Accidents are unfortunately a part of everyday life, and there is no escaping certain accidents, especially those that aren’t your fault. Accidents can not only lead to a traumatic part of life that is hard to overcome, but it can lead to long-lasting effects that can negatively impact your emotional and physical health. These negative impacts can not only cost you time and money, but lead to problems in your job, school, and even with your family. What can you do if you’re the victim of an accident and are struggling with finding help and compensation?
Getting Legal Help
Luckily, personal injury law help can provide tremendous help in helping you get past your injuries and getting compensation. Personal injuries are incredibly common. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, the most common personal injury cases include motor vehicle accidents (52%), medical malpractice (15%), and product liability (5%). We can all be subject to car crashes, bad negligence from a medical professional, and also be subject to a faulty product. An injury lawyer has experience with all of these, and getting personal injury law help can help you get the maximum amount of monetary compensation, reduce your stress by helping you navigate the legal world, and also provide support to you and your family during these trying times.
When to Start
It’s important to seek personal injury law help as soon as possible after an accident. Getting medical help is incredibly important if you feel you have been medically injured, feel you are suffering symptoms of mental health issues after your ordeal, and are looking to get compensation and justice from the entity that caused your injury. If you are looking at getting personal injury law help, here are 15 tips to help you seek help and how an injury lawyer can help you during your personal injury case.
1. Assessing Claims
It can be difficult to determine whether or not you have a valid personal injury claim on your hands. A good lawyer can help assess your personal injury claim for free at the very beginning of your meeting at their office. Afterward, your personal injury lawyer can help you understand what and who you should be pursuing during your personal injury case in order to get maximum compensation. Or, as undesirable as it may be, a personal injury lawyer can tell you whether or not your case will not be valid and might need more evidence before pursuing it either for compensation or in court.
2. Getting Medical Help
Getting the proper medical care is incredibly important when pursuing a personal injury case. This is because your medical care history will be a huge consideration point for courts when they determine how much compensation you should receive, and also for insurance companies and representatives of your party when they consider how much of a settlement you deserve. In addition, not getting the appropriate medical care when you first experience an accident can lead to worsened health, and turn a simple medical condition into one that is too complicated to treat. It’s not just enough to use bagged ice cubes to help your back pain, though they can provide immediate relief. You will need to get MRIs, X-Rays, physical therapy, and even medical procedures done to help you heal your injuries, and a lawyer can help document this medical care for your case.
3. Navigating Court Proceedings
Court proceedings can be lengthy, have hidden fees involved, tons of paperwork, and meeting with insurance companies for different dates and meetings just to name a few things involved. A regular person might not be able to understand all the legal terminology and processes involved in a personal injury help. Getting the help of a disability lawyer, for instance, can help you process a claim faster than simply handling a claim yourself. In addition, if you are unable to settle a case and must take it to court, getting personal injury law help can reduce stress and allow you to process your claim the right way. Any mix-ups in paperwork, missing deadlines, even the wrong wording can all jeopardize your case, so getting an experienced lawyer is crucial.
More than 90 percent of personal injury claims are settled beforehand, and never reach the court system. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a good thing. Insurance companies are used to people desperate and strapped for cash accepting the very first settlement offer they are offered. For instance, if you have low back pain, an insurance company might claim it is just a muscle injury and offer 10,000 dollars. However, if it turns out that your back pain is due to a bulging disc and you now need years of therapy, you cannot get more money than already offered. This is a sad reality for many, but a personal injury lawyer can help prevent you from accepting the first offer and negotiate a better offer for you. This can make a world of difference when getting compensation, and can only be possible if you seek personal injury law help.
5. Providing Support
Suffering from an accident or injury can be traumatic, and even lead to mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. This can be due to the fact that you might be anxious after, for instance, a car accident, or you might be depressed due to the new onset of health issues after your injury. A personal injury lawyer can help you through these rough times, and provide a support network in order for you to get through the tough legal and medical battles that lie ahead. Having a lawyer that keeps your issues confidential, that you can depend on to fight the legal system for you, and that understands your frustrations and does their best to address your concerns can all help in easing your stress levels and providing emotional support for you.
6. Being your Advocate
Much like providing emotional support, getting personal injury law help can provide some much-needed support when confronting insurance companies and even a courtroom in front of a judge or jury. Being your advocate doesn’t just mean being able to fight for you, but it can also mean using the right words and emotional appeals to convince a judge or jury that you deserve more money. Describing your plight, your emotional and physical struggles, and how you have suffered due to your personal injury can all help in getting you a larger settlement.
7. Gathering Evidence
From videotapes to medical expert advice to eyewitness testimony, getting personal injury law help can help you gather as much evidence as possible to support your personal injury case. Evidence will always be different, and a lawyer can help tailor what evidence you need for your specific case. For instance, a slip and fall accidents attorney can look for CCTV footage of the incident, send in a private investigator to determine if the business where you fell is using proper fall and trip hazard precautions, and see whether this has happened before or not.
8. Communicating with Others
As we mentioned, lawyers can help you win your settlement case by getting advice from experts, gathering evidence, fighting against insurance companies, and communicating directly with the courts. Communicating with these entities is no easy task, and can be extremely stressful for a regular person to deal with while balancing a job, family, school, and life stressors. Luckily, lawyers are trained and have vast experience in reaching out to others in a timely manner, and also reaching out to you to keep you updated on the process of your settlement case.
9. Peace of Mind
Lawyers are highly trained in their respective fields and have the same goal in mind as you: a huge settlement. In many states, lawyers can take anywhere from 15-30 percent of your settlement offer as a contingency fee. This means that while your lawyer won’t charge you if you lose your case, they will eventually take part in your settlement offer. This can give you peace of mind by knowing that your lawyer is doing the best job possible so that they can benefit from your personal injury case as well.
10. Understand Options
There are always options when negotiating and handling a personal injury case. Getting personal injury law help can help you understand your options when handling a case in court. These include negotiation, which is voluntarily settling a case between you and the other party. Or, mediation, which includes a mediator assisting in the resolution process. In addition, another option is arbitration, which is having a third party listen and mediate a case while offering a resolution that both you and the other party can agree to. With all these options exists the possibility of disagreeing or agreeing with a settlement offer, and a personal injury lawyer can help walk you through these options and decisions.
11. Talk to Experts
During a personal injury case, you will need to use experts to help you win your settlement case. Your lawyer can recommend friendly medical care that you may need, and help refer you to a doctor that is on your side and not biased and wants to fight for the insurance company. A good medical expert can help determine your disability rating without any bias, and therefore might even lead to a larger disability rating and larger settlement. In addition, experts can help determine, for instance, the safety of a product that you were injured by, video footage or documents that show negligence, an inability to provide adequate care, and so on.
12. Get Settlement Faster
As we mentioned, a lawyer needs to communicate, file all paperwork on time, and talk to insurance companies to get your settlement in your hands. Though you never want to take the first settlement offered, it takes time to get all proper evidence processed and make your claim successful. Getting personal injury law help can assist in getting you your settlement faster, while also ensuring that you took the time to properly negotiate and get the highest disability rating and compensation possible.
13. Filing Appeals
Though most personal injury cases are settled out of court, if it comes time to take a case to court, you can rest assured your lawyer will help you if your case goes to trial. Not only can your lawyer help in the legal process of getting your case to court, but can also help file appeals in the case that a judge or jury disagrees in your personal injury case or ultimately dismisses the case altogether. Typically you have 30 days to file your appeal. Your lawyer can help the court determine whether there was misconduct by a jury, misconduct by the defendant, mistakes, or new evidence that can help prove your case that wasn’t there before. A lawyer can help you understand how to file an appeal, and ensure that the road doesn’t end with you not getting any compensation.
14. Convince a Judge
It’s been said that a lawyer is only as good as the judges they know. Though a lawyer can’t bribe a judge or must not have any conflicts of interest with them, getting an accident attorney that knows what a judge likes to see in evidence when hearing a case can help tremendously. Certain judges like to know what medical evidence there is, others like to hear personal statements of families affected, and yet others are stone cold and offer no clues before settling a case. Whatever judge is assigned your case, having great personal injury law help gives you a step up when coming face to face with them.
15. Protect Against Insurance Companies
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not on your side when it comes to handling a personal injury case. Insurance companies might also turn your case against you and make themselves look like victims during personal injury cases. Getting personal injury law help can help you have the support and fight against insurance companies that might claim that an injury never happened. Or, they might claim that you used a product wrong and are responsible for your own injuries. Insurance companies have vast experience in handling claims, so getting a lawyer to help you process a claim can get these insurance companies to back off and take your case more seriously.