Do I Really Need a Personal Injury Lawyer After an Auto Accident?
Over 18,000 people are hurt and more than 400 individuals are killed in car crashes all across Kansas every year. Nearly 90% of these collisions involve driver related factors.
Inattention is implicated in more than 14,000 crashes while speeding is responsible for 1/5th of all fatalities. In fact, seldom can weather and road conditions be blamed for these collisions as most collisions occur in clear weather, broad daylight and on even surfaces.
These figures seem to point at one fact- Lapses on the part of motorists are the key culprits in motor vehicle collisions. Yet, when it comes to proving liability, injured parties have an uphill task on their hands.
So, if you or someone you know is injured in a car crash, you are bound to wonder if you should enlist the help of an attorney. Continue reading to get a clear idea of how best to handle your car wreck claim…
Can you handle a personal injury claim on your own?
In theory, yes. In reality, no way! Think of it this way, you can’t very well fly an airplane just because you have read a lot about flying.
Handling a personal injury claim is no different! It calls for the application of a very specific skill set, not to mention a lot of experience with similar cases and a thorough understanding of the laws that govern:
- The documentation required to go through the case.
- The manner in which evidence is presented.
- The amount of compensation that you can demand and receive.
Then, there is the part about lining up the right resources such as expert testimony, medical literature etc. Once these resources are assimilated, they have to be put to use at the right time and in the right way.
Now, while you may lack the above when you go to court, rest assured the other side will bring all of the above in truck loads. In other words, you will, without a doubt, be at a distinct disadvantage.
But when you bring in an experienced attorney, like the lawyers from DeVaughn James, you level the playing field. Also, you send a clear message that the other side cannot use intimidation/coercion to push you into a corner.
The real game changer of a personal injury claim- An experienced attorney fighting for you!
As a person who is grappling with the physical discomfort of the injuries, the financial burden of medical expenses and a future in peril, you will not have the mental and physical fortitude required to handle the insurance adjusters and lawyers on your own.
In fact, injured parties are often so mentally distraught that they are unable to look beyond the immediate. But you need to understand that a settlement, once accepted, is final. There is no going back on it.
Yet, the need for reprieve is so urgent that most victims gladly accept what little is thrown their way, although they have the legal right to demand fair compensation. However, your own emotions and those of your loved ones are bound to influence your decision and your ability to persist in a battle against the insurance companies.
And this is just the starting point of trail that gets murkier and harder by the second. But this is how an experienced attorney can turn things around:
1. Study your case both objectively and subjectively: For starters, an attorney will analyze your case, without letting emotions cloud his/her understanding and decision, something that victims cannot be expected to do given the sheer stress and pain they are going through right after the wreck.
2. Start by calculating the actual value of your claim: The biggest mistake that crash victims make is to only think in terms of current damages. Unfortunately, car wreck injuries often come to haunt you months or even years after the actual incident. An experienced lawyer will know when a more thorough medical analysis is required to understand the long-standing ramifications of present-day injuries even if you seem to be firmly headed towards recovery.
3. Identify all the parties who have played a role in the collision: A traumatic incident has the ability to greatly influence your memory. So, it’s no wonder that most crash victims are transfixed on the other motorist when it comes to pinning the blame for the collision. On the other hand, a lawyer will minutely scrutinize all factors that led to the collision in an attempt to draw up a list of all responsible parties, and not just the other motorist.
4. Chalk out a legal strategy to get you the maximum compensation: Here is the unspoken truth about Tort claims- Nobody actually wants to go to court, neither the insurance companies nor the plaintiffs. That elephant is always in the room, as it should be.
And this creates the need for a well-planned strategy that will outline when and how much to negotiate and when to conclude that now a court battle is the only way ahead. An experienced lawyer will chalk out a plan of action that is best suited for your specific scenario; not to mention one that will get you the maximum compensation.
5. Gather evidence and prevent the defendants from destroying vital evidence: Because attorneys who specialize in personal injury cases are well aware of what evidence is required, where to find it and who to approach to get it, they will start collecting this vital data almost immediately after you approach them.
An attorney knows that there is the very real risk of the other side conveniently destroying evidence that can stand in your favor. So, the lawyer will send out a spoliation letter and effectively stop them from tampering with vital evidence. And if they persist nonetheless, that would be a glaring example of their less than honest intentions.
6. Prepare the paperwork to a gold standard: When it comes to litigation, paperwork can make or break the case. Even seemingly minor errors can create loopholes that will be exploited by the other side.
An expert attorney will not only prepare the paperwork to a gold standard but will also make sure that the documentation is such that it clearly outlines the hardships that you are facing today and are likely to face in the future due to the fault of the other party.
7. Communicate with the insurance company on your behalf: The most harrowing aspect of the post-collision phase, aside from actual recovery, is your communication with the representatives of the insurance company.
You may have heard of sweet talking, very friendly insurance adjusters who were only too happy to use everything said to them in good faith against the victim. However, as soon as an attorney comes on board, the first thing he/she will tell you to do is to stop taking calls from the opposing team. And, even the most unscrupulous adjusters know that they cannot employ their dirty tricks when you have a lawyer handling your case.
8. Negotiate fairly and fearlessly on your behalf: It is very normal for insurance companies to use fear to push victims into accepting a lowball settlement. Insurance adjusters are well aware of the fact that crash victims don’t actually know the law or even their own rights when it comes to seeking compensation. And they wield your ignorance against you by using it to scare you. They know they cannot intimidate a professional who knows exactly how things stand in the real world of collision claim cases.
9. Handle the intricacies of filing a lawsuit: Filing a lawsuit is a complex process that involves multiple steps before you actually get to the point where you are allowed to narrate your ordeal. Any mistakes, no matter how innocuous they seem, will impact the compensation amount and your chances of winning the case.
10. Argue your case in court: Sure, nobody can tell your tale better than you. An experienced attorney will present your story in such a manner that it resonates with the judge/jury. And unless you can get the decision makers to empathize with you, the outcome won’t be in your favor. So, think of an attorney as an expert film maker who knows exactly how to keep the audiences glued to your story.
11. Push for maximum settlement: Collision injury settlements have multiple components that cover actual monetary damages, anticipated damages and non-economic losses. Plus, there may also be a punitive component in the award. An able attorney will know how to segregate the compensation demanded across the various components to ensure that the final figure is the maximum possible amount.
12. Ensure that the awarded compensation actually gets to you: Finally, your attorney will be with you every step of the way, right up till the compensation check is actually handed to you. Yes, there have been instances in which the defendants failed to honor the verdict or unreasonably delayed the compensation awarded.
Do you need and want fair compensation?
There is absolutely no reason why you must suffer the life-long consequences of the mistakes of another person/party. Get in touch with DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers today and we will make sure that you receive the compensation that is rightfully yours.