Before hiring a personal injury attorney to represent your interests, it can be helpful to understand the basics of the process. These three issues are important for clients to understand before they pursue their claims or lawsuits.
1. A Case is Only as Good as the Documentation
You can't claim what you can't document. In personal injury law, there is always a core question about what sort of harm occurred in the case and how well it can be documented. This makes things like police and medical reports invaluable assets. If you're experiencing problems like emotional trauma or reduced mental function, it's important to create a written journal documenting how you feel each day and what you experienced.
Note that no personal injury lawyer wants clients fudging the facts. Play it straight with your case and make sure you collect all the reports you can so they can be presented later.
2. Insurers Settle Valid Claims
Despite what you might have heard, real insurance companies don't plan to screw claimants out of money. Instead, an adjuster will be appointed to assess two things. First, they will determine whether the claim is valid, meaning that there is an actual injury and that the defendant is most likely at fault. Second, they will assess what amount of compensation might be awarded. That isn't to say you don't need a personal injury lawyer. It's simple to say that valid claims, when properly assembled and presented, tend to go through. In fact, about 95% of cases will never go to court.
3. Lawyers Aren't Magical
A great personal injury attorney can do a great job, but they can't exceed the limitations of the case. Generally, awarded damages aren't going to exceed the medical expenses you've incurred plus compensation for pain and suffering, loss of current work, lost future earnings, and other factors. The exception is if the at-fault party's actions were especially egregious, leaving an opening for pursuing punitive damages.
What you want from a personal injury lawyer is simple: they should present the best possible case with the available facts. This means fully documenting reports, as previously mentioned. The goal is to lay the facts out in a straight line to show that the client suffered particular injuries, that compensation is owed, and that the alleged at-fault party is legally responsible for what happened.
If you have an injury claim, work with a personal injury lawyer.