, your lawyer will need to prepare the case and represent you. In some ways, this is a different skill set than investigating, gathering evidence, and negotiating, and it can take longer than settling a claim out of court.
As such, it’s important to make sure your personal injury attorney is willing to take your case to court if that’s the best way to recover maximum compensation. If not, you may end up accepting less than you deserve, which could have a long-term impact on your and your family’s well-being.
Navigating a personal injury case can be extremely frustrating and overwhelming. Your personal injury lawyer should not add more stress to your life during this time but instead provide solutions, guidance, and representation that makes recovering from your injuries easier.
Hopefully, this article has helped give you a sense of what you should expect from your personal injury lawyer. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your situation with the personal injury lawyers at Roberts Wilson, P.A. over a FREE case evaluation, please get in touch with us online or by calling (622) 533-9111 today.