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Demystifying the Legal Process: What to Expect When Working with a Personal Injury Attorney

A skilled personal injury attorney will listen to your version of events and ask questions. They will also review medical records, photographs, videos, and other relevant information.

After gathering documentation, an attorney often submits a demand to the responsible insurer. This might result in an initial offer that is satisfactory.

Initial Consultation

After you hire an injury attorney, they will thoroughly investigate your case. This may include documenting the accident scene, interviewing witnesses, and examining physical evidence like damaged vehicles or products contributing to your injuries. They will also review medical records and insurance policies and enlist experts to analyze certain aspects of your case.

During your initial consultation, your lawyer will evaluate whether you have a strong case and determine potential strategies to pursue. They will also discuss their fees and set expectations about the timelines of your case.

During this time, you should ask prospective attorneys how many personal injury cases they have handled. You should also find out what percentage of their practice is dedicated to this area of law. It can be difficult to bargain with insurance companies, so it is crucial to select a lawyer with experience managing personal injury matters. Finding the best injury attorney requires thorough research and consideration of factors like experience, track record, and client reviews to ensure you secure capable legal representation for your case.

A good lawyer will be willing to take your case to trial if necessary.

Liability Analysis

Once an attorney has gathered the necessary information about your case, they will perform a thorough liability analysis. This process might involve hiring outside experts to investigate the accident scene, speak with witnesses, and formulate theories regarding what happened. These experts might be professional accident reconstruction specialists or retired police officers with experience in similar cases.

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During this process, your attorney will also make a demand to the insurer of the responsible party (in a car accident case, this would mean the at-fault driver’s insurance company). If they receive an initial offer, they will review it with you and recommend whether or not it is sufficient. If it isn’t, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf. This stage of the legal process typically requires substantial time, effort, and expense. Getting compensation for your injuries is the aim. This can be accomplished through settlement or trial. A skilled injury attorney will weigh both options to determine which is best for you.

Negotiation

A personal injury case involves the monetary compensation for lost wages, medical costs, and other damages being negotiated. This is why it’s essential to have an experienced attorney representing you. They can help you negotiate with the insurance company and get the fair settlement you deserve.

During this phase, your lawyer will compile all the evidence of your accident and injuries, including any bills, medical records, documentation of lost income and expenses, and more. They will also calculate your economic and non-economic damages. Pain and suffering are non-economic harms that are harder to measure. Your lawyer will use their experience with similar cases to determine a monetary value for your injuries.

It’s also helpful to have an attorney who has a good relationship with insurance companies and is willing to take a case to trial if necessary. This builds trust and provides security to insurance adjusters, who will be more inclined to offer a higher settlement.

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Trial

Statistically, most personal injury cases are resolved via settlement and rarely go to trial. However, if the negligent party refuses to settle, your case may have to be tried before a judge and jury or, in some cases, just a judge.

To make up for your material, psychological, and financial losses, your lawyer will submit evidence during the trial and request monetary damages. After considering all the evidence, the judge or jury will determine whether the defendant is responsible for your damages and injuries.

Both attorneys make opening comments to start the trial. Then, the jury will hear each side’s closing arguments and deliberate until they reach a verdict. No new evidence can be presented once the judge reads the jury’s instructions. The defendant’s lawyer will have a chance to make his or her closing argument, which is likely a rebuttal of your attorney’s arguments.

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