Personal Injury Lawyer - Preparing for a Case
If you are in a situation where you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer, you may be curious to know how the case is to unfold. Here are some things you should know about how cases work.
Do You Need an Attorney?
Not always. Though legal representation never hurts, there are instances where hiring a personal injury lawyer will actually be a detriment to your bottom line. If the opposing insurance company is offering a healthy settlement, there may be very little wiggle room in that number. Hiring an attorney might be a way to raise the sum to some degree, but if the difference between the original number and the final number goes into the attorney's pocket, what good have you accomplished? This is why it helps to talk to an attorney who is serious about helping his clients and isn't just out for his next paycheck.
Many people have the idea that hiring a personal injury lawyer means going to trial. This is rarely the case. Trials are expensive, lengthy, and unpredictable. Attorneys on both sides of the aisle have an interest in avoiding them. Unless there is serious money involved and the two sides are very far apart on the number, mediation is a more likely path to take. This involves negotiating directly with the insurance adjuster, which is the final step for many cases. Of course, if nothing is resolved in these negotiations, the case may proceed to trial.
Don't Assume Victory
Though your personal injury lawyer may be confident and you may feel as though you are making a very compelling case for compensation, don't assume that you have won before a judgment comes back. Some clients have made the mistake of not having their insurance company pay their medical bills or staying out of work longer than they might have otherwise, with the expectation that their lost wages would be paid by the judgment. Do everything you can to keep up with your financial obligations, as no case is ever a slam dunk.
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