You can represent yourself in a personal injury claim, and many people successfully settle their cases in this way. However, there are many reasons why this might not be the best idea. It is often difficult to navigate this process while recovering from injuries or returning to work. It is stressful and time-consuming, even under the best of circumstances.
Working with a personal injury lawyer could sometimes be necessary to recover any money. Insurance companies often push back against claims and look for ways to significantly reduce or deny them. Working with an attorney protects your rights and helps you fight for the payout you deserve.
Understanding How a Personal Injury Claim Works
Personal injury claims are essentially a demand for fair compensation based on the injuries, expenses, and losses suffered because of someone else’s negligence. When someone causes an incident and injuries, they are generally legally responsible for the costs incurred by the victim.
The at-fault party’s liability insurance provider—often their auto or homeowner’s insurance carrier—should pay to cover the expense. However, the insurance adjuster may not just take the victim’s word for it when it comes to what happened and how much they lost. Instead, they must document the details.
This requires gathering evidence to build a compelling case to show the insurance company:
- What happened
- The injuries and damages suffered
- Who is responsible
Knowing how to handle this investigation, filing the claim, and negotiating with the insurance adjuster are all tasks that take some knowledge and experience to manage properly. While it is possible for victims to deal with their own claims, many decide it is easier and more effective to let an attorney do it for them.
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Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer to Manage Your Insurance Claim
When a personal injury lawyer manages an insurance claim, their experience and knowledge of the process and similar cases provide immediate benefits. A lawyer can help you:
- Protect your rights and seek fair compensation
- Manage all communication about the case
- Investigate what happened and gather evidence
- Organize the evidence into a compelling case
- Calculate a fair settlement range based on documented damages
- Demand just compensation
- File your claim and negotiate with the insurance adjuster
- Determine if and when a personal injury lawsuit might be necessary
- Represent your best interests throughout the process
You should also know that personal injury firms generally work on a contingency-fee basis. You will not pay a retainer or hourly fee for representation. Instead, they charge a percentage of the money they recover in the case. You should not need any money upfront to hire a lawyer to handle your injury case.
What About Filing a Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Party?
Under some circumstances, it might be necessary to sue the at-fault party in your personal injury case. You may want to work with a lawyer to decide and manage this. There are several reasons to opt for a lawsuit. They could include:
- The insurance company denies your claim
- The insurer will not provide a fair payout offer
- There are disputes about the facts of the case
- The deadline to sue is approaching
- Your attorney believes pursuing both a lawsuit and claim simultaneously could benefit your case
- There is another reason based on the case facts
One reason victims pursue a lawsuit is because time is running out. Each state has a statute of limitations that determines how long you can wait to get started. In some states, you’ll only have one year to file a lawsuit, while other states give you a few years to file.
An attorney can determine the timeline that applies to your case and if there are any exceptions.
Why Is Recovering Fair Compensation So Important?
Getting justice after a personal injury incident involves negotiating a settlement or winning compensation. Even when a case supports criminal charges, these cases do nothing to reimburse the victim for the expenses and losses they suffered.
Personal injuries, especially when severe or catastrophic, can quickly cause financial stress on the entire family. This is in addition to the emotional pain and grief experienced because of serious injuries.
The money recovered in a personal injury case compensates the victim for the economic and non-economic damages incurred because of the incident. While this varies from case to case, it often includes:
- Medical treatment and related care to date
- Future care and support needs
- Current and future income losses
- Diminished earning capacity for lasting injuries
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages when the victim dies from their injuries
Recovering compensation after a personal injury incident ensures the victim is not left shouldering the financial burden of ongoing care and future medical needs despite doing nothing to cause their injuries. The party whose carelessness or recklessness caused the incident should be legally responsible, which is the goal of these claims and lawsuits.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Personal Injury Claim for Free
The Morris Bart law firm has 15 offices serving Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. If you have questions or concerns about your injury case, we are here to help. You can discuss your options with a lawyer today. There is no obligation to hire our firm to handle your case.
Contact the Morris Bart law firm for your free initial consultation. We provide these complimentary case assessments for victims hurt by someone else’s negligence.
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