Personal injury law allows an individual to claim a certain amount of compensation after being injured in an accident caused by the other person’s fault. The victim can file a civil lawsuit against the defendant that has caused harm or injury to them. The injury can be either negligence or intentional fault, also known as an intentional tort. The accidents can include vehicle accidents, intentional accidents, the negligence when taking responsibility for another individual, child abuse, elder abuse, and accidents caused by defective products.
Working through insurance policies to claim and compensate for the damage after being victimized can be overwhelming. For example, when you are injured in an accident, it can be difficult to observe the accident, identify faults and claim the compensation you deserve when you don’t have professional experience or understanding of the situation. Therefore, you need a personal injury lawyer to help you through all that.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the roles and responsibilities of a personal injury lawyer and how they can help you if you find yourself in a similar situation. We will also show you what goes into working with one.
The role of a personal injury lawyer
Even when you are not planning to hire a personal injury lawyer, it is suggested that you at least take advice from one. Advising how to deal with your situation is the primary responsibility of an injury attorney.
So, what does a personal injury lawyer do? Let us walk you through the five roles of personal injury lawyers.
- Advocating for the rights of injury victims
Your personal injury attorney will thoroughly assess your situation. If the fault of another individual injures you, it is your lawyer’s responsibility to advocate for your rights. When you need to claim compensation for the medical expenses of the treatment of your injury, they will talk to the hospital or the medical experts to better understand the injury, establish fault, and compensate your medical expenses accordingly. In case of property loss or damage, they will do the talking and all the paperwork to claim insurance according to the fault distribution. Protecting your right based on the circumstances is the primary role of your injury attorney.
- Investigating the circumstances of the injury.
In some accident cases, one party is at fault, and the other is the victim. In other cases, both the party can be at fault, or both the party can be injured. The circumstances vary from case to case, and it is difficult to recognize who is at fault and what kind of compensation you can claim based on the level of fault and injury.
That is the job of your personal injury lawyer. They will closely observe the situation, putting every detail together to conclude how the fault is distributed accordingly. Insurance policies have different rules and levels of compensation depending on the situation. Your lawyer has the expertise to recognize what you deserve and help give you that. Injury attorneys work under contingency fees, where the payment is made when the verdict is settled, dependent upon the outcome of the case. That means your lawyer will be open to financing more on the investigation to build a stronger case for you.
- Gathering evidence to support the claim
Strong evidence to support the claim is needed to build a solid case. Gathering such evidence also comes under the roles and responsibilities of your personal injury lawyer.
If there were police reports made during the accidents or at the scene, your lawyer would treat them as primary evidence. They will also talk to witnesses at the scene to better understand the accident. If there is any camera footage of the area, they will assess those. They will look into previous documentation and history of similar accidents connecting to your case, the area, or the defendant. They will also talk to professionals like road engineers, mechanical engineers, and all to decode the situation around the accident. The gathered evidence will help build a reliable case and attain insurance for medical expenses and property damage coverage.
- Negotiating with insurance companies or defendants
It is easy to fall into the traps of insurance companies after an accident that you don’t have the experience to address. The personal injury practice area also covers dealing with your insurance companies and sorting out your case to help you attain the compensation you deserve.
They will retrieve your application covering every necessary aspect like medical insurance, automobile insurance, liability, property damage, etc., all while explaining all the procedures to you and where you stand regarding what you are to gain. This way, there are fewer chances of falling for scams related to insurance coverage, and they are prevented from being taken advantage of. They will also review and negotiate with the insurance companies to make a fair decision.
Your injury lawyer is also responsible for communicating, coordinating, and negotiating with the defendant about the accident, holding them accountable for their part in the accident and the compensation for the damage done.
- Representing the client in court, if necessary
Most personal injury cases are settled with the victim, defendant and insurance companies. But in case the negotiation of the insurance company or the defendant is not fairly agreed to, the case might end up in trial.
It is your personal injury lawyer’s responsibility to represent you in court. They are professionals and have better experience standing up for your situation based on the evidence.
Process of working with a personal injury lawyer
If you find yourself in an accident and have decided you need an attorney to help you, let’s dive into the process of working with a personal injury lawyer.
- Initial consultation and case evaluation
Consultation is important when you find yourself in an accident, regardless of whether you plan on hiring personal injury services. You need an expert to evaluate your case and advise you on how to proceed from that point in time. They will educate you on your right. If it is simple, you can pursue insurance companies independently. In addition, you must hire a personal injury attorney if the case is more complicated.
At this stage, they will evaluate your case in detail. They will investigate how the accident occurred, who is at fault and how the fault is distributed, injuries and their treatment, property damage, future treatments and all. As they have enough information about the case, they will move on to the next stage.
- Gathering and presenting evidence
The accident must be backed up by evidence. This may include visiting the accident scene to take pictures, gathering the history of accidents in the area to question the construction or design, and searching for past police reports related to the area or the defendant. At this time, the fault is observed in detail, and a fair claim is determined. Proof of medical expenses is also retrieved from the hospital to claim insurance.
The gathered data and evidence are then used to build a case and present it to the insurance company or defendant.
- Negotiating a settlement or preparing for trial
As the evidence is presented, at this stage, your attorney will discuss and negotiate with the insurance companies and demand compensation, insurance coverage, and property restoration based on the injuries you’ve sustained and the fault distribution. Your lawyer will prepare a settlement agreement based on it, and all the processes will be documented in a settlement memo.
If there is a disagreement and the company does not agree with the evidence, you must file a lawsuit and take the case to court. Your lawyer will take the solid case they just built to court to defend you and stand up for the compensation you deserve.
Oftentimes, when you don’t have a lawyer to negotiate, insurance companies may take advantage of your inexperience in similar negotiations. For instance, an insurance company can offer you $20,000 for your injury. It might seem like a lot, and you accept the offer. But according to the policy, your injury should compensate for $100,000. Insurance companies take your naivety as an advantage; without proper knowledge about the policies, you will fall for it. A personal injury lawyer will assess the offer and demand more based on the policies to hold insurance companies accountable.
- Resolving the case and obtaining a settlement or judgment
If the defendant and insurance companies are satisfied with the presented evidence and are held accountable, they will grant you the insurance you attained to resolve the case. Or, if it made it to the court, your lawyer will represent you and put out all the evidence to the judge. Based on the case, the judge will come to a verdict. You will win the trial and receive compensation if the case is strong.
Contact a personal injury attorney for help with your injury lawsuit.
If you meet an accident and there are other defendants at full or partial fault, it is extremely important to take guidance or help from a personal injury lawyer. Our personal injury lawyers help protect your rights through this difficult situation. They are a team of professionals who have stood up for personal injury victims for a long time in California. Contact Nordean law firm today to get help.
Whether it is to understand your case better or to have support in claiming compensation from insurance companies, a personal injury lawyer will guide you through the process, do the paperwork for you and represent you to fight for your rights. They will assess your situation, build a strong case and take it to the insurance companies or the defendants to hold them accountable and give you the amount you deserve. It is incredibly important to have such support after being victimized in an accident.