When you’re involved in an accident, one of the first things you should do for yourself is to hire an attorney. While you may think you understand the reasons for this, personal injury help can do more for you than you realize. Taking advantage of an attorney’s expertise is often the best way for you to obtain the compensation you need to fully recover from your accident. Before you make up your mind, however, consider these ways that hiring the right lawyer can help you.
Representing Your Interests to the Insurance Adjuster
Almost as soon as you begin receiving medical treatment, an adjuster working for the other driver’s insurance company will pay you a visit. Primarily, the adjuster will want to question you about the accident. He will ask you to allow him to make a voice recording and he will ask you complex questions, which are intended to confuse you. This will help the insurance company find ways to deny your claim. Fortunately, the personal injury lawyers you hire will work on your behalf and will protect your rights. They can help you offer statements under fair conditions and won’t let the insurance adjuster pressure you into making inaccurate statements.
Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim
Immediately after the accident, you probably took pictures of the scene of the accident and gathered information from those involved. While that will give your personal accident attorney a good starting point, there’s much more to do in preparing your claim. Your lawyer will want to visit the scene of the accident himself and will likely meet with any witnesses to the incident. Questioning the responding police officers and your doctors will also help him prepare your claim. There may also be a need to consult experts and to examine other evidence seized by the police. All of this will help your attorney build a stronger case for you.
Obtaining Evidence of Your Injuries
A large part in preparing your claim will be in determining what it will cost to restore your health. The ideal goal is to return you to the condition you were in just prior to the accident. In order to do this, the personal injury lawyers working on your case will have to meticulously go over your medical bills and your medical records. They may also have to discuss your condition with your doctors and ask them to provide depositions concerning your condition.
Your lawyer will try to collect evidence and testimony that can make your injuries and treatment costs clear to others. This means assessing your immediate needs for treatment, as well as showing your possible needs for long-term care, physical therapy, or psychological counseling. All of these factors will need to be considered in determining what is owed to you in damages.
Negotiating with Your Lien Holders
While you’re awaiting your settlement, your creditors will still have to be paid. You may have received health insurance coverage, disability, or worker’s compensation to help offset these costs, but that means these insurers have a lien against the settlement or court award you’ll eventually receive. A personal accident attorney can negotiate with these companies on your behalf to possibly lower the amount they’ll expect as full repayment. Your lawyer may also negotiate with other creditors to prevent foreclosures, evictions, and repossessions that could adversely affect you. By negotiating on your behalf, your lawyer can improve your situation, which will allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
Negotiating an Out of Court Settlement
One of the most essential reasons you should consider obtaining personal injury help is to help you negotiate for a fair settlement offer. After you have been in an accident, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you with an early settlement offer. While they may try to convince you that they’re trying to help you get a quick cash settlement, always remember that their primary objective is to save money for the insurance company. This early settlement offer will be low and won’t take your future medical treatment needs into account.
However, if you have a lawyer working on your behalf, he will negotiate for a fairer settlement. Often, insurance companies will be more willing to negotiate with an attorney than with the accident victim directly. If the insurance company won’t negotiate, your lawyer will already be familiar with the details of your case. This will help him begin the process of seeking damages in civil court once it has been determined that the insurance company is unwilling to offer a fair settlement.
Hiring a Lawyer Won’t Affect Your Finances
Many people who are unfamiliar with how personal injury law works are reluctant to consult an attorney, because they’re concerned about adding a lawyer’s fees to their problems. In fact, personal injury lawyers will offer a free initial consultation and will work for a contingency fee upon taking your case. This means their payment will be a percentage of whatever settlement or court award they earn for you. This allows people to obtain the help they need at a time when they are already suffering extreme financial burdens.
Sometimes, consulting with a lawyer will help you realize that you don’t really need an attorney’s help. This is often the case if you have suffered only minor injuries. Where less serious accidents are concerned, insurance companies often offer a fair settlement. In these cases, they’re more concerned with settling the matter than with saving on a claim. Essentially, if your total damages don’t exceed $3,000, you can probably handle your claim without an attorney’s help.
The points listed here are the most common things an attorney can do for you after an accident. When you do decide to hire a lawyer to represent you, it’s important to follow that lawyer’s advice. Your attorney’s job is to help you obtain the best possible settlement, but he can’t do that without your help. If your lawyer asks you to stay away from social media or to make other sacrifices, it’s important to follow his advice. It’s only a temporary situation and it will help your lawyer obtain a fair settlement, so you can resume your life sooner.