It’s only natural to look for ways to save money, but trying to handle a personal injury claim without hiring a lawyer isn’t the best way to save. In fact, you may lose a portion of the compensation you’re entitled to by trying to handle a claim on your own. There are many ways that hiring personal injury lawyers can help you recover the damages to which you’re entitled, so it’s important to understand what the right legal advocate can do before you decide to proceed without one.
Make Sure Your Rights Are Protected
Soon after your accident, an attorney or insurance agent will contact you with questions about your accident. As the interview begins, the interviewer will ask for your permission to make a voice recording of the meeting. If you have hired injury attorneys to represent you, they will be present at this meeting and will likely recommend refusing to allow the voice recording. This is because they know some of the questions will fluster you and cause you to blurt out the first things that come to mind. This can end up harming your case, especially when there’s a voice recording of the meeting. Your attorney will help ensure the questioning is fair and doesn’t violate your rights.
All throughout the process of pursuing your claim, your attorney will advise you on ways to help your case and keep your rights protected. In many cases, the behaviors an accident victim engages in after suffering the injuries will affect the outcome of their case. This is why your attorney may ask you to stay off of your social media accounts or cancel any social plans you may already have had arranged. He’s not trying to give you a hard time. He just doesn’t want to give the insurance company any evidence they can use against you. Even a seemingly innocent photo that may be posted on your social media page can be taken out of context. A lawyer working for the insurance company can use the photo against you in court.
Fielding Your First Settlement Offer
It’s important to consult injury lawyers as soon as possible after your accident, because insurance adjusters working on behalf of the other party will also contact you quickly. Their objective is to settle the case and save as much money as possible for the insurance company. This means they will offer you a quick cash settlement. This will be a low offer that won’t be sufficient to cover your total medical bills. Additionally, the offer will be made before you really know what complete treatment will entail. How long will you be out of work? Will you be able to return to work at all, or will you be permanently disabled? Was your personal property damaged? These are all factors to consider. However, once you accept an offer, you will waive your rights to seek further damages in the claim.
When you hire a lawyer to represent you, he will negotiate on your behalf. Attorneys experienced in handling personal injury cases will know how to negotiate with insurance adjusters to obtain a fairer settlement offer. Since they work regularly on injury cases, they know what damages should cover. These types of lawyers are often educated in medical care and the law, so they can evaluate their clients’ conditions accurately.
Dealing with Creditors
After you suffer a serious injury, you’ll be facing costly medical treatments, which will make your inability to work that much more frustrating. Additionally, the debts you have had, such as your mortgage, credit card debt, and loans, will be mounting. It won’t be long before creditors start calling you and sending you threatening letters. When this occurs, it’s important to notify the lawyer handling your personal injury claim. Your lawyer will be able to talk to your creditors and explain your situation. Often, this type of assurance will be enough to stop the phone calls until your case has been settled. This will also provide your attorney with more evidence that your injuries have caused a financial hardship.
Taking Your Case to Court
Usually, insurance companies are willing to settle, but that’s not always the case. They may stick with their unfair offer even after your injury attorneys have presented evidence to show why you’re entitled to a larger settlement. If it comes down to this, your lawyer may have no other choice than to pursue the matter in civil court. This extends the process of obtaining a settlement, because it often involves enduring a lengthy trial.
The advantage of having hired a lawyer earlier in the process is that your attorney is already familiar with the facts of your case. This means he can move forward with a civil suit a little faster, filing a complaint with the court as soon as you both decide that a lawsuit is the best step to take. Your lawyer may already have developed a strategy for pursuing a lawsuit, so he will be able to move forward more quickly. This can cut down the time it will take to reach a verdict in your case. Additionally, the insurance company may realize that you’re serious about the lawsuit, which can cause them to reconsider their willingness to negotiate.
Get Help without Paying out of Your Pocket
From your first consultation until you receive your settlement, you won’t have to worry about paying up front legal fees. Your initial consultation will be free of charge and will give you an assessment of your case from a legal professional. Even if you don’t think you need a lawyer, this assessment can provide you with valuable insight. Additionally, anything you share in an initial consultation will be kept confidential, whether you hire an attorney or not.
If you do hire an attorney, you won’t be obligated to pay his fees up front as you would with other types of lawyers. Instead, an attorney working on a personal injury claim will work for a contingency fee. This means the lawyer will receive a percentage of the settlement or jury award he obtains for you. If you lose your case, you will owe him nothing. This is a common practice, because it helps personal injury victims get the legal advocacy they need without placing an additional financial burden upon them.
When looking at the outcomes of personal injury claims, people who hired lawyers more often obtained better outcomes than those who tried to negotiate a claim without help. While attorneys do work for a contingency (a percentage of your final settlement), the skills they possess make the fee worthwhile. Working with the right attorney can help you recover enough in damages to help you pay your medical care costs and other expenses, so you can get on with your life.