After sustaining serious injuries in a traffic collision, you need to find a personal injury attorney to help you file a compensation claim. Remember that personal injury attorneys help car accident victims to get fair compensation for their injuries and damages.
But there are more things that need the experience of personal injury attorneys besides handling car accident cases. Many attorneys out there tend to have several practice areas. Therefore, if a company or another person injured you, it’s a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case. This article discusses how a personal injury lawyer can help you.
An Attorney Can Protect Your Rights
Regardless of whether you sustain injuries due to a car accident, fall, defective product, or anything, your focus should be on recovery. This is the reason why you need to get a lawyer to protect your rights while you are focusing on medical treatment. An attorney usually creates a barrier between you and other people who can disturb your peace of mind.
There are various things that can affect your peace of mind. These include the medical bills that start piling up to force hospital administrators to ask you about your payment plans. Police officers investigating the accident can also want answers to how the accident happened, and the insurance company may want your statement. As if this is not enough, the at-fault party’s insurer may want to hear your version of the accident.
While you may handle some of these issues, there are others that need the help of an experienced attorney. The post-accident days can sometimes be quite confusing, so your attorney can handle some of the issues on your behalf. Because they are representing you, they can request people to deal with them rather than bothering you. An attorney can be vigilant immediately after you decide to hire them until there is a final settlement.
They Can Discuss The Accident With You
You should remember that personal injury attorneys are there to protect your legal rights. They are usually in a better position to know and expect legal issues that can come and intervene on your behalf.
Therefore, if another person or entity injuries you, you can be eligible for compensation for your losses and injuries. Stokes Stemle, Personal Injury Attorneys can advise you about the right steps you have to take to get a settlement. And, if the insurance company for the at-fault party refuses to agree to a fair settlement, then a personal injury attorney can be willing to take your case before a jury or judge.
Your version of how the accident happened tends to be the road map your attorney follows to protect your legal rights. Therefore, when your personal injury lawyer decides to discuss your case with you, they can listen to get the information and facts that need extra clarification and follow-up. In most cases, an attorney can ask relevant questions about the accident situation, disabilities, pain, injuries, insurance, and many more.
For example, if you sustained injuries in a traffic collision at an intersection, then your lawyer will need to know about speed limits, lights, traffic signals, or traffic signs that are designed to control your access to the highway. On the other hand, if you sustained injuries due to a slip and fall accident, then the attorney may want to know the surface on which the accident happened. They may consider your shoes, the lighting, and any obstructions to the path. Simply put, they may want to know everything that might have contributed to or caused your fall.
For a lawyer to prepare for your settlement and trial, they need to investigate your case. A personal injury attorney can investigate the case which may involve getting expert witnesses. They also need to find all the evidence associated with your accident.
Some attorneys can do on-site as well as in-person investigations themselves. Others prefer hiring independent investigators to perform the work on their behalf. Remember that investigators usually search and interview witnesses, get scene videos and photos, collect employer and police reports, and take photos of the cars involved. They can also document adverse conditions at the accident scene.
However, if there are no pictures or videos, your attorney can decide to send someone to the accident scene to take pictures and videos of evidence that were left on the ground like vehicle parts, skid marks, and many others that may not be picked up. These activities provide evidence for your lawyer to review and assess as they determine fault.
Your attorney may also require additional documents to assist you to receive fair compensation. This includes your medical bills and medical records. Also, if you have an underlying condition that is causing your injuries to recover slowly like diabetes or even an immune system disease, then your lawyer can ask for records for your underlying illness to prove that recovery will not be normal for you or that the injuries you experienced exacerbated your underlying condition.
Another good thing is that your personal injury attorney can prepare interrogations which can be written questions to ask the other party. Your lawyer can also request to ask the at-fault party questions under oath.
Discuss Your Claims With At-fault Party’s Insurance Company
If you are involved in a traffic collision, then both your car insurance company and the insurance company of the other driver may want to speak with you. But if it’s an on-the-job injury or premises fall, a workers compensation insurance or a general liability may want information. Simply put, all insurance companies want recorded statements.
Your attorney can refuse the requests from the at-fault party’s insurance company. They may decide to do this to control the flow of information as it can harm your claim.
Because your car insurer and workers compensation insurance need cooperation, your lawyer can either coach you in advance on what not to say or to say or they can supervise your statement. Some conversations with your insurer can involve medical bill payments, car repair, basic liability discussions, and many more.
They Can Place Parties On Notice
Your attorney may not want the other parties to contact you, so they can tell all relevant parties that they are representing you. They can notify each entity or person that all future inquiries or contacts should go through their office. This allows your personal injury lawyer from Stokes Stemle, LLC to keep track of communications from insurance companies and insurance claim statuses. They can also keep track of medical treatment and bills, injury prognosis, and other crucial information concerning your case.
Therefore, if your lawyer makes their initial notice through email or phone, they tend to follow up by sending a letter of representation. They will send this formal letter of representation to the drivers of other cars that were involved in the traffic collision. They can also send it to the manufacturers of defective products, your employer if you were injured on the job, insurance companies, and anyone who may want to contact you about an accident.
After they do this, your personal injury attorney can request a copy of your car insurance policy from your insurer. When they receive this copy, they can check your insurance coverage and benefits. They can review liability, medical payments, and many more. They can also ask for benefits information from your health insurer.
Review Subrogation Provisions
Your personal injury attorney can also check applicable subrogation applications in your car and health insurance coverage. This can explain your duty to protect the subrogation rights and can include your insurers as a party to future lawsuits. Your attorney needs to know your insurer’s right to recover the settlements they pay. When they go for trial for damages or settle a claim, it means they also protect your insurer’s interest.
If there was a defective product that harmed you, the product can be crucial evidence. Therefore, if you still have it, then your lawyer can explain that you should keep it or surrender it to the law firm. Your lawyer can even send an investigator to pick it up for immediate testing or storage.
When your attorney receives this defective product, they can arrange for an industry expert to do non-destructive testing. Ideally, when you allege that your injury was because of this defective product, it’s a good idea to secure the item before its manufacturer or even their insurance company does. In most cases, defendants can sometimes do destructive testing and end up destroying a product. As a result, this can prevent a plaintiff from doing any tests to confirm a defect.
You need to have an attorney’s expert to determine the extent of any defects and see if the product may have contributed or caused your injuries. Remember that non-destructive tests can maintain the structure of a product. This allows the plaintiff to leave this product in good shape for the at-fault party and their insurers to test. When the expert tests the defective product, they can send a detailed report to your attorney to check their findings.
Analyzes Potential Legal Issues
When your personal injury attorney has collected enough evidence and information, they can do a detailed liability analysis. This means they can review case law, applicable statutes, common law, and many more. They use this information to establish if there is a valid reason to pursue a claim against the party at fault.
A simple car accident case can be a less time-consuming process. But if your injury involves rare circumstances, complex issues, or unusual legal theories, then it may need in-depth analysis.
That said, you may receive medical treatment, so your attorney needs to collect hospital records and medical bills. Before your treatment finishes, the attorney can review your medical bills and ask for those they have not received.
In case you have fully recovered from your injuries, your lawyer can ask for a detailed medical report from your doctor. This report tends to describe your injuries, treatment, diagnosis, and many more. It can say whether or not you are fit to return to work, activity levels, and permanent impairments.
Your personal injury attorney also needs to assess your damages, so they can contact your employer for any losses in income due to your injuries. And, the report from your physician needs to support this loss in income.
It’s worth noting that serious injuries can sometimes lead to a complex diagnosis. The treatment, prognosis, and many can also be complex. Therefore, your attorney can decide to hire a medical expert to help them confirm the diagnosis and determine future impairments and treatments.
If your injuries may involve significant future wage losses and medical treatment, then your lawyer can get an economist to estimate the values. Your lawyer can discuss your case with various medical experts by phone or in person. It’s important to do this so that they can get a narrative report, especially if the findings support your injuries, disabilities, and restrictions.
Files A Lawsuit
When your attorney decides to file a lawsuit, it can start a new phase in their representation. They can formalize their legal theories, damage information, and allegations. The parties involved tend to surrender some control to a judge who can push for a settlement. Once the case enters litigation, the insurance companies and all parties start accumulating legal expenses and fees.
An attorney usually does a lot of work during the investigation and discovery stage. When they start negotiating with the at-fault party’s insurance company, they are usually almost ready to go for trial. Therefore, they can file a lawsuit and ensure that the evidence is in place and ready for admission in the court. The attorney also makes sure that the defendant receives copies of the evidence they want to present at trial. Likewise, the defendant also has to provide the attorney with any evidence they want to present at trial.
If your attorney wants to have expert witnesses to describe specific aspects at trial, then the law firm can get these witnesses on your behalf. When everything is ready for trial, your attorney and the court can schedule a trial date.
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