One of the first things you should do in the wake of an accident is seek legal representation, but what exactly does a personal injury lawyer do? Here is a simple breakdown of the role of a personal injury lawyer, and how hiring one can benefit you.
Experience and Expertise
The world of post-accident injury is complex. There are so many different interests to coordinate, from insurance companies to medical providers to those in court, that it’s easy to lose track of what information you need and where it has to go. A personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you what your options are, what the costs are likely to be, what you can reasonably expect to receive in compensation, and what avenues are worth taking the time and effort to pursue.
He or she will also help you navigate confusing medical and legal language. What’s more, any insurance company has its own team of experts; having your own expert on your side helps to ensure that you will not be misled or treated unjustly.
Investigation and Paperwork
A significant part of any claim is research and paperwork. This includes gathering documentation of damage, injuries and costs, organizing evidence, and requesting information or depositions. A personal injury lawyer will be accustomed to the procedures and familiar with what needs to be done in what order and by what date in order to make a valid claim. It’s also likely that he or she will have a support staff for investigation and research.
Negotiation and Advocacy
Your personal injury lawyer will represent you in all stages of the process, communicating or negotiating with medical providers, insurance companies, other people involved in the accident, witnesses, law enforcement and the court. He or she will provide an objective viewpoint when you are making decisions on how to proceed, and will help you avoid costly mistakes as you build your case.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will have training and experience working with other lawyers, insurance companies and medical providers. He or she will be able to keep the case moving so that you are compensated within a reasonable timeframe instead of being put off by insurance companies’ delaying tactics until you reach the statute of limitations for your claim.
Coverage and Compensation
The ultimate goal of this process is to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injury. Sometimes that means finding medical providers that can serve as witnesses for your case as well as treating your injuries and speeding up your recovery. Frequently, it also means negotiating a settlement out of court through alternative methods of dispute resolution, when dealing with multiple insurance companies that would prefer to pay as little as possible, if anything.
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to sort through all the relevant information and apply it to ensure that you are fairly treated, and that your medical costs and property damage are covered. He or she will also be able to assess whether you have a case for compensation for general pain and suffering, mental anguish or loss of wages due to your injuries and pursue these on your behalf.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been involved in an accident and are seeking compensation or are simply curious about your options, contact us for further information and advice.