Did your injuries occur as a result of another person’s negligence? Then, you might have a valid claim. But a good way to ascertain this is to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she will clearly explain all facets of your case, including whether or not you should file a claim. Here’s a simple guide to help you prepare a successful personal injury claim. Good luck!
Gather Enough Evidence
If possible, take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, your injuries, as well as, the immediate surroundings. You may also want to consider obtaining copies of the police reports, printed emails, and copies of important medical records.
With such evidence at hand, you stand a better chance of winning the case and obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries. If you aren’t sure about the importance of a particular document, go ahead and consult with your lawyer. He or she will be able to provide helpful guidance. But don’t make the mistake of throwing away any evidence before your attorney reviews it. This may include emails you receive from insurers and witnesses.
Record What Happened
Put everything into writing. Having a written diary can be extremely beneficial. Write down everything you remember about the accident. Otherwise, you might end up forgetting important details. If your friend or loved one was with you when the accident occurred, ask them to write down everything they remember about what happened. With a wealth of documentation, you stand a better chance of winning the case. Plus, it will a long way in ensuring that you get maximum compensation for your damages.
Find An Attorney
Don’t wait too long before scheduling a consultation with professional West Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys. In fact, it’s better to do it immediately after the accident. Otherwise, you might end up losing important evidence. Not only will scheduling the consultation enhance negotiations with the insurance company. It will also minimize the occurrence of certain errors that could harm your claim.
Prepare a List of Questions
Ask questions whenever necessary. It the attorney’s duty to evaluate your potential claim and it’s your duty to assess the attorney. You need to make sure that the attorney is the perfect advocate for you. So, take time to review their experience, qualifications, and track record.
During the consultation, carefully review the attorney’s demeanor. Does he or she seem interested in your case? Is the conversation pleasant? Remember, you’ll be investing so much time and money in your case. So, be sure to choose an attorney whom you’re comfortable working with.
During the consultation, pay attention to the attorney’s demeanor. Do you feel like the attorney is listening to you? Does the attorney seem interested in your case, or are they simply trying to get a signature? Is your conversation pleasant? Does the attorney seem knowledgeable and trustworthy? Remember that you’ll be investing your time, money, and the outcome of your case in this person, so you want to find someone with whom you feel comfortable working.
Filing the Claim
Are you planning to file a personal injury claim? Do you know how to go about it? Or are you stuck not knowing where to start? Well, here’s what you need to know about personal injury lawsuits and how to successfully file one.
A personal injury typically occurs when you have been hurt due to another person’s negligence. Negligence refers to the careless action that causes harm to someone. For you to successfully file a personal injury claim, you’ll need to prove various aspects, including:
Duty– Here, you’ll need to prove that the person or entity you’re suing owes you legal duty.
Breach- You’ should also prove that the person or company you’re filing a case against breached the legal duty either by acting or not acting.
Damages- Another requirement is to prove that you were injured.
Causation– You must also be able to prove that your injuries occurred as a result of the other party’s negligent actions.
There numerous types of personal injury claims. But the most common ones involve medical malpractice, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, as well as, product liability.
How to Maximize Your Compensation
Were you injured in an accident? Are the injuries you sustained minor or severe? Well, if you were involved in an accident didn’t get injured, you don’t need to file a personal injury claim. Instead, you may want to consider filing a property damage claim.
But if you sustained injures after the accident, then you have a valid personal injury case. But you can’t possibly handle all that on your own. You’ll need to work with a lawyer. Whether the injuries were minor or severe, you should always consider filing a claim.
If you choose to handle the case alone, the insurance company might take advantage of you. You won’t be able to get the compensation you truly deserve. So, why risk when you can readily find an experienced attorney to file the case on your behalf?
The insurance firm is never on your side. Their main goal is to pay out the least amount possible. In order to maximize their profits, they’ll often try to lure people into accepting smaller settlement amounts, especially if they don’t have an attorney standing up for them. That’s why you shouldn’t work alone. You may end up costing yourself a lot of money.
Don’t Disclose Too much Information to the Insurance Adjuster
If the insurance company asks you to issue a recorded statement, desist from doing it. They’re only trying to see it if you can say something that’ll compromise the validity of your claim.
Nothing should compel you to issue a recorded statement to the insurer. Bear in mind that the insurance adjusters are trained to ask you specific questions. And the way you answer them can ruin your case. Thus, it’s always important to consult with a lawyer to avoid being taken advantage of.
Look For a Trustworthy Lawyer
The defendant’s insurance company will always strive to pay you less. When they see an inexperienced personal handling their own case without the help of a lawyer, they know they can trick them to accept a lower settlement amount than they’d have if a legal expert was involved. So, don’t make the mistake of working alone. There’s nothing you can possibly do without the help of a qualified attorney. But how do you find the right attorney? Well, here are simple tips to help you get started:
Get referrals from your friends and family. If you know someone who has previously worked with a personal injury attorney, consider getting recommendations from them. You need to hire an attorney who focuses on personal injury law.
Did you know that there are referral services you can rely on to find an experienced lawyer? With the help of these services, you can readily find a lawyer of your choice. They’ll provide recommendations that’ll help you connect with an experienced personal injury attorney.
In fact, this is one of the best ways to find the right lawyer for your case. Ask your friends and family how they feel about the attorney’s services and if he or she was able to successfully file their cases. This will help you determine whether or not you should hire them as well.
Do Your Own Research
You may also want to consider conducting your own research. Check their online reviews. And if they don’t have any, it means that they aren’t so good at what they’re doing. A lawyer who doesn’t have any positive reviews isn’t someone you’ll want to work with. But if they’ve previously handled cases similar to yours and have impressive verdicts, don’t hesitate to hire them.
Interview Different Attorneys
It’s always better to interview different attorneys. This will help you identify the one that best fits your expectations. Make sure that the attorney you choose has extensive experience in handling cases similar to yours.
Ask them how frequently they take personal injury cases to trial. You’ll also want to make sure that the attorney himself or herself will be the one handling your case. Some legal experts often convince clients to trust them with their cases and once they’ve been hired they leave the case to their representatives. So, be sure to confirm that they’ll be the ones handling your case.
If the attorney agrees to take up your case and fails to handle it personally, you may not be able to win the case. So, before signing any contracts with them, be sure to ask about this.
Opt For an Attorney Who Charges a Contingency Fee
Look for a lawyer who handles medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you won’t need to pay anything for their services upfront. But if they manage to recover money on your behalf, you’ll have to pay them a given percentage of the settlement amount they collect. And this often ranges between 30 to 40 percent of the amount they recover. Whereas this seems like too much, it’s well-worth it if they manage to get you a reasonable settlement.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your case, is one of the smartest decisions you can ever make. After you find the perfect attorney, he or she will gather relevant evidence and file the case on your behalf.
It’s also important to note that when it comes to personal injury issues, there are time limits within which you should file your claim. These are typically referred to as statute limitations. And they often vary from one state to another. For personal injury cases, this time limit typically ranges from one to six years. Thus, if fail to file your lawsuit within the allowed time frame, you might miss out on your chance to claim compensation for your injuries, as well as, damages.
Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury attorneys are responsible for assessing client’s cases and helping them to file successful claims. With the help of an experienced attorney, you don’t need to handle all the tedious work associated with filing a claim. Plus, he or she will gather appropriate evidence and build a strong case for you.
Their core mandate is to help you receive maximum compensation for your losses and suffering. And this is often done through counseling, advocacy, as well as, legal advice. If both sides aren’t able to reach an amicable settlement, the case often heads for trial. Your personal injury lawyer owes you the onus of confidentiality, as well as allegiance. And he or she should always strive to protect your best interests.
What If the Insurance Adjuster Contacts You?
If the insurance adjuster contacts you, it’s imperative that you don’t disclose any information to them. Whatever you say can be utilized to weaken your case and lower your settlement amount. In fact, if they keep insisting that you provide them with answers, hang up or simply refer them to your attorney. Tell them that you can’t speak without your lawyer being around.
Disclosing any information to the insurance company can negatively impact your case. Plus, it can limit your chances of getting a reasonable settlement amount. So, why risk losing all that when you have the right to remain silent? Remember, they’re only waiting for you to say something sensitive then they can use it to weaken your case and deny you your right to compensation.
Considering the fact the fact that there are countless attorneys out there, making the right choice isn’t always that simple. Not to mention that most generally don’t trust lawyers. And this is simply because there are many bad ones who only want to take advantage of other people’s desperation.
However, it’s always important to note that there are also many great lawyers who can fight for you to get maximum compensation for your damages. The above tips will help you choose a lawyer who’s committed to helping you file a successful personal injury claim.