The typical personal injury case involves a vehicle accident, but other examples of this type of case include being injured on someone else’s property, being hurt on the job through employer negligence or having your health jeopardized by medical professionals while undergoing treatment. To resolve your personal injury case, you can seek a settlement and go to court if one cannot be reached. Before seeking a settlement, you will want to know what the benefits of one are, if you need an attorney and what questions to ask any lawyer you hire.
What Are the Benefits To Settlements?
The main benefits of settlements are the time and costs involved. The settlement process starts when you file a lawsuit and ends when both parties are satisfied with the agreement or when a verdict is issued by the court. This can take months as both sides research the incident and the damages, propose settlements and negotiate terms, but trials can take a year or longer. Settlements also cost less in court and attorney fees than trials do, and you can often get personal injury settlement amounts that are higher than court awarded damages because those costs are factored in on both sides of the case.
Do You Need an Attorney?
You do not need an attorney for a personal injury case, but it is a good idea to hire one. Reputable lawyers experienced in this type of case can help you reach a better settlement, litigate your case as needed, and help you file the proper paperwork correctly. It is important to remember that some personal injury firms and attorneys specialize in one type of injury case, such as vehicle accidents, medical malpractice or workers’ compensation, so you can use your accident type to narrow down the field of potential legal help.
How Should You Prepare for Meeting Your Lawyer?
Once you have set up an appointment with an attorney, it is important to be as prepared as possible for the first meeting. If you have any documentation of the accident, injury or treatment, bring those with you in an organized manner. It is also a good idea to gather any letters you have received from the insurance companies involved as well as any lawyers for the other party. Any questions you need to have answered about your case should be asked during the meeting and having a written list will help you feel more confident. Remember that your attorney is likely to ask you about the accident and injuries to understand what happened, he or she will also ask you how you want to proceed.
Settling a personal injury claim is cheaper and quicker than taking the case to trial, but it can still take months of negotiations and accident investigation to reach an agreement. Hiring an attorney can help make this process easier because he or she can negotiate on your behalf, guide you through the process, and ensure that all the necessary paperwork has been filed correctly. Once you find an attorney, you should gather all related documents and make a list of questions you want to ask him or her about your case.