The period after you have suffered an injury in an accident is one that is fraught with difficulty and stress. Your physical health is uncertain, and you might be facing financial problems. You may not be in any shape to deal with many of the details relating to the accident, especially the legal process. However, it is in your best interest to pursue financial compensation by contacting a Dallas personal injury lawyer to handle your case.
You can never take anything for granted during the personal injury process, nor can you trust insurance companies. Those who have made these mistakes may never know how much money they have sacrificed. The legal process aims to get as much reimbursement as possible for your injuries, and you need guidance from an experienced professional.
Your Lawyer Helps with All Parts of the Personal Injury Claims Process
There are two vital parts of every personal injury case:
- Proving that you are entitled to damages
- Securing adequate compensation for the damages that you have suffered
An experienced personal injury lawyer is critical to both of these functions.
Once the dust has settled from your accident, you begin thinking about the path forward. You may be dealing with physical injuries, and the costs are quickly increasing. While it is essential to focus on your health, you must also pay attention to other matters.
The first thing to understand is the legal process you need to follow to obtain financial compensation in your case, which is more complex than filing a personal injury claim and getting a settlement check. A personal injury lawyer will explain everything to you beforehand so you know what may transpire.
You Must Prove Negligence to Get a Financial Recovery for Your Case
One of the immediate concerns after your accident is to be in a position where you can prove that someone else was at fault for what happened. The prerequisite for financial compensation is that you show that someone else was negligent. In the personal injury context, negligence means that you can demonstrate each of the following four elements:
- Someone else owed you a duty of care
- They breached the duty of care by doing something unreasonable under the circumstances
- You suffered an injury
- You would not have suffered an injury had it not been for the acts of the other party
You need more than just your word for the insurance company to offer you a settlement or for the jury to rule in your favor. Your case needs evidence that can prove what happened.
Your Lawyer Gets to Work to Investigate Your Personal Injury Case
It is difficult for you to investigate your accident injuries alone. The system is unfamiliar, and it is challenging to understand how to communicate with insurance companies. Your physical injuries can also prevent you from taking action. If your family member suffered an injury, you are certainly not in a position to build the legal case.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you, they will work to locate the proof you need for your case. Whether finding and speaking to witnesses or working with accident reconstruction experts, your attorney can use what is available to them and gather all available evidence.
You Should Not Delay Hiring a Lawyer
Not only do you need to hire a lawyer, but you also need to do it quickly because you have a minimal window to assemble your case before the evidence disappears. Once you lose the evidence, it becomes challenging to prove your claim, and you may not even find a lawyer willing to work with you. They want to avoid taking on cases with a low chance of winning.
You have the burden of proof to demonstrate that your claim is the correct version of the facts. If you do not meet your burden of proof, you will come away empty-handed when the insurance company denies your claim or the jury does not rule in your favor. The standard of proof in a civil case is lower than what the prosecutor must meet in a criminal case, and you need to demonstrate your claims by a preponderance of the evidence.
Evidence that Can Help You in a Personal Injury Case
There are several helpful sources of evidence in a personal injury case. Often, the most persuasive proof will be testimony from an objective third party who saw what happened. They do not have any financial interest in your case, so their testimony has more credibility.
Other sources of evidence in a personal injury case include:
- Internal records and communications from the defendant that may show actions they did or did not take (that you may get through the discovery process)
- Testimony from an expert witness who can reconstruct the accident and give their opinion about what happened
- Pictures from the scene of the accident (and perhaps images of the scene before the accident)
- Video or security camera footage
The Insurance Company May Be Plotting Against You Right After the Accident
At the same time, the responsible party's insurance company may already be in overdrive to protect itself. If you do not have a lawyer, it may use the opportunity to pounce because an unrepresented claimant is an easy target to take advantage of. There are numerous tactics insurance companies can use, including pressuring you into speaking about the accident or tricking you into taking a rushed and low settlement. They do not care about your interests; they only care about their bottom line, and you are a threat to them.
A personal injury lawyer can provide you with protection. Insurance companies must go through your lawyer to deal with you and will not try as much when you have representation. If they try to contact you, all you need to say is that they should talk to your attorney.
A Lawyer Determines Who You Can Sue
Your lawyer will handle one of the first steps of the claims and litigation process by determining who you can sue in your case. Multiple parties may be to blame for the accident, and you can sue each of them and cast as wide of a net as possible. In addition, you must also make sure that you file a lawsuit against the correct legal entity, as there may be a complicated web of LLCs that your lawyer needs to untangle.
A Lawyer Is Crucial When You Are Fighting for Compensation
Financial compensation will be the next battleground if you can prove liability (and your lawyer can certainly be instrumental in that task). Sometimes, liability may be more readily apparent (like in a rear-end car accident), but you still need a lawyer because there are more than just a few dollars at stake here. Further, there is no such thing as a rounding error in any settlement negotiation. Every dollar matters; a lawyer can ensure you get everything you deserve.
Insurance companies start a negotiation with an inherent advantage over you. It takes them little effort to know the value of your claim because all they need to do is run it through their system. They know how much each part of your claim is worth in every aspect of the country.
You need essential information to be in a better position to negotiate any settlement. Insurance companies are never going to share information that can benefit you, nor are they under any obligation to do so. They will use anything they can to their advantage in a settlement negotiation.
A Personal Injury Attorney Helps You Learn the Value of Your Claim
When you hire a lawyer, you will know how much you should get in a settlement. Your attorney will work with the relevant experts to determine what amount you should seek in negotiations, which will be what you will work towards. Any settlement agreement is the product of extensive negotiation between you and the insurance company, and you will not get a fair offer at first. Insurance companies have to believe there is a credible threat of litigation to take steps toward adequate compensation.
A Lawyer Reviews All Settlement Offers and Gives You Legal Advice
Once the insurance company makes you a settlement offer, your lawyer will assess it to see what they are offering in various areas. Your lawyer will advise you to reject and counter the initial settlement offer. Over time, the gap between the two positions may narrow to where you are closing in on a settlement agreement.
When you reach an agreement, you still need to take steps before you can get your money, and you should be very careful about the terms of the deal you have signed. The settlement agreement is a contract between you and the insurance company, and you need an attorney to review the contract's language before you sign it.
Insurance Companies Are Afraid that You May Litigate Your Case
The threat that your attorney may litigate the case keeps the insurance company in line. Your lawyer works on a contingency basis, but this is not true for insurance companies. They are paying their lawyers, either on an hourly or flat-fee basis and a trial will cost them money. Insurance companies also fear facing the jury because they can end up on the wrong end of a large verdict. Without an attorney, insurance companies know that there is little that you can do to take them to court. Then, they will push their luck as far as possible, and you will end up with much less money than you deserve.
You Do Not Need to Spend Money Out of Pocket to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
The contingency law system makes it easier to afford an attorney, so money should not be a concern. You need to sign a representation agreement with an attorney that promises to pay them from the proceeds of your case. If you do not receive any money, your lawyer does not either. Handling your case alone will not save you anything and will only help the insurance company take advantage of you.
What to Expect from a Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney
An attorney can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the legal process, but what can you expect from a consultation with a personal injury attorney?
During your initial consultation, the attorney will take the time to listen to your story and understand the details of your case. They will ask you questions to gather all the necessary information, such as the circumstances surrounding the accident, the extent of your injuries, and any medical treatment you have received. This thorough evaluation will allow the attorney to assess the strength of your case and determine the potential compensation you may be entitled to.
Once the attorney has gathered all the necessary information, they will provide you with an honest assessment of your case. They will explain the legal process, including the steps involved, the timeline, and the potential challenges you may face. They will also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case, giving you a realistic expectation of the outcome. The attorney will also discuss the fee structure and payment options.
In addition to providing legal advice, a personal injury attorney will offer guidance on how to navigate through the complex legal system. They will explain your rights and the laws that apply to your case, empowering you to make informed decisions. They will also handle all the necessary paperwork and communication with insurance companies, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Overall, a consultation with a personal injury attorney gives you the opportunity to discuss your case, gain valuable insights, and understand your legal options. It provides a platform to ask questions, address concerns, and receive expert advice. By choosing to work with an attorney, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have a knowledgeable advocate fighting for your rights and maximizing your compensation.
If you have suffered injuries due to someone else's negligence, consult a personal injury attorney immediately. During the consultation, you can expect to have an open and candid discussion about your case, receive advice on the legal process, and gain a clear understanding of your rights and potential compensation.
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