I’ve been involved in an incident. Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
Surviving an accident can be a nerve-wracking experience. Dealing with the injuries can leave you overwhelmed. A key decision you need to make is whether you should engage the services of a personal injury lawyer. Insurance statistics show that injured parties who hire legal expertise are three times more likely to recover damages. While receiving compensation is a major motivation, there are other things you need to consider. Injury claims drain your time and dealing with insurance adjusters can be demanding. Again, you still have to deal with your work and daily chores. These are some of the reasons why it is prudent to hire a personal injury attorney.
If you are contemplating about hiring a personal injury lawyer, consider the following.
Insurance companies have selfish interests
When negotiating with insurance companies, you need to bear in mind that they are profit organizations. As such, they will always pursue profit motives. Insurance companies have been known to offer low settlement amounts. Having an attorney by your side goes a long way in protecting your best interests. On your own, you may not have the negotiating skills needed. The insurance adjuster may also try to intimidate you into settling for a lesser offer than your claim is worth.
Statute of Limitations
Personal injury claims have to be filed within the statute of limitations. In New York, the time frame stipulated is 3 years. If this time expires, you lose your right to file and claim compensation. An injury lawyer will explain to you the limitations rule. This limitations rule changes when it comes to filing a claim against a public agency or a government office. A formal claim should be made within 30 days to one year. To preserve the right to file, talk to a personal injury lawyer. The lawyer will advise you as to where your case applies. The lawyer will also work to ensure that the case is ready before this time expires.
Strict filing rules
Filing an injury claim or a lawsuit can be a tedious process. There is also a lot of paper work and red tape involved. New York has a specific way in which a claim should be filed. You also need to provide the necessary documents to prove your claim. To avoid making expensive and time wasting mistakes, it is best to let a lawyer handle the claim. Lawyers have assistants who can take care of the paperwork as the lawyer prepares for the case.
Determining the value of your claim is complex
The injuries you suffered may have long term financial consequences. You may need physical therapy if you suffer an injury on the leg. Your home may also need certain adjustments to cater for the injury. If the accident was traumatic, you might need the services of a psychiatrist. All these elements of an injury have cost implications. The cost value must be determined before the damages are awarded. On your own, you may not be in a position to value your claim correctly. Personal injuries lawyers use formulas to compute the value of a claim. Their expertise can prove very helpful.
Proving fault and liability is complicated
You need to prove fault and liability for you to be awarded damages. The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care. The plaintiff must also demonstrate that the defendant breached this duty and that the injuries suffered were as a result of the breach. Proving injuries will also require medical reports and expert witnesses. In a personal injury case, you may be summoned for a deposition. This is an evidence gathering tool where the plaintiff answers a series of questions under oath. You need to be well prepared so that you do not give any information that could jeopardize the validity of your injury claims. The attorney may also ask leading questions to paint you in a negative light. Being well prepared with the help of an injury lawyer is the best strategy.
While most injury cases including passengers are straightforward. You can never rule out the possibility of complications. This is why it is in your best interest to seek the legal expertise of a personal injury lawyer. The lawyer will handle the case as you take the time to recover.