Frequently Asked Questions for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on May 5, 2017 in Personal Injury
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another’s negligence, you may need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
A personal injury lawyer will provide you valuable legal guidance that will protect the validity of your claim against an insurance company, while possibly maximizing its value.
The following article may provide answers to many questions, such as when you will need a personal injury attorney, how much a lawyer costs and how a lawyer will represent your claim. If you have any further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact our accomplished Milwaukee-based personal injury law firm for help regarding your claim.
Do I Have a Case?
When determining if you have a valid case, our personal injury lawyers will have to determine who was at fault for your injuries. The at-fault party is the individual whose negligence caused the accident and your injuries.
In order to have a case, you will need to show that the at-fault party’s negligence directly caused your injury, which will require showing that:
- The at-fault party had an obligation of duty to act in a manner that would ensure your safety.
- The at-fault party breached this duty by acting in a negligent, careless or intentional way.
- The breach of duty directly caused your injury.
- You suffered monetary losses due to your injury.
If each of these elements are present in your claim, you may be able to pursue damages against the at-fault party. However, this can be difficult for the average person to prove. Our personal injury lawyers will investigate your claim to ensure that it is valid and that damages can be sought.
When Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Although an accident claim may seem simple in the beginning, it can become too complicated or difficult to handle on your own. This can be detrimental to your ability to get the compensation you deserve.
It is generally recommended that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney for help with your claim if:
- You encounter any complex or technical aspects of an insurance claim that you are unprepared to handle
- You suffered serious injuries that require extensive medical care
- The insurance company is attempting to blame you for the accident
- The insurance company refuses to offer a fair amount for your claim
- You believe the insurance company was wrong to deny your claim
As experienced lawyers, we have represented many people during the claims process and know how to handle an insurance company that is uncooperative or has made you an unreasonably low offer. We are experienced in gathering the evidence necessary to prove your claim.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Most people are eager to settle an insurance claim as quickly as possible and will accept the first offer an insurer presents them.
However, accepting the first offer could undervalue your claim’s true worth and may not fully compensate your losses.
A good lawyer will work on your claim to help ensure you are fully compensated for your losses. When you retain an attorney, you are protecting yourself from being taken advantage of by an insurance company.
Our lawyers have experience handling insurance companies and the attorneys that work for them. We are familiar with their tactics to reduce or deny your claim.
We will work to build a case on your behalf by collecting evidence, such as medical documents, financial statements or work records that show how you have been affected by the at-fault party’s negligence and improve your chances of recovering maximum compensation.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
The time you spend following a serious accident that resulted in your injury should be focused on recovering instead of matters like legal fees.
This is why we only work with our clients on a contingency fee basis. We will not charge you any initial fees when you retain our firm, and our services are always provided for no upfront costs.
This includes all work concerning legal, investigative and insurance-related matters we perform on your behalf, such as:
- Investigating your claim
- Handling discussions and negotiations with insurance companies
- Handling discussions and negotiations with the at-fault party’s attorneys
- Collecting evidence to support your claim
- Organizing any records or documents related to your injury
- Estimating an accurate value of your claim’s damages
Our main goal is to make the claims process as easy as possible, and we are prepared to handle all major issues with your best interests at the forefront of each decision we make.
The only time we will require payment is if we recover compensation for you.
What is My Case Worth?
Determining the value of your injury claim can be difficult. There are several aspects you need to take into account, such as medical bills, lost wages and personal expenses that you accumulated because of your injury.
You should only assess your claim’s worth after you have fully healed and completed all required medical treatments to ensure there are no future expenses to worry about.
A personal injury claim should include all monetary and nonmonetary damages you suffered which can be directly linked to your injury.
Monetary damages refers to any financial losses you have experienced during the time period following the accident until you have fully recovered. This can include costs for medical treatment, loss of income or property damage that occurred during the accident.
Nonmonetary damages includes any pain and suffering you have endured due to the at-fault party’s negligence. It is meant to place a cash value on the intangible losses you have experienced, such as extreme discomfort, any negative impact your injury has made on your personal life, or the loss of a loved one.
Our personal injury lawyers will take all of your losses and damages into account to determine an accurate value for your claim. We will then work tirelessly to help you get the amount you deserve.
How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Claim?
There is no definite time period for resolving a personal injury claim. The legal process can be complicated and slow moving.
If the insurance company is willing to cooperate and offer a reasonable amount for your claim, it may be possible to reach a settlement within a few months. However, settlements can also take several years if the insurance company is difficult to work with.
In some cases, we may have to file a lawsuit and take your case to court to obtain the compensation you deserve. The trial process can also take years to complete.
Although our attorneys are dedicated to working through this process as fast as possible, our efforts are also focused on ensuring it is done properly. Because of this, we will handle all of the details of your case for you so you can focus on your recovery.
How Do I Handle an Insurance Adjuster?
You will most likely be contacted by an adjuster shortly after you file your claim. You should know that you are never legally obligated to speak with an adjuster who represents the at-fault party’s insurer.
If an adjuster attempts to contact you, you should only provide him or her with basic information. This can include your name, contact information and a broad description of your injury.
If at any point an adjuster asks for you to make a statement, politely say that you are currently unable to provide this information.
We recommend speaking with an experienced attorney before providing any written or recorded statements. We can advise you of what to say so you do not hurt your claim. The insurer will use anything it can against you.
Should I Accept an Insurance Company’s Settlement Offer?
You should never accept an initial offer from an insurance company unless you have received all of the medical care you need and have recovered from your injuries.
If you are unsure if an offer covers the full extent of the damages you have suffered, you should speak with one of our attorneys.
When you are dealing with an insurance company, you should always remember that its main goal is to pay you as little as possible.
Our attorneys will work on your behalf to ensure your best interests are represented and that you are receiving the compensation you deserve.
How Do I Schedule a Consultation?
Our personal injury lawyers will discuss your claim with you during a free, no obligation consultation. You are not required to come into our office during the initial consultation, as we can perform it over the phone if you require.
During this initial meeting, we will review the details of your claim. If we accept your case, we will only charge you if we recover damages on your behalf.