With the rise of personal injury cases over the past few decades, the need for dedicated personal injury lawyers was realized some time ago. In essence, a personal injury lawyer is a specialized litigator who seeks justice for clients who have suffered as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another person or entity.
Put simply, the role of a personal injury lawyer is to act on behalf of their client to negotiate fair compensation for damages sustained during an incident. When personal injury lawyers negotiate settlement amounts, it is their responsibility to get you the financial settlement you deserve. Taking every aspect of your case into consideration, personal injury lawyers are experts in assessing how damages sustained will affect their clients in the short and long term. This includes everything from medical bills, loss of earnings, pain, and suffering, and more.
What Kind of Cases Do Personal Injury Lawyers Help With?
Personal injury is a broad term that covers a multitude of different situations where physical or psychological damage has been inflicted on a victim. This is perhaps the reason that, although some lawyers position themselves as ‘personal injury lawyers’ many further specialize in one or a few of these areas.
What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do for Clients?
After an incident that has resulted in personal injury, many people are left feeling vulnerable. Adjusting to life after a life-altering injury can be a trying time indeed, so navigating the unfamiliar world of personal injury law is something that most people don’t have the confidence or energy to do. In fact, without assistance, many people who deserve compensation would never pursue a claim, for fear that the unknown territory would take them out of their depths.
This is where personal injury lawyers can be a lifeline; their experience in dealing with these types of cases and seeking justice for their clients makes filing a personal injury claim much less stressful. What’s more, personal injury lawyers can also help you achieve a just outcome that you may not have been able to achieve alone.
So, if you’ve been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be wondering what a personal injury lawyer can do for you. Here are five key things that you need to know.
1. They Explain The Process
The process of claiming for personal injury compensation is often unique to the specific type of injury you have sustained and how you sustained it. Moreover, personal injury law differs from state to state. Different statutes of limitations, rules surrounding comparative negligence, and the unique intricacies of individual cases can make for a legal minefield, difficult for non-lawyers to wrap their minds around.
In Florida, for example, auto-accident personal injury claims are at the mercy of no-fault state laws, meaning there are certain conditions you must meet before you can file a personal injury claim. Additionally, legislature surrounding time frames for claims has so many exceptions that understanding into which category your claim falls in can be puzzling, to say the least.
Your personal injury lawyer will fully explain the process of filing your claim and will go into detail about what to expect in the coming weeks and months. They will help you understand your rights and the entitlements you may be eligible to receive.
2. They Provide You With Professional Advice
In addition to explaining the process and your rights, personal injury lawyers will provide you with professional advice about what you should and shouldn’t do following your injury and during your case.
Your lawyer, for example, may advise you to seek the appropriate medical treatment for your injury to ensure the damages you’re attempting to claim can be backed up by your medical records. You may also be advised not to provide any kind of written statement to an at-fault party or their insurer as repercussions pertaining to this could make obtaining compensation more difficult.
3. They Deeper Investigate All Aspects Of Your Case
Personal injury lawyers ensure that they fully investigate every aspect of your case to determine the level of compensation that they think you deserve. By understanding the full extent of your injuries from a medical perspective and assessing the circumstances around your accident, they can make more accurate judgments, and put forward stronger arguments when it comes to negotiating your settlement amount.
Furthermore, this helps personal injury lawyers ascertain whether the at-fault party is attempting to put forward a settlement offer that doesn’t fully compensate you to the degree it should. While many personal injury cases achieve a positive outcome quickly, sometimes the at-fault party can present an unfair offer, usually because they have either not done their own thorough investigation or because they have not considered certain aspects of it with the gravity it is owed.
In such cases, your personal injury lawyer’s investigation of your case will provide a basis for dispute.
4. Negotiates A Fair Settlement
One of the most reassuring aspects of hiring a personal injury lawyer is the knowledge that they will negotiate with the at-fault party so you don’t have to. With expert knowledge of how to deal with insurance companies and other attorneys, personal injury lawyers have a deep understanding of how to best ensure you get what you deserve.
Personal injury lawyers look at more than just the immediate after-effects of an accident. Most victims only consider how their injuries will affect them in the short term and hence will end up overlooking certain aspects of their case and negotiating a lower settlement if they do it themselves. Personal injury lawyers, on the other hand, look at how an accident has changed your life on a larger scale and expertly estimate its long-term effects.
For example, if you’ve had an auto accident and you haven’t been able to work for some time, calls from debt collectors may be causing a level of anxiety that is compensable. If you have been in a workplace accident, for which a major back or spinal cord injury has been sustained, you may have to buy specialized equipment in the future and/or visit a physiotherapist for much longer than just the weeks or months which follow.
In many cases, once a personal injury case is settled, it cannot be reopened, and your lawyer wants to make sure they take everything into consideration before advising you to accept an offer.
5. Represent You In Court
Most personal injury cases will be settled outside of court, but on occasions where a fair settlement cannot be reached without third-party intervention, it may be necessary to take a case to trial. In these situations, it is your lawyer’s responsibility to represent you and continue to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Although taking a personal injury case to court is rare, you must ensure that you pick a personal injury lawyer who is happy to take this path should it be necessary. Some personal injury lawyers opt for a quick settlement, rather than a fair one and hence can advise their client to settle out of court in spite of it not being the best option. Before you engage the services of a personal injury lawyer, ask them what their position on taking cases to court is, as well as their experience.
All in all, the number one duty of a personal injury lawyer is to ensure that you are adequately compensated for your injury. They should get to know your case intimately so they can properly estimate an appropriate settlement figure and negotiate with the at-fault party to get it.