If you are involved in an automobile accident, hit by an 18-wheeler or get hurt in another type of accident on you could have a claim against the negligent party. If so, talk to a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer soon. In the wake of a traumatic accident, trying to go it alone could be the worst possible decision you make and could cost you thousands of dollars in lost benefits.
The Insurance Company is Not on Your Side
Insurance company representatives, even from your own insurance company and as friendly as they may seem, represent their company, not you, and do not have your best interests at heart.
The goal is to pay you little and potentially nothing. Adjusters are trained to say things that make you think that an offer will be fair and reasonable, even generous and that you are lucky to be getting anything. Do not take the offer from the insurance company. One of the “tricks” adjusters use is to tell the injured that they “accept liability” and imply that the victim needs no lawyer, they will pay. It is only after the adjuster actually talks money that the light bulb comes on and people understand they need an attorney.
Instead, contact a personal injury lawyer whose objective is to work with you to maximize your claim.
Increase the Money You Net
Hiring a personal injury lawyer could cause your receiving substantially more than the amount the insurance company offers. And a lawyer will realize that their offer may be much too low. Studies have shown those represented by counsel fare much better in personal injury settlements. This is even true after attorney’s fees are deducted.
Health Insurance Payback
One avenue that most personal injury victims do not consider is that of the rights of their health insurance company to get paid back for medical expenses they paid if you collect money from another insurance company in a personal injury settlement. Having an attorney handle the negotiations with the health insurance company or hospital generally results in substantial reductions in the amount that must be paid back. This helps the victims net bottom-line recovery. Sometimes, the person handling their own settlement does not know about or does not tend to the paybacks only to discover after the settlement that the majority of the money they thought they would keep actually went to their health insurance company or the hospital.
Damages to Consider
There are many categories in which the injured in an accident due to the negligence of another can seek compensation, here are a few:
You may have hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses and ongoing physical therapy, and your personal injury lawyer can help identify and account for all medical-related expenses and put a specific dollar amount on health care expenses under Texas rules.
Lost Wages or Reduced Earning Capacity
An injured person may not return to their job, occupation, or profession and have to settle for a lesser job and a lesser wage. Some may not return to work and the best personal injury attorney can calculate the future value of your lost income and put a specific dollar value in today’s dollars to keep you from holding the bag.
Pain and Suffering
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to present the evidence and place a dollar amount on the pain and suffering you are experiencing and will experience. Valuation is done by years of experience in handling similar cases.
Disfigurement and Physical Impairment
Disfigurement and physical impairment or separate damages that apply when a person has been scored or otherwise disfigured or has physical limitations because of the accident.
Occasionally the negligence of another can be so egregious that a jury will award punitive damages besides actual damages to not only punish the person or company at fault but also to deter future conduct in your community. It is unlikely anyone can collect exemplary damages without a top notch lawyer.
Selecting the Best Personal Injury Attorney
it is important for accident victims to do their homework about the attorneys they are considering prior to signing any agreements with the lawyer. Frequently, the victim hires an attorney recommended by friends only to discover that the attorney is not all that they had hoped, is not giving their case the attention, it deserves or may not be qualified to handle their case.
There is no substitute for experience in personal injury litigation. The experience should be in the same case you have. You do not want your attorney learning on the job on your case. If you needed an orthopedic surgeon, you would not go to an ear nose and throat doctor for treatment. The same applies to personal injury lawyers. That they are handling personal injury claims does not always make them the lawyer for your specific type of injury case. Find the lawyer that handles your type of case and get the best one you can.
Be Wary of the “Handoff”
The handoff occurs when a client interviews a law firm and talks with a senior partner when signing up with the law firm, only to discover later that a young and inexperienced associate actually handled the case.
It is the lawyer actually taking the depositions and doing the work that matters. Not the attorney occasionally looking over the shoulder of the inexperienced.
The general rule is the more extensive the injury the more you require the best attorney to handle your case.
Talk with a Lawyer Early After the Accident
Those who try to handle a serious personal injury case on their own usually hire an attorney in the end and also frequently damage to their case before they hire the lawyer. Such things as stating the insurance company, failing to preserve critical evidence or do the investigation necessary can all cost you in the end.
A good personal injury lawyer can maximize the settlement money a person can receive. It may be in a person’s best interest to reject an insurance company’s quick settlement and instead, talk to a personal injury lawyer.
The sooner you talk with a lawyer the better.
Call us for a no obligation consultation