If you have suffered a physical or emotional injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. Getting that compensation often requires filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. You can pursue a personal injury case on your own, but it is a complex process that can benefit from the insight an experienced injury attorney provides.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
When you decide to hire a personal injury lawyer, she will work diligently to represent you in every aspect of your case. This can look like many different things depending on the nature and complexity of your injuries, but you should expect your attorney to:
- Negotiate with insurance companies and other attorneys
- File any required legal documentation according to schedule and at the correct place
- Advise you on appropriate next steps
- Gather and maintain evidence regarding your injuries
- Investigate the people or companies responsible for your injuries
Exactly what your lawyer does depends on your injuries, how you sustained them, and who or what caused them. The best way to learn how an injury attorney can help you is to schedule a free case review. This will determine the strength of your claims and your likelihood of obtaining compensation for your injuries.
What Types of Cases Do They Handle?
Personal injury law firms, including the Jeffcoat Firm, take a variety of cases. Our experienced attorneys have successfully litigated a wide range of injury cases, including:
- Auto accidents
- Defective medical device injuries
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck crashes
- Workplace injuries
- Wrongful death
It is generally helpful to hire a lawyer who has successfully won settlements and awards in cases that are similar to your own. This shows they are familiar with the ins and outs of those types of injury cases and can best represent you. When you schedule your case review, take time to ask about the outcomes of similar prior cases.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Technically, you are not required to hire a personal injury attorney, even if you decide to file a lawsuit. You may be able to negotiate with insurance companies and file all required paperwork on your own. However, this is a huge undertaking that is often best achieved with experienced legal counsel on your side. Additionally, certain types of cases are more successful when you have an attorney on your side, including the following.
Cases with Multiple Responsible Parties
Some injuries result from larger system breakdowns, such as a hospital’s or nursing facility’s failure to uphold standards of care or a multi-car accident. The legal claims associated with these tend to be more complex than those with a single responsible party and can benefit from the knowledge and experience an attorney provides.
Accidents Where You Are Partially Responsible
Some injuries happen after accidents where you share responsibility with other parties. Take, for example, a car accident where you and the other driver are both found partly at fault. Workplace injuries where you did not completely follow proper procedure are another example. Having a lawyer helps you navigate these complex situations.
There are countless other times when you may share at least some of the liability for an injury. However, that does not mean you should shoulder responsibility for your recovery alone. In many situations, you may be able to seek compensation from the other person for their role in the accident.
Claims Where Negligence or Liability Is in Question
Very few people or companies want to openly admit their responsibility for causing an injury. This is even more pronounced when negligence is involved. They may counter your claims or try to discredit them. In this situation, it is critical to have an attorney who has successfully handled complex cases on your side.
She will determine the type of investigation necessary, speak to any available witnesses, and gather evidence to show the other party’s role in your injury. This information is crucial to negotiations with insurance companies and will prove invaluable if you have to take your case to court.
Severe Injuries, Permanent Disability, or Wrongful Death
When injuries are severe, they may involve very complex legal proceedings. Proving liability or negligence can be very involved, and it is a good idea to have an experienced attorney handle the process. He will perform any research needed to establish responsibility for your injuries to ensure you receive fair compensation.
A permanent disability or wrongful death case must consider future losses as well as current ones. An attorney can help you establish the value of intangible losses related to your injury, such as reduced future earnings, loss of the ability to pursue favorite activities, and possible breakdown of relationships.
Injuries That You Did Not Report Immediately
In some situations, you may not report an injury right away. Maybe the symptoms appeared gradually, or you may not have connected an illness or injury to your workplace or a medical procedure. These require special care because you must establish a connection between the incident or exposure and your injuries.
You must also establish a timeline that fits within the statute of limitations. These limits vary depending on the type of injury. Additionally, when the time period starts can be either when you incurred the injury or when it would be reasonable to seek care for a health condition. For some things, such as hearing loss from exposure to noise, there can be a significant gap between when the exposure occurred and when you receive a diagnosis.
How Does an Attorney Help With Personal Injury Cases?
As you can see, a personal injury attorney handles virtually every aspect of your legal claim. The right one will be an excellent resource about local legal processes and procedures, timelines for filing, and navigating the court system. He will also negotiate on your behalf to ensure you have the time and resources to fully recover. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you benefit from:
- A professional and impartial set of eyes to review your case and determine the best way to move it forward
- An experienced negotiator who can work with insurance companies and other attorneys to secure the best possible settlement
- Professional representation in all court proceedings
- A wealth of knowledge related to injury cases, including how to investigate accidents and where to source expert witnesses
Another way that lawyers help in injury cases is by establishing an appropriate amount of compensation for your injuries. Faced with mounting medical bills, you may consider accepting any amount that can help cover those costs. However, you must also consider other losses that may not be as obvious, such as a loss of future income. Injury lawyers have the skills to establish these amounts so you can get the compensation you deserve.
Finally, one of the largest benefits of hiring an injury lawyer is that he handles all of the negotiations, investigation, and evidence tracking so you can focus on recovering.
How Do I Get Started?
Learning more about how to get help from an experienced injury attorney is as simple as filling out our online contact form to schedule a free case evaluation with a Jeffcoat Firm attorney. One of our lawyers will review your case and explain your options for seeking compensation. Contact us online or call our office at (803) 200-2000 to get started.