When an individual has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, the time may come when the victim begins to wonder how difficult it would be to hold the negligent party accountable. Fear of the unknown often keeps a person from seeking legal advice about the mounting medical bills and lost wages. With ongoing physical challenges or disabilities from injuries sustained from an accident, defective product, or dangerous drug, the victim may be wondering what options are available for legal assistance.
Does an Injured Party Need an Attorney?
It is not a requirement for an individual to hire a lawyer for a personal injury claim. The person can file the necessary papers at the courthouse and then represent himself or herself in court. This does not, however, give the victim a very good chance of winning the case and receiving the amount of compensation to which he or she is entitled.
For example, it is not unusual to need the testimony of expert witnesses to prove a case, and someone needs to have the proper knowledge to accurately sort through the myriad of documents there will be. Evidence has to be sought, uncovered, then presented to the court in order to prove the other party’s fault in the accident. In addition, there are extremely complex rules and procedures to follow when presenting the case, and one must know how to file motions and make objections. Also, during the negotiation process, it is necessary to leverage the case to achieve a just and equitable settlement offer.
There is also the insurance company to consider, the one that has a goal to minimize the amount of money it pays to victims. These insurance companies have professional legal representatives on hand to do just that. Chances are that the accident victim has never even fully read all the way through an insurance policy, much less dealt with insurance company representatives who can have vulture-like tactics.
In contrast, though, a highly skilled and experienced attorney can easily level the playing field for a victim by expertly negotiating a sizable settlement, steering handily through the pre-trial process, presenting the full facts at trial, and fighting for the highest compensation amount possible. While an accident victim may be overwhelmed at the number of responsibilities involved in a lawsuit, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney would be ready to start working the case immediately.
Benefits of Having a Personal Injury Lawyer
One major benefit of hiring a personal injury attorney is the message it sends to the other party’s representatives. To get their attention, a victim only needs to hire a law firm with a track record of winning personal injury cases in court and successfully negotiating equitable settlements as well.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
While great personal injury lawyers have many quality characteristics, they must be adept at listening to their clients, thoroughly gathering evidence and information, sifting through mountains of paperwork to find the pieces of gold that will solidify a case, and discussing options and a course of action with the injury victim.
The following characteristics apply:
- Handling a case personally
- Listening and responding quickly to a client’s needs and questions
- Documenting and properly calculating the client’s losses
- Gathering and evaluating crucial evidence
- Ensuring that all paperwork, insurance claims, and court documents are filed correctly
- Interviewing witnesses to the accident
- Representing the client’s interests in negotiations
- Properly fielding settlement offers
The best personal injury attorneys lift the burden from their clients’ shoulders and help steer the course through the entire complex litigation process.
Choosing the Right Personal Injury Attorney
Thankfully, there are numerous ways in which to search for the right attorney to handle a personal injury case. Lists can be made by searching online, looking at informational ads and listings in a phone book, or contacting the state or local bar association. Some people choose to talk with family members or friends to get referrals. It is especially helpful if any acquaintances have had successful outcomes with a similar case.
It would be wise to make a list of potential attorneys and set up initial consultations with each of them. Very many lawyers offer this service at no charge. During this meeting, an injury victim and the prospective attorney can assess the legal issues. This interaction will allow the injured party to see if any of the listed attorneys would be someone they trust for legal representation and advice.
What Questions Should a Potential Lawyer be Asked?
The following is a listing of possible questions one might use to filter out any lawyers who may not fit the profile to successfully help an injury victim. Specific questions might include:
- Does the attorney have a focus on personal injury cases?
- How long has the lawyer been practicing law?
- How frequently does the attorney handle a similar case?
- What kind of settlements and verdicts has the lawyer secured in cases like this?
- What factors seem to strengthen the case, and which work against it?
- In which professional organizations and in what bar association is the attorney a part?
- Who will be the contact person at the firm for concerns or questions?
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Claim?
There are time limits in federal and state courts for filing criminal charges or civil complaints. The purpose of the limits is to help preserve the integrity of all evidence and to stop individuals from threatening to file a lawsuit indefinitely. The term used to describe such time limits is “statute of limitations.” A claim must be pursued within the specific time frame allowed, or the individual will likely be permanently barred from recovering any compensation through the court system.
Call Our Legal Team Today
If you or a loved one were injured because of another party’s negligence, contact Dash Injury Law Firm. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are committed fighting for the compensation and justice you deserve.
Call Dash Injury Law Firm today at 888-(DASH-LAW) or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation.