An accident can alter your life. Out of the blue, you have to handle medical bills and severe pains. You may require additional support to do the things you could do for yourself before, and you may be unable to work because of your injury. It can be overwhelming. Or the accident could have been mild, and the insurance company has stepped in and are offering you what seems to be fair compensation.
It can be tempting to think you can handle it on your own without a personal injury lawyer. But in order to get real peace and compensation for your suffering, you need a personal injury lawyer on your side, fighting on your behalf.
10 Reasons You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Insurance Companies Do Not Have Your Best Interest at Heart
Insurance companies are businesses. They don't care about fairness — they care about making money. It's in their best interest to find reasons to pay you as little as possible.
A personal insurance lawyer understands this. They know all the tactics insurance companies may use to deny you the compensation you deserve, because they've been dealing with them for years. They will help you navigate this challenging period of your life, and they'll work on getting your settlement while you recover in peace.
You Need To Consider Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have to file a claim or lawsuit against the defendant. If you don't file your claim with a state's statute of limitations, you won't be allowed a second chance.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims differs state to state. For example, in Texas, you have two years, but in Louisiana, you have just one year to file a personal injury lawsuit or claim. You may be unable to claim the compensation you rightly deserve because you took too long to file. If you retain a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, they'll file your claim on-time.
Personal Injury Cases Can Be Difficult To Prove
Proving personal injury cases requires a degree of expertise that you do not have. Most personal injury cases rest on the principle of negligence — somebody was supposed to do something, failed to do so, and harmed you in the process.
Proving negligence requires you to establish four elements:
- Duty of care: You must establish that, given the relationship between you and the defendant, they had a duty to exercise reasonable care.
- Breach of duty: You must show that the defendant failed to exercise the care that a “reasonably prudent person” would have in similar circumstances. This can be difficult to prove. You may have to rely on expert witnesses, eyewitness accounts, video footage, etc. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident, proving breach of duty requires that you show how the defendant caused the accident.
- Causation: You must show that the defendant’s breach of duty defendant was the actual or proximate cause of your injuries.
- Damages: You must prove that you suffered the legally recognized injuries, whether they're physical injuries, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, or property damage.
Your Injuries May Be More Severe Than You Think
When insurance companies know that they can’t escape paying compensation, they are eager to offer you a settlement. Receiving a settlement offer may seem like a good thing. The amount might even be big enough to settle your medical bills and repair any damaged property.
However, before the insurance company will pay you the settlement, you’ll sign a release that prevents you from claiming more compensation or pursuing any legal action against them. For instance, if the cost of your car repair bill is $5,000 and the settlement offer is $10,000, it appears that you’re making a $5,000 profit. However, some injuries you sustain don't show up immediately. It may take weeks, months, or years before you feel their effects. If you sign that settlement, and find out down the road that you actually suffered long-term injuries that will cost you $20,000 in medical bills, you won’t be able to recover those damages because you signed a release.
Personal injury lawyers understand this, and they also understand that you are entitled to more than just the cost of your medical bills. You can recover compensation for:
- Cost of future medical bills, including rehabilitation
- Lost income or earnings
- Future lost earning
- Cost of altering your home to accommodate any disability
- Pain, suffering, and mental trauma
A personal injury lawyer will give you the best advice, based on years of experience, as you decide whether or not to accept the settlement offer.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Will Help You Get Compensation Faster
After you're in an accident, your immediate focus is on recovery, and the insurance claim process is long, tedious, and exhausting. You may have to get a police report, medical report, or track down eyewitnesses. A personal injury lawyer can immediately start pursuing your compensation so that you get your life back.
Often, claimants miss steps in the insurance claim process or fail to provide enough evidence to support their claim, which leads to lots of back and forth. Getting a personal injury attorney will help you to avoid making common filing mistakes that can delay your settlement.
You Don’t Have To Pay Any Upfront Fee
Many people don't get the legal help they need because they're afraid of the cost of legal bills. You don’t have to worry about this. The best personal injury law firms work on a contingency basis, which means you won’t pay them any fee unless they recover compensation for you. Usually, they’ll take a percentage of the settlement.
Most personal injury lawyers will work tirelessly to get the maximum compensation for you. It’s literally in their best interest.
They Are Experienced Professionals
Insurance adjusters will usually discourage you from getting a personal injury lawyer, and there're reasons they do that. Getting a personal injury lawyer on your side lets you benefit from their years of experience. An experienced personal injury lawyer has worked on cases like yours in the past, and they've learned plenty from their successes and their defeats. They understand the legal system, the insurance companies, and the rules.
Just as importantly, the insurance companies have handled lots of cases like yours, and they have their own lawyers. Trying to take on insurance companies alone is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. A personal injury lawyer evens the odds and gives you a better chance of getting the compensation you deserve. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we routinely go up against big insurance companies — and win.
They Can Help You Get a Larger Settlement
A report by Nolo reveals that people who retain a personal injury lawyer have a 91 percent chance of receiving a settlement, compared to 51 percent of people who did not. By hiring a personal injury lawyer, you may get a settlement that's three times larger than the settlement you otherwise would have gotten.
It makes sense. Insurance companies know what to say to pressure you into accepting their offer. A personal injury lawyer isn't likely to accept the first offer an insurance company makes. They'll push for the maximum amount. If the insurance company won't cooperate, they can file a lawsuit, which makes insurance companies willing to increase their settlement to avoid a costly case. At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we prepare every case for trial, even though only 5% of them get that far.
They Have the Resources To Pursue Your Claim
Filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit requires resources that may be out of your reach, but not out of the reach of a personal injury lawyer. Building a personal injury claim or filing a personal injury lawsuit requires money. You may need to pay court filing fees, private investigators, expert witnesses, and other expenses.
You may also require the help of other skilled professionals to win your case. Personal injury lawyers have built solid relationships with other personal injury lawyers, investigators, and expert witnesses they can rely on to win your case.
They Can Go On Trial
Although the majority of personal injury cases never make it to trial, you need to be ready to go to court if it's important. A personal injury lawyer can represent you in court if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. You can represent yourself in court, but personal injury law is complex, and you'll quickly find out how little you know about it. The insurance companies, of course, have their lawyers who know the ins-and-outs of injury law. In order to stand a chance, you need a lawyer on your side.
If you or a loved one have been injured because of the negligence of others, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Morriss & Dewett Injury Lawyers have successfully represented our clients in Louisiana and Texas in accident cases, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and many other cases. Contact us today to see if you have a case.