What Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A Personal injury lawyer specializes in helping injured people to be compensated for their physical and psychological injuries after an accident. They represent you by negotiating with insurance companies and if necessary will represent you in court if your case goes to trial.
Personal injury lawyers handle many types of cases such as: auto accidents; medical malpractice; dog bites; truck accidents; motorcycle accidents; premises liability (injured on someone’s property); wrongful death; brain injury; etc. When looking for a lawyer, be sure to check what types of personal injury they specialize in.
In order for a personal injury lawyer to determine what happened in an accident and to ensure that they do the best job in handling your case, they must gather and analyze all relevant information from the accident scene. Analyzing police reports, obtaining statements from witnesses, examining accident pictures, weather and road conditions, and contacting local business owners to see what information they can provide.
Examine Insurance Coverage
Let’s say, for instance, that you are involved in an auto accident. Your personal injury attorney will examine what kind and how much insurance coverage both you and the other person have. Your attorney will do that to see how much money can be obtained to cover your costs for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, just to name a few. Sometimes, the person responsible for the auto accident may not have enough auto liability insurance to cover your costs. At that point, the personal injury lawyer will determine what to do if your damages exceed the amount of coverage available.
Health Insurance Treatment
If you are fortunate enough to have coverage for health insurance, it will pay a portion of your medical bills. But few people have adequate medical insurance to pay most if not all of their health related expenses. For those who don’t have that degree of coverage, medical bills may pile up resulting in a poor credit rating. Having a personal injury lawyer by your side through the process can help minimize the impact of your increasing medical bills. An attorney can help by contacting your creditors to advise them of your financial situation.
Negotiating a Settlement
Did you know that approximately 95% of personal liability cases never go to court? An experienced personal injury attorney gathers all of the facts pertaining to your personal injury case and prepares himself/herself for court. After gathering all of the information, the attorney will solicit a settlement offer from the insurance company representing the negligent person (or business). This part of the process generally takes some time because the insurance company tries to minimize the injuries you sustained in order to pay as little as possible. When an offer is received from the insurance company, your attorney will present it to and review it with you so that you can decide whether or not to accept it.
If your personal injury lawyer is unable to negotiate a settlement that you agree on, then he or she will file a lawsuit and/or seek arbitration. Preparing for trial involves “discovery proceedings” where depositions are obtained from witnesses, experts, and the parties involved in the lawsuit. After discovery is completed, a court date is requested by your personal injury lawyer. When the trial starts it will be the job of your attorney to convince a jury that you have been injured through negligence and that you are entitled to damages as compensation. The amount of damages to be equal to or exceed the amount you are suing for.
As you can see, the job of a personal injury attorney is complex. By hiring an attorney who specializes in personal injury, you are ensuring that you will not have to worry about the burden of creditors and insurance companies or that you will be compensated for your injuries and expenses.