Suffering a serious personal injury can be devastating for both your physical health and your finances. Whether an injury occurred in a car accident, because of medical malpractice, or another situation in which a person acted negligently or intentionally, you will want to understand your options for recovering financial compensation. By consulting with a personal injury attorney, you can determine whether you have a case, and you can learn the steps you will need to take.
Preparing for a Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer
In many cases, personal injury attorneys offer free consultations in which they can discuss your case and explain your options. Before arranging a consultation, you should be sure to understand the following:
- You can find a qualified lawyer through an online directory – You will want to make sure your attorney is experienced in handling injury cases that are similar to your situation. One way to find an attorney who is qualified to handle your case is by using an attorney directory such as Elite Lawyer. These directories recognize attorneys who have achieved excellence in their field, and they may also include customer ratings and reviews and other helpful information about the services an attorney can provide.
- Bring as much information as possible – A lawyer will want to understand exactly how your injury occurred and the effects it has had on your life. Before your consultation, you should gather any relevant documents or other information, such as police reports related to a car accident, photographs of the scene, records related to your medical treatment, and information about insurance policies for yourself or anyone else involved.
- Come prepared with questions – When speaking to an attorney, you should ask about how they will handle your case, their experience in cases similar to yours, and the procedures that will be followed. This will not only help you understand whether you will want to hire the attorney to represent you, but it can also provide you with an understanding of what to expect, including how long your case may take and your chances of success.
- Your lawyer can help you understand your damages – You may not fully understand the short-term and long-term ramifications of your injury, but your attorney can work with you to put a monetary value on the damages you have suffered. In addition to making sure the costs of your medical treatment are fully covered, your lawyer can also help you determine whether you can receive compensation for loss of income while recovering from your injuries, impairments to your income-earning abilities, ongoing treatment such as physical therapy, and the physical and emotional pain and suffering experienced by you and your family.
- An attorney can gather evidence for your case – During your consultation, you can ask your lawyer about the best ways to obtain evidence to demonstrate that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence. For example, an attorney can help uncover security camera footage of a car accident or slip-and-fall injury or contact eyewitnesses to obtain statements.
- Your attorney can negotiate with insurance companies – Following an injury, an insurance company may offer a settlement, and you may be tempted to accept this payment, especially if you are struggling financially due to your injury. However, these settlements are often low offers, and they are unlikely to fully address the damages you have suffered. By consulting with an attorney before speaking to an insurance company, you can have a better understanding of the compensation you need and deserve. Your lawyer can then speak to insurers on your behalf and negotiate a settlement that will meet your needs.
- Personal injury lawyers usually work on a contingency fee basis – While the costs involved in pursuing a personal injury case can be extensive, in most cases, you will not need to pay your attorney anything up front. Typically, attorneys will not accept payment until damages are recovered in your case, and their fees will consist of a certain percentage of the amount you receive.
Achieving Success in Your Personal Injury Case
By understanding what to discuss when consulting with a personal injury lawyer, you can be prepared to pursue compensation from the person or organization who was responsible for your injuries. Knowing the right questions to ask will help you make sure your attorney can meet your needs and recover the compensation you deserve.