Over 50 million injuries incurred each year were from traffic accidents. In many cases, the other party denies any fault or responsibility, leaving the injured victim hanging out to dry.
If you’ve been a victim of neglect and fault of another party, you may be looking to build a case against them. Above all, you don’t want to be taken advantage of.
Below, we’ve compiled an essential guide to personal injury law. We’ll review what PI lawyers can do for you after an accident or other wrongful act.
What Do Accident Lawyers Do?
Accident lawyers serve as your right-hand man when trouble comes knocking.
Once a victim starts getting calls and bills from health officials, officers, insurance companies, etc., they need support defending themselves and determining fair compensation.
PI lawyers offer legal representation for cases relating to transportation accidents, premises liability, or abuse and neglect. They advocate on the client’s behalf to whatever extent necessary.
Personal injury legal services begin as soon as you consult a lawyer and end when the case is resolved (ideally, to your satisfaction). Regardless of the outcome, you should come out of your situation knowing your attorney did everything they could to fight for you.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Individuals who have been hurt in an accident or similar incident can experience significant emotional and financial losses.
Initial injuries can put victims out of work temporarily or permanently, leading many to seek professional help. Seeking treatment can take a victim’s focus away from their case at a time when it is most needed.
A personal injury attorney’s primary goal is to help make up for any lost wages, procure funds to treat injuries, and address any emotional distress the individual faces as a result of their accident.
Under tort law, a PI lawyer can address any wrongdoings or liability on the other party’s end. Also known as civil litigation, the process can be broken down into several key factors.
How a PI Lawyer Can Serve You
Many people assume that PI lawyers simply serve as a pathway to a successful verdict. They think their lawyer will stand up, give a rousing speech, and procure a pile of winnings.
The reality is a bit more complicated: your attorney serves as a guide through an up-and-down process involving multiple parties along the way. Together, you sway the outcome of your case.
Understanding Your Rights
Your personal injury attorney serves as an expert on your rights. They can help you interpret your experiences to determine fault or liability.
Some states have laws that protect citizens from fraudulent or deceptive practices. If you don’t know about these laws, you might walk into a legal trap with an insurer.
Similarly, comparative negligence can affect your case more or less depending on how your state interprets the law. If your state heavily emphasizes safe driving, they might find you partially responsible for an accident you couldn’t prevent.
You may be able to back up statements about personal responsibility with specific evidence, such as a clean driving record. Your lawyer can use their experience to help you highlight certain aspects of your story.
Building Your Case
Accidental injury attorneys help clients build their case, including advisement on investigative appointments and interviews. They may carefully screen you before beginning to build your case.
Many lawyers finance your case from the onset, meaning they only get paid if you receive a settlement or satisfactory verdict. Less often, you will see lawyers who charge hourly or include a retainer fee for their troubles.
The lawyer will likely take great pains to create a solid foundation for your case. They will seek the best possible witnesses and gather as much favorable evidence as possible. They will have injuries examined and investigate the extent of damages incurred.
Personal injury lawyers may even seek out reports, footage, and other paperwork that could convince a jury to side with you. The lawyer may request pictures of the scene where the incident occurred, including damaged property.
If you need certain information from the defendant, your lawyer can send them interrogatories. Your lawyer may also send your insurance company a letter that covers the facts and demands relating to your case.
When an accident first occurs, stress levels go through the roof. Trying to talk to officers and insurance companies can be difficult, especially when you are plunged into survival mode. When people are caught off-guard, they may make offhand statements.
You may not even know all the details of your situation when making statements- for instance, you might think you were responsible for a car accident, not knowing the other party was inebriated when behind the wheel.
PI lawyers understand the delicate nature of your case. They know when and how to talk with other professionals.
Before you call your insurance company, talk to your lawyer. Insurers have tons of experience getting the maximum payout. Some companies are more intimidating than others. Either way, you could end up agreeing to an unfair deal.
Likewise, consult your attorney before offering any other official statements. They will discuss details with you off-the-record (which may require transparency on your part), and then decide what of that can go public.
Once the PI lawyer has gathered enough evidence, they help the client pursue proper compensation for any damages suffered.
PI lawyers use one of two methods to resolve cases: settlements or trial.
Negotiating a settlement can quickly resolve matters, especially if the client prefers minimal involvement in the case. If the responsible party wants to avoid publicity or legal trouble, they may agree to your settlement.
More serious cases may go to trial. This method may take up more of the client’s time initially, but it can also result in better compensation.
A good attorney will compare possible outcomes with you before taking your case to trial. Either way, your lawyer should prepare you as much as possible for either outcome. If they insist on settling, you might want to look elsewhere.
Do You Need a PI Lawyer?
If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of an accident, they deserve the full support of a professional. They deserve representation throughout the process so they get the treatment they deserve.
A PI lawyer can help you with the difficult decisions so you can focus on getting back to normal.
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