There are many personal injury attorneys out there, serving millions of people and handling hundreds of thousands of claims every year collectively. But what makes these lawyers so important? Why do people need personal injury attorneys rather than trying to resolve legal matters themselves? And, if you’re ever the victim of a personal injury, what’s the best strategy for working with personal injury lawyers?
What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?
What exactly do personal injury attorneys do?
These lawyers provide legal advice and representation to people who have suffered a personal injury due to someone else’s neglect or intentional actions. For example, if you were injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, if you were the victim of medical malpractice, or if you slipped and fell on poorly maintained sidewalks outside of a business, you can attribute your injuries to the actions or lack of action of another party.
Legally, this entitles you to compensation for any damages you suffered because of the injury. If you can prove a causal link between a person’s actions or neglect and the injuries you suffered, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, emotional damages, and more. However, most people don’t have the knowledge or expertise necessary to get this compensation.
These are some of the ways that personal injury lawyers help:
- Claim analysis and professional advice. Initially, your lawyer will meet with you to evaluate your injuries and your claim. They will decide whether legal action is warranted and provide you with context so you can make a better decision about whether to move forward with a case. Lawyers are also going to provide you with professional advice throughout this process, helping you make informed decisions that play to your best interests.
- Investigation and evidence gathering. In some cases, personal injury lawyers help you with the investigation and evidence gathering. If there’s not enough information to prove neglect or demonstrate damages, your lawyer can help you close the gap.
- Negotiation. Most personal injury cases never go to trial. Instead, they’re negotiated outside of court. Typically, that means negotiating with an insurance company. This can be difficult, especially if you’re not used to negotiating with insurance companies, as insurance companies are motivated by profit and incentivized to offer you as little as possible. Lawyers represent you in this negotiation.
- Representation. If the case does go to trial, your lawyer will represent you and try to get the best possible outcome for you. It’s unwise to represent yourself, even if you have some legal knowledge and experience.
Why Personal Injury Lawyers Are So Important
So why are personal injury lawyers so important?
- The complexity of the law. Negligence is an intuitive concept, but proving negligence in a legal setting is much more complicated. You must demonstrate several things simultaneously. You have to prove that a person had a specific duty, that the person neglected their duty, that this neglect specifically caused your injuries and the extent of damages resulting from your injuries. You must also demonstrate all these things while adhering to legal rules and following official processes, which may seem alien to you if you’re unfamiliar with the law.
- The motivations of insurance companies. Insurance companies aren’t on your side. They aren’t out to get you or hurt you intentionally, but they are motivated by profit. Accordingly, they’re going to work hard to ensure you get the smallest possible payout – which means you need someone on your side to help even the odds.
- The power of opposing parties. If you attempt to negotiate for compensation or battle things out in court without legal representation, your opposition is going to have a distinct advantage. They will have legal, professional counsel while you do not.
- The value of an initial consultation. It’s also worth noting that the initial consultation offered by personal injury lawyers is usually free. You don’t have to spend any of your money or commit to anything right away; instead, you can simply explain your position, and your lawyer can provide you with some initial advice and direction. They may or may not think the claim is worth pursuing – and if they take the case and you lose, you typically won’t owe them any money. The reality is you have everything to gain and almost nothing to lose by talking to a personal injury lawyer if you’ve suffered a recent injury.
Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been the victim of a personal injury and you’ve been on the fence about hiring a personal injury lawyer, consider contacting one of these professionals in your area. The most you could lose is an hour or two of your time as you work together to determine whether your claim is warranted. And if you decide to move forward, there’s a good chance you could win the full compensation you deserve, covering all your medical expenses, lost income, and more.