What does a personal injury lawyer do for people?
Attorneys usually show up on the worst day of your life. If you are in an accident, you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer to help you to recover financial compensation, if the accident was caused by another person’s negligence. These funds are often sorely needed to pay for medical care, lost wages, future damages and to generally provide a complete compensation for your injuries.
A personal injury attorney is an important part of the claim or lawsuit process. Common functions of a personal injury attorney are:
- He explains your rights under the laws of your state. He will explain how the accident and various legal issues will affect your rights. For example, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim can range from one to four years or more, depending upon the jurisdiction.
- Provides legal advice. A personal injury attorney can review your case at no charge to determine if there is a case. He also will give you advice to give you the best chance of a financial recovery. For example, lawyers usually advise their clients to not allow the other driver’s insurance company to record a statement from you. The statement will usually just be used against you to deny liability. Your attorney also may advise you to seek immediate medical care after the accident.
- Represents you in court. Most personal injury cases settle out of court, but if worse comes to worst, your attorney will represent your rights in court. Litigation is complicated in personal injury, and it takes a good personal injury attorney navigate the complexities in front of a judge.
- Does a professional investigation of the case. Most personal injury attorneys have investigators they hire to review the accident scene, interview crash witnesses and develop legal theories about how and why the accident happened, and who is to blame.
- Talks to healthcare providers. Your personal injury attorney probably has a professional working relationship with a doctor who may agree to offer you medical services today, in lieu of a future judgement or settlement.
- Works through many complex legal processes. Your attorney can provide vital assistance in many forums. For instance, he may assist you with informal negotiations with the other person’s auto insurance company before the case is filed. Or, he may litigate the case in front of a judge if you cannot agree to a settlement. Arbitration also may be required before the case goes to trial, and your attorney can assist you with this.
- Tells you if you need a lawyer. Most attorneys offer a free consultation to review your case evidence. If you do not need an attorney, or if hiring one will not be worth the cost, he will tell you. He will not get paid unless he obtains a settlement or verdict in your favor, so it is in his interest to tell you up front if there is a case or not.
In summary, most accident victims who were hurt by the negligence of another person or entity should at least consult a personal injury attorney.