Question: Why Do You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer? If you have been in an accident or injured in some way because of someone else’s carelessness, you may be dealing with a number of question right now. You may be wondering what to do about your medical expenses and loss of income. You may be wondering how to adjust to your change in circumstances. And you may be wondering if you need to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you seek compensation for your injuries.
Maybe all you need is some advice. In many cases, though, you may need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process and help you be restored as much as possible to your situation prior to the injury. We can help.
Why Do You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer?
Here are 4 scenarios that will help you get started:
1. You Suffered a Serious Injury or Permanent Disability: If you were seriously injured in an accident or acquired a serious illness, you definitely need a lawyer. There is no room for chance when a lifetime of pain, suffering, and bills are on the line. At the very least, consulting with an injury attorney, which is free, is highly recommended. Furthermore, if you sustained an injury that is going to require long-term care or caused you a permanent disability, hiring a personal injury lawyer could be the only way to prevent serious, lifelong financial stress for you and your family.
2. You Aren’t Sure Who is At Fault: If you were involved in an accident and it is unclear who was at fault, you should definitely consult with an attorney. In situations like this, the other party’s insurance company will definitely try to blame you for damages. Talking to an attorney can help you protect your rights and defend you from counterclaims and cross-claims.
3. There Are Multiple Parties Involved: If you were injured in an accident that involved multiple parties, consulting with a personal injury lawyer will give you the best chance at not being stuck with the bill. Attorneys have the experience necessary to deal with multiple insurance companies at once and to help build a case that protects their client.
In the case of multiple parties being at fault for your injury, a lawyer will also have the skills necessary to ensure that you get all the compensation you deserve without leaving money on the table.
4. The Insurance Company Denied or is Delaying Your Claim: Insurance companies know that 99% of people do not understand all the complicated laws and procedures that take place in a personal injury claim. Because of this, they will often use their advantage to flat out deny a person’s legitimate injury claim because they know you can do nothing about it.
Likewise, insurance companies also delay claims in order to slowly beat the injured party into submission. They know that money is tight and the bills are rolling in, so they will often use this position to offer a fraction of the amount your claim is worth. If either of these situations happen, you most definitely should consult with a personal injury attorney.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
It may be that you prefer to try to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or at-fault party, only to find that the only settlement offer you are able to get is completely unfair — or nonexistent! Having a personal injury lawyer will get the attention of the party you are claiming against, and your likelihood of negotiating a fair settlement is much higher.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A good personal injury lawyer will listen to you, do thorough information and evidence gathering, talk to you about your options, and assist you in pursuing the course of action that you choose.
- Handling your case personally, listening to your needs, and responding quickly to your questions.
- Calculating and documenting all of your losses.
- Ensuring that all court documents, insurance claims, and other paperwork are filed correctly.
- Systematically gathering crucial pieces of evidence.
- Interviewing witnesses who saw the incident that caused your injury.
- Representing your interests during negotiations with insurance companies.
- Fielding prospective settlement offers and acting in your best interest.
A personal injury lawyer can help take the burden of the legal process off your plate and help guide you through this sometimes frustrating and complex process.
How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Lawyer
There are a variety of options available to assist you in finding a qualified attorney. You can make a list of prospective lawyers by searching online, looking in the phone book or by checking with your local or state bar association. You might even ask friends or relatives whom they would recommend. Knowing what type of attorney you are looking for will narrow your selection process considerably.
Contact the personal injury attorneys on your list and arrange initial consultations with them. Many attorneys provide this service free-of-charge, while some charge their regular or a reduced hourly rate. The initial consultation is a time for you and the lawyer to assess your legal problems. It is also a chance for you to decide whether you want that personal injury attorney to advise or represent you. Look for someone you feel confident will give you good advice and effective representation.
Questions to Ask Your Potential Personal Injury Lawyer
When you meet with lawyers to decide who to use, you will want to find out certain things from each lawyer, such as the nature of their personal injury experience, if they have experience with your specific type of injury case, how they handle billing, how they manage cases like yours, etc.
Here are some specific questions you can ask:
- How long have you been in practice?
- Do you focus on personal injury?
- How often do you handle cases like mine?
- What types of verdicts and settlements have you secured for injured people like me?
- What factors do you see helping my case, and what might work against me?
- What bar associations and professional organizations do you belong to?
- Who will be my day-to-day contact if I have questions or concerns?
Is There a Limit on How Much Time Can Pass Before I File a Personal Injury Claim?
In West Virginia there is a time limit on filing a personal injury claim. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases — the time frame during which you must file a claim in the state’s civil court system — is two years.
If you try to bring a claim more than two years after the date of the accident, you will probably be barred from recovering compensation within the court system.