Accident victims often struggle to recover from their injuries while dealing with the financial impact of being injured. The experience can be extremely traumatic and overwhelming. Having legal representation can ease the burden and relieve some stress after an accident.
If you are unsure when you should hire a personal injury lawyer, contact a law office for a free consultation. Personal injury attorneys want to hear what happened to you so that they can help. They can provide honest assessments of your personal injury case and explain your legal options for recovering compensation for damages.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Me With My Personal Injury Claim?
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you do not need to worry about legal matters or aggressive insurance adjusters. Instead, the only task you have is to focus on healing and recovering from your injuries.
Your lawyer handles all matters related to the injury case. Hiring an attorney means that you will not be pressured by aggressive claims adjusters who only protect the insurance company’s best interest.
When you hire a lawyer to handle your claim, you can expect the attorney to:
- Investigate the cause of your injury to identify the parties responsible for causing your injury
- Search for evidence proving the elements of negligence or tort claim
- Research applicable case law and statutes
- Obtain copies of accident reports and police reports
- Interview and take statements from eyewitnesses
- Work with your doctors to document the extent of your injuries, impairments, and damages
- Substantiate your damages to calculate the correct value for your claim
- Work with accident reconstructionists, financial professionals, medical experts, and other expert witnesses as necessary
- File claims with insurance companies and handle all communications and negotiations for insurance claims
- Prepare a settlement demand and respond to settlement offers
- Monitor the Florida statute of limitations for filing claims and personal injury lawsuits
- Prepares and files a lawsuit if the negligent party and/or the insurance provider refuses to negotiate a fair settlement
Hiring a personal injury law firm evens the playing field with the insurance company. Insurance companies have vast resources and employees to fight claims. When you hire an attorney, you give yourself a team to fight for your best interests.
Signs That You Should Consider Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Not all personal injury cases require a lawyer’s assistance. However, it is rare that an injured party could not benefit from having legal advice. Therefore, it is always wise to consult a personal injury lawyer whenever you suffer an injury.
Some situations are complicated and challenging to handle without a lawyer. These situations strongly suggest you need to talk with an injury attorney as soon as possible.
Signs that you need a personal injury lawyer include, but are not limited to:
You Sustained Traumatic Injuries or Permanent Impairments
Catastrophic injuries and permanent impairments complicate a personal injury case. These types of injuries generally increase the value of a claim. You require extensive medical treatment and may require future medical care, personal care, and long-term nursing care.
Additionally, you might be out of work for months recovering from your injury. When you reach maximum medical improvement, a disability may prevent you from returning to work or decrease your earning potential.
A lawyer works with medical experts, economists, financial advisors, and other experts to determine the value of future damages. The insurance company will fight your claim, so you need strong evidence to back up your demand for compensation for future damages.
The Insurance Company Is Saying You Contributed to the Cause of the Accident
Florida’s modified comparative fault laws reduce or extinguish the amount of compensation an accident victim receives if the victim contributes to the cause of the accident.
If you are 50% or less to blame for causing your injury, you do not receive compensation for the full value of your damages. Instead, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault.
If your responsibility exceeds 50%, you’ll be entitled to no compensation for your damages.
Insurance companies use contributory fault to reduce the value of claims. Talking with a claims adjuster before talking with an attorney might hurt your claim. The insurance company might use an innocent statement that you did not intend to imply fault to allege contributory fault.
You Are Unsure How Much Your Claim Is Worth
Most people are unaware of the types of damages they can receive for a personal injury claim. You can recover economic damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses.
You could also be entitled to non-economic damages for your pain and suffering. In some cases, an injured party receives punitive damages.
Calculating the value of damages can be tricky. There is no statutory formula for placing a value on non-economic damages.
The insurance company consistently undervalues damages in a personal injury case. If the person does not have a lawyer, they may believe the claims adjuster when he says the settlement offer is fair.
The Insurance Company Delays Your Settlement
An insurance company might delay your claim as a tactic to convince you to settle for a lower amount. The claims adjuster knows you need the settlement proceeds to pay medical bills and other expenses. Dragging out the claim wears you down so that you take whatever amount the company offers.
Additionally, delaying settlement could be a tactic to avoid a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations contains filing deadlines for personal injury lawsuits. If you miss the filing deadline, you cannot go to court to obtain a judgment against the at-fault party to compensate you for your injuries or damages.
Call a lawyer immediately if an insurance company refuses to process your claim or delays settlement. You do not want to lose your right to sue for a personal injury.