Here’s the thing about needing a personal injury lawyer: No one ever thinks they need one until they do. It’s unpleasant to imagine a situation where you or a loved one are injured, let alone think about the steps that need to be taken after the fact. But, people can be careless, causing accidents and injuries to happen and forcing you to confront a few questions. Do I need a personal injury lawyer? Is it worth it? Unfamiliarity with insurance companies and law firms can also make you wonder who has your best interest at heart. If you’ve been in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, you deserve to have someone in your corner so that you can hold the at-fault party accountable, receive fair compensation for any injuries or property damage you suffered, and start the process of recovery.
A personal injury lawyer can help you assess the situation.
As a general matter, even if you are not sure if you want to be represented by a personal injury lawyer, you should still reach out to one as soon as possible after your accident to avoid letting the time period in which you can file a claim expire. After an accident, you might wonder if your case is worth pursuing. If you’ve been in a serious accident, this question is easier to answer, as you have likely racked up hospital bills or lost income while spending time away from work to recover. An auto accident causing severe injuries to your neck or spine is almost certainly an incident that could benefit from at least a consultation with a personal injury lawyer. However, even accidents that seem simple and result in minor injuries can have a lasting impact on your quality of life. A personal injury lawyer can give their expert opinions on your case and explain the timelines, claims process, and legal process of pursuing a personal injury claim, including how a settlement is paid out. They can answer your questions and provide you with all of the information that will help you make a fully informed decision about how to proceed. Many personal injury lawyers even offer free consultations, meaning that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by simply reaching out on an online contact form. Because they have the expertise of having handled many cases before yours, a personal injury attorney can give you a good sense of how your incident compares to other similar ones, providing concrete examples, regardless of your type of injury or type of accident. Chances are, your attorney has dealt with something similar before. Experienced lawyers in personal injury law firms are uniquely equipped to help you determine how much money you can get for pain and suffering based on the scope of the accident and the extent of your injuries.
A personal injury lawyer can gather evidence.
Accidents happen quickly, and in the moment, it is easy to forget to gather information that will strengthen your future case or future settlement offer. Not only that, when you get into an accident, it can be difficult to think clearly because emotions are amplified, your focus is elsewhere, or you are injured in a way that prevents you from gathering information. The trauma of an injury can also interfere with your memory. Rather than taking on the burden of constantly reliving a traumatic event, when you hire a personal injury lawyer, they can help you gather evidence to build a strong case and effectively advocate on your behalf. They can fill in the gaps, find witnesses to the accident, secure accident reconstruction experts, provide advice, and help you secure important documents like doctor’s notes or medical records that make your narrative compelling and check the boxes for the insurance company representative assessing your claim. This evidence will help you get a jumpstart on a successful insurance claim, leverage a more favorable settlement offer, or, if your case goes to trial, persuade a jury to find the defendant liable for your injuries and damages. Attorneys and law firms also have staff and resources at their disposal that make the evidence gathering process easier, and are willing to put in the long hours and hard work associated with preparing for these kinds of cases.
A personal injury lawyer can guide you through insurance and legal complexities.
Though personal injury lawsuits can be complex, personal injury lawyers can help you navigate dealing with insurance claims adjusters, filling out detailed paperwork, and dealing with lawyers for the opposing counsel to get you a fair settlement. Insurance claims and lawsuits carry the stress of meeting deadlines, following procedures exactly, and making sure all necessary details are included in any filings. A legal team can help simplify the process, giving you a better chance to avoid trial by getting a favorable settlement. Even if your particular accident results in further damages, such as violations of medical malpractice law, your attorney has the expertise to make sure all valid claims are pursued. In the event that too much time has passed since your accident, and there is a potential statute of limitations issue, your attorney can help you figure out if there is any other way to pursue a claim. Some accidents involve more than two parties, which can make the case very complicated. Personal injury lawyers are professionals that can handle the complexities of dealing with multiple insurance companies.
A personal injury lawyer will be your advocate.
Most personal injury lawyers went into law to help people and fundamentally believe that their clients’ physical and mental health is more important than a check. They want to help their communities and use their legal expertise and extensive experience to do so. Above all else, their goal is to help get you back on track after an accident, and as your legal representative, they will do everything in their power to secure a good outcome to the situation. Personal injury lawyers will fight for you in court, in negotiations, and in front of insurance claims adjusters.
Insurance companies will not fight for you.
The unfortunate truth is that it is in the insurance company’s best interest to deny or undervalue your claim. This is because the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, and the less insurance companies pay to victims, the more profitable they are. While the insurance company will investigate your claim, keep in mind that they will be searching for every reason to give you a low settlement offer or deny your claim altogether. The investigation itself can be upsetting and traumatic, as the investigator will ask targeted questions to find holes in your story and show your fault. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side can help insulate you against harmful lines of questioning and bad faith efforts to avoid paying out a valid claim. Insurance claims are complicated, and insurance adjusters often take advantage of the fact that most people don’t understand the intricacies of insurance laws and policies. Many people do not even understand the scope of their insurance policy or what their insurance coverage means. Without representation, accident victims are at the mercy of the claims adjuster and insurance company investigator. Insurance companies often stall to increase the period of time the claim is open and push the injured party to accept a worse position or lower settlement. In a worst-case but all too common scenario, the insurance company could deny your claim, leaving you unprotected and shouldering your own medical bills and property damage regardless of who is at fault for the accident. A savvy opposing counsel will look for ways to shift the blame from the defendant to the victim, and in a case where both parties share some of the fault, that opposing counsel will do everything they can to move the needle just over the mark that puts you at fault. Even after you have gotten a settlement offer from the insurance company, they still may delay payment of your claim. In those instances, personal injury lawyers can put pressure on the insurance company to keep the process moving along.
A personal injury lawyer will level the playing field.
Chances are, the other party involved in your accident will hire a lawyer of their own. That lawyer has a duty to represent the other party fully and effectively, which includes shifting the blame off of them and onto you. The insurance company representative, while not a formal party, is not on your side either. A piece of advice to victims of any accident is to make sure that when you take a seat at the bargaining table, you are not on your own. Your negotiating power is stronger when you have a personal injury lawyer by your side. Personal injury lawyers deal with insurance companies for a living, so they will recognize sneaky tactics. While an opposing attorney might try to take advantage of an unrepresented accident victim, a personal injury lawyer will stop that behavior in its tracks. Personal injury law firms, especially ones with proven track records of success, generally have a team of experts, resources, and connections to help you build a strong case and stand a chance. Even if you started to pursue a claim without the help of a lawyer, don’t be afraid to tap one in to help negotiate your settlement offer and get the compensation you deserve.
Attorney fees are not something to fear.
Some believe that by representing themselves, dealing with insurance adjusters on their own, and settling their own claim, they can save money they would otherwise pay to an attorney. The idea to remember is this: When your pipes burst, you call a plumber. It costs money, but you do it because you want the job done right, the mess cleaned up, and the peace of mind that comes with letting an expert take over. With medical expenses, property damage, and all other losses associated with an accident, having lawyers in your corner can help ensure you get a fair settlement so that you can move on with your life. Many personal injury lawyers charge a contingency fee, which means that a percentage of your settlement goes to your attorney to cover legal fees. It might seem weird to put a dollar amount on pain and suffering, and it might seem even weirder to then give a percentage of that settlement to someone else. The important thing to remember is that lawyers on contingency only get compensation in the event of a successful settlement. This means that it is in your lawyer’s best interest to represent you to the best of their ability. By making the mistake of not pursuing all possible claims, going with a quick settlement or the initial settlement offered instead of the most favorable settlement, or overlooking a nuance a personal injury lawyer would have picked up on, you risk out on losing tens of thousands of dollars and will likely not receive the maximum compensation you would have otherwise gotten. While contingency fees are a foreign concept for many, there are caps placed on them to keep them as fair and equitable as possible. Another benefit of contingency fees is that regardless of the financial resources you have, you can still pursue a claim because you only pay after the fact and if you are successful. Personal injury lawyers take on the risk, which can help you get through an otherwise very stressful time and work towards seeing potential compensation increases.
You deserve to have your life back.
You deserve the opportunity to move past your accident and injury with grace and get the money you are owed without interference from the other party’s counsel or insurance companies. You deserve a “win,” something that helps you get your life back to normal. You deserve to recover fully from your injuries or, at the very least, regain your comfort, and you deserve to have your damaged property repaired or replaced. These are all reasons why you should hire a personal injury attorney.
About Red Rock Injury Law
Red Rock Injury Law is a Las Vegas-based law firm with a proven track record of successfully fighting for accident victims. Attorney Jonathan Hale wanted to build a personal injury firm dedicated to helping people fully recover from accidents mentally, physically, and financially, and that’s exactly what he did.