While you do not legally need a lawyer for a personal injury claim, a lawyer can be extremely helpful during the process.
Tasks You Must Handle During an Injury Claim
If you choose to handle your injury case without a lawyer, you must manage the entire process on your own. This could include:
If you work alone, you must gather all necessary evidence in your case. This might involve interviewing eyewitnesses of the accident, hiring expert witnesses, or drafting a letter of spoliation to keep a trucking company from destroying evidence.
Other evidence you might need includes:
- Medical records
- Photos and surveillance videos
- Medical bills
- W2s or pay stubs
- Police reports
- Testimony from a financial expert who can establish what you would have made over time had you not been injured
Building a Case Establishing the Other Party Was At Fault
Once you have gathered all your evidence, you must use it to build a robust case establishing the other party’s fault.
You must prove the following:
- The other party had a duty to keep you from undue harm. The duty the other party owed you differs depending on the type of accident. For example, a driver has a duty to drive safely. A property owner has a duty to keep their property safe from hazards.
- The other party breached their duty by behaving negligently. For example, a driver was texting while driving.
- The other party’s negligent behavior caused your accident and injuries. The texting driver did not see you stopped at a red light and rear-ended your vehicle, causing you to suffer a traumatic brain injury.
- You suffered damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
In some cases, this can be more straightforward. In others, you may find that the other driver is alleging you caused the accident.
Determining a Fair Value for Your Case
If you choose to represent yourself, you may fail to include various types of recoverable damages. Potentially recoverable damages in your case might include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Pain and suffering
While it can be straightforward to determine a value for your medical bills and lost wages, valuing noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering is much more difficult. An attorney knows which formulas to use to determine a fair amount for pain and suffering.
Communicating with All Involved Parties
It is very easy to say something that might jeopardize your case when communicating with other parties involved in your case. Even saying “I’m sorry” or “I’m okay” can be used against you. When you work with a lawyer, they will handle all communication to protect your rights.
Negotiating with Insurers
Many injured parties accept the first settlement offer they get because they are not aware of what they may be entitled to or do not know they are allowed to negotiate for a higher amount. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company and fight for all the compensation to which you are entitled.
If you fail to meet specific deadlines in your case, you may risk being unable to recover any compensation. A lawyer can ensure that you take legal action before the statute of limitations expires on your case.
Preparing Your Case for Trial
If the other side disputes fault or the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit against the other party. A lawyer can prepare your case for trial and represent you in front of the judge and jury.
Handling all these tasks can be difficult for the average person. They can seem almost impossible for someone recovering from serious injuries, caring for an injured loved one, or grieving the loss of a loved one after an accident.
For a legal consultation, call 828.286.3866
Injury Attorneys Handle Cases on a Contingency-Fee-Basis
Most injury lawyers take cases on a contingency-fee-basis. This means that they require no upfront fees and advance the costs of a case. This can be especially helpful for cases that require testimony from expert witnesses, which can be expensive. The attorney only recovers their fee if your case recovers compensation. If you do not obtain compensation, you do not pay the lawyer for their time.
Call Our Team to See How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Injury Case
While you legally do not need a lawyer for your personal injury claim, they can handle the entirety of your case while you focus on your recovery. To learn more about how a lawyer from our team can assist with your case, call Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC at (828) 286-3866 for a free consultation.