Have you ever been involved in an accident and sought the services of a personal injury attorney? These professionals play an essential role in ensuring that you get your rightful compensation. They do this by initiating or executing several processes.
People are often asked to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after an injury occurs. This means that you should have the contacts of some of the best attorneys near you. Also, you have to know what to expect from them once they take up the case.
In this article, you will learn about what a personal injury attorney does and what they can do to ensure that you get the best outcome from your case.
Read on to find out more.
Investigating the Case
Like in other law careers, the attorney will start by examining your situation and collecting vital information that will help to build a solid case. They will want to know everything, which is why they may want to talk to various people.
When they approach you, please give them a detailed account of the situation because it is the only way to speed up the case and get compensation. They will also be looking at the circumstances that led to the case to establish who was at fault. Throughout this process, they will provide you with information on what is likely to follow.
Some of the information that a personal injury attorney will collect include the following:
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Medical bills
- Official government reports
- Medical treatment history
- Surveillance footage
Collecting all this information may take time, and therefore, you have to be patient with the attorney. Some cases can take years to conclude, while others end faster than you may expect. Your lawyer will inform you about the expected duration so that you prepare accordingly.
Making a Demand
Once they are through with the collection of evidence, they will demand the liable party’s insurer. For example, if you were involved in a car accident, the lawyer will demand the car owner’s insurance company. The amount that the attorney asks for at this stage is based on their assessment and calculations.
You need to understand that what the attorney demands do not always reflect the final compensation, so you have to wait a little longer to know what you will get. However, it is important in the process because it lays the foundation for further negotiations. Experienced attorneys always know how much you are likely to get and will always make a demand not far from that.
If this demand results in an outright settlement offer, the attorney may have to review it with your input. It is because initial demands rarely result in a settlement, and so, the lawyer will be looking at what you may have missed. However, there are times when the payment is fair enough to be accepted.
Filing a Complaint
The next task that the personal injury lawyer will be initiating is to file a complaint in court. This is where they inform the court that you were injured and provide evidence to show how it happened. They will also be stating how much they expect to get from the liable party.
Once the complaint is filed, the defendant will be served to give them time to respond. When they file their answer to your complaint, they will be stating their position and understanding of the case. Sometimes, they may disagree with all your requests, but they may agree with some.
In their answer, the defendant may state how much they will pay for the personal injury. They will also be seeking to show that the fault was not theirs. This is the point where the case takes shape.
Exchange of Information
The discovery stage is when your personal injury lawyer exchanges note with the defendant to see where the disagreement comes from. Then, they will be sharing evidence and looking at the law to determine what should be done. A lot of discussions happen during this stage, but it is not the trial stage yet.
Most personal injury cases end during the discovery stage. This is because each lawyer realizes what will happen, so they may not see the need to further the matter. They will most likely come to a consensus during this process.
During the exchange of information, a lot of things come to the fore. The lawyers will be unearthing evidence that you never thought of as each one seeks to get the best outcome for their client. It can only be a good thing because it shows that you are more likely to get a just settlement.
Preparing and Filing Pretrial Motions
Pretrial motions are meant to provide a chance to attorneys to ask the court for various actions. For example, your attorney may use this opportunity to ask the court not to consider part of the evidence that the defendant’s lawyer is presenting. It also allows them to add some information to the case.
According to Kemp Ruge & Green Law Group, personal injury cases hardly reach this stage. Compensation can happen at any stage in this process, and people often look for quick solutions. However, your lawyer will be prepared to handle this stage if things get here.
All along, your attorney will be consulting you to know what you would like to happen. Even when a compensation offer is made, they will seek your acceptance before signing the papers. It is always practical when you work closely with your lawyer.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Negotiates How to Handle the Case
Usually, personal injury cases are concluded in two ways; through a court process or an out-of-court settlement. Depending on the situation, your lawyer may ask the courts to negotiate with the defendants outside the court. It happens mostly when they realize that you are likely to get more through that process.
Experienced lawyers know how to get their way when they are not arguing a case before a judge. Theretofore, when they ask for an out-of-court settlement, they will most likely get more compensation. That is why you should always go for the sharpest minds in the legal industry.
It would be best not to forget that most personal injury attorneys do not get paid until they have received compensation for their clients. They also get paid a percentage of that settlement depending on the agreement. Therefore, they will be looking for ways to ensure that they get the best results out of the process.
Communication on Your Case’s Progress
The personal injury attorney has to communicate to you everything that happens during the case. This is something that they learn right from law school and when they start taking personal injury jobs. It is also part of the ethics code, and they are obliged to abide by it.
Sometimes, you will not be with them in the negotiation rooms when they carry out their duties. They may also get some communications in their offices when you are not around. Because of that, they should communicate any new developments on time.
Nowadays, it is easy to get such communication from attorneys because of advanced technology. Unlike a few decades ago, they can deliver text messages to your cell phone or send an email. They can use chat features to keep you posted too.
Obtaining a Legal Recovery
The final task that the attorney has to accomplish in a personal injury case is to collect the compensation from the defendant’s insurance company. Whether the issue was concluded through a court process or a mutual agreement, the insurance company will get a notification to process compensation. The check will then be sent to the attorney’s office.
This is the point when the attorney will contact you for a meeting to get your money. They will deduct the amount that you agreed on and give you the rest. The case is now concluded.
Keep in mind that the case takes no definite time from the time you contact the attorney when you get compensation. For instance, while some cases take a few weeks, others last for years. It all depends on the type of accident and the evidence that the attorney collected.
It is also important to note that you have to be careful with whom you share information during the case. Only the personal injury attorney or employees from his office should access such information. If any insurance company contacts you, desist from sharing vital information about your case.
Get a Personal Injury Lawyer to Represent You
Getting your rightful compensation after an accident is a tedious process that requires an expert to handle. From collecting evidence to making a demand and negotiating a settlement, you have to know how to get the best results out of the process. That is the reason you should only work with a qualified and experienced personal injury lawyer throughout the process.
If you liked this article, you can read more similar posts on our websites.