How do you know what makes a good injury lawyer?
A good injury lawyer is someone who has your back no matter what. It is someone who wants to help you get the most out of your personal injury claim. A lawyer works hard, so you do not suffer fallout from your accident and injuries alone.
This blog explains what to look for if you want a good personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim.
Why Do You Need a Good Personal Injury Lawyer?
There are many reasons that you may need a personal injury lawyer. In general, personal injury lawyers help people who have suffered an injury due to an accident.
For example, the most common types of personal injury claims include:
- Motor vehicle, motorcycle, pedestrian, or bicycle accidents.
- Medical malpractice mistakes.
- Wrongful death claims.
- Slip and fall incidents.
In each of these situations, someone else acted negligently and injured you. Because they were at fault, you should not have to pay for the damages you suffered. That is where a personal injury lawyer comes in.
It can be hard to get a reasonable settlement, especially if you are fighting alone. Insurance companies make money by taking in more money through the premiums their customers pay than they spend on settling claims. That means that every insurance company will offer you as little as possible in a settlement amount so they can make a profit.
However, if you have a lawyer on your side, you can see when an insurance company is out to get you. It will be much easier to determine how much of a settlement you really need and how much you can get. It will also be easier to fight for what you deserve and take that settlement amount home if you have a lawyer who can take care of it.
What Does a Good Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A personal injury lawyer will sit with you to consider all you lost due to the accident. This can include the losses to your physical health after suffering severe injuries and losses to your mental health, relational health, financial health, etc. Your lawyer will help you consider and calculate everything you have lost and set an amount of compensation you can reasonably expect to recover from the at-fault party.
Once they have helped you determine an amount of compensation to seek, they will help you fight for it. They will gather evidence from medical professionals, the police, witnesses of the accident, and your records and documents. They will use this evidence to create and file a complaint that will notify the defendant that they need to compensate you for the suffering they caused.
A personal injury lawyer will also support you as you seek to recover after your accident. There is no question that recovery is challenging. Your lawyer can take the added stress of legal action off your shoulders.
By working on a contingency basis, your lawyers will not take a penny out of your pocket unless they win your case. They will also negotiate with the insurance company of the at-fault party to ensure that you do not get stuck with the first lousy lowball offer the company sends. If you get stuck with such an offer, you will likely be unable to pay for all the losses you suffered.
With a lawyer’s help, you can pursue the just settlement you deserve without hassle. Your lawyer will fight for you and will help you do the hard work of gathering evidence and figuring out the legalities. All you will have to do is focus on recovery and share any relevant evidence and documentation with your lawyer to keep the case moving forward.
Filing a Personal Injury Complaint
In most states, including California, you can file a complaint in court against someone who caused you a personal injury. This form will require you to provide basic information to start an official complaint.
For example, you will need to provide:
- Your lawyer’s name, address, state bar number, telephone number, email, and fax number.
- Your name.
- Address of the court in the county where you are filing the complaint.
- The names of the plaintiff and defendant.
- Type of complaint.
- Information about the plaintiffs and defendants and their legal statuses.
- The reason you know you are filing with the correct court.
- Cause of the complaint.
- List of plaintiff’s sufferings.
- Explanation of the damages you are seeking.
- Information about the relief you are seeking from the court.
Once you fill in that information and file it with the court, you can get a personal injury complaint going. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side can help you figure out the legal information you need to provide and get started on the legal process. This is especially true if you are unsure where the court is and how to connect with the right one.
What Evidence Do Personal Injury Lawyers Need?
A good injury lawyer will work hard and long to gather all the evidence you need to help make your claim successful.
The usual pieces of evidence they might look for include:
- Medical bills and records.
- A police report if one exists.
- Eyewitness statements from those who saw the accident occur.
- Documentation of lost income and future lost wages.
- Photos or video footage from the accident scene.
- A personal journal from you detailing your personal, physical, emotional, and financial losses.
- Receipts for repairing or replacing damaged property (such as your car or phone).
- Statements from your family and friends backing up your claims of loss.
- Testimony from medical experts who can help determine how your injuries will affect your quality of life in the future.
Your lawyers will gather evidence to help you get your claim moving forward. Provide all documentation they ask for and keep records of everything you can so that your lawyers can build a strong case that will stand up in court, if necessary.
How To Know If Your Injury Qualifies for a Personal Injury Claim
There are just four main factors that you have to prove to file an injury claim and seek compensation.
- Prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, if you were in a car accident, the other driver owed you the duty of care that any person on the road should expect. If you sustained injuries on someone’s property, that person owed you a duty of care to warn you of danger and protect you.
- Prove that the defendant breached their duty of care. You have to show that they acted with negligence or with actual intent to harm.
- Prove that the defendant’s breach of duty caused the accident. These two circumstances must be directly related for you to file a successful claim.
- Prove that the accident led to injuries and losses. You cannot claim an injury or loss that you already had or that resulted from another circumstance around the same time as the accident.
If you can prove these four things without much trouble, you have a stronger personal injury case that should get you a reasonable settlement. However, you must speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to help ensure that you get started with your claim quickly. In most situations, you only have two years to file a claim.
What to Look for in a Good Injury Lawyer
When you have been in an accident, it can be incredibly confusing to start the search for a good injury lawyer. Not only has this accident been a devastating event, but it is not something you made any provisions for in the past because you never thought it would happen to you. How do you know what lawyer to go to for help?
If you find these three qualities, you have likely found someone who can get the job done for you promptly and efficiently:
You want a lawyer who has handled cases like yours before. You do not want to jump into a complicated case with a new lawyer as you will put all your money and future in their hands. You need someone who knows what they are doing and has previously handled insurance companies and defendants.
This may seem obvious, but you want to ensure you find a lawyer with expertise in your specific type of claim. For example, you do not want a personal injury lawyer who only works with car accident victims helping you with a medical malpractice claim. Choose a lawyer with expertise in your specific area of injury and accident so you can be sure they know all the legalities and the ins and outs you must deal with.
Going through a personal injury accident is extremely trying. If you have been injured and have to deal with other financial, personal, and relational consequences after your accident, you need to know that you are not alone. A good injury lawyer will act with empathy when helping you figure out what steps will help you get your life back on track. A good injury lawyer will listen and understand what you are going through.
If you are going through the aftermath of a personal injury accident, do not go through it alone. Find someone who can support you through the legal process. Seek out an experienced attorney who can take your case in hand and get you the settlement that you deserve. Do not hesitate to reach out if you need more help finding the best lawyer for your case.