In the broadest sense, your personal injury lawyer is your advocate. He or she is the one tasked with pursuing the monetary compensation you need to cover the damages you suffered because of your injury. When you have questions, your lawyer has answers. When you need guidance, your lawyer is there to help you feel secure and confident in your claim.
More specifically, a personal injury lawyer’s job involves a lot of smaller moving parts. As your claim progresses toward its resolution, these moving parts change. For the greatest chance of recovering an appropriate compensation settlement for your damages, work with a personal injury lawyer who has specific experience pursuing cases like yours.
Determines the Validity of your Claim
During your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer, he or she will go over the details of your case with you to determine if you even have grounds to recover compensation for your damages. The negligent party’s insurance policy might not cover the type of accident you experienced or there might be other issues that render your case invalid, such as:
- A lack of evidence showing that the other party was negligent;
- Evidence that shows that the accident was entirely due to your own negligence;
- A lack of evidence showing that you suffered damages; or
- The presence of a release that renders you unable to recover compensation for your damages.
Your lawyer can also give you realistic advice about how the factors present in your claim will impact your total settlement. In California, an individual who was partially at fault may recover compensation for his or her accident damages through a personal injury claim, regardless of how much fault he or she holds. However, his or her total compensation amount is reduced by the percentage of the fault he or she holds. This is the doctrine of pure comparative negligence.
Develops your Personal Injury Claim
Ideally, you gathered evidence at the scene of your accident and afterward to support your claim. Your claim’s strength lies in its body of supporting evidence. Your lawyer’s role is to develop this evidence and obtain any additional evidence that can flesh out the whole picture of your case and resulting damages.
Developing your claim can involve a full investigation of the case. One of the greatest benefits of working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is that your lawyer has resources that you do not have to conduct a full investigation. One of these resources is his or her professional network, which can contain individuals who can provide valuable testimony to support your claim. These individuals could include:
- A medical specialist who can discuss your specific injury and required treatment. If you suffered a brain injury, a neurologist could discuss the long-term effects the injury will have on your nervous system. A mental health professional can discuss your emotional trauma;
- An accident reconstruction specialist. Using environmental data about your accident, he or she can create a digital rendering of the accident to accurately show how it occurred; and
- In cases involving poorly designed roadways and buildings, a civil engineer can discuss the faults that led to your accident.
Keeps your Claim on Track
Keeping your claim moving along requires frequent communication between your lawyer and the other parties involved in the claim, like the negligent party’s insurance provider. Your lawyer also has to keep his or her eye on deadlines like California’s two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases.
Negotiates on your Behalf
Reaching an appropriate personal injury settlement requires negotiation between the claimant and the negligent party’s insurance provider. Instead of having to face the insurance company yourself, your lawyer can handle your negotiations for you.
The benefits to having your lawyer negotiate your claim for you are twofold:
- During these negotiations, you will be asked and even pressured into making an official statement about the accident. Do not do this. In making your statement, you could inadvertently admit fault or reduce the negligent party’s fault, reducing the amount of compensation you can recover or even completely invalidating your case; and
- Your lawyer has experience negotiating with insurance providers. He or she can determine an appropriate counteroffer to each of the insurance company’s offers and support these counters with evidence from the investigation.
Helps you Make Critical Decisions for your Claim
Just like you, your lawyer will hope for the best outcome for your case. He or she will also help you prepare for the worst and advise you on how to proceed when your claim reaches difficult junctions.
Your lawyer can help you decide when to accept a settlement offer. You will likely receive numerous offers from the insurance provider as your lawyer negotiates with them to reach an appropriate dollar figure for your needs. When you do not have a strong body of evidence, it can be extremely difficult to reach the settlement you want. In this type of case, your lawyer can help you decide when it is time to accept a settlement and close the case.
Sometimes, personal injury claims become personal injury lawsuits. When it becomes obvious that you will not be able to settle your claim without court intervention, your lawyer may advise you to file a lawsuit and have the case handled by the court. Your lawyer cannot make this decision for you, but he or she can give you advice about taking this route and what you can expect through each stage of its progress.
Work with an Experienced Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer
If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, you can pursue compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about your legal rights and options as an injured victim, contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers at RMD Law today to set up your free case review with us. We can take a closer look at your claim to determine the most effective way for you to move forward with it and represent your case through every stage of the process.