If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be unsure of what to do next. You want to be fairly compensated for your injuries, but the thought of the whole personal injury process can be intimidating, especially if you consider facing it alone.
All of the ads you see on TV make it seem so easy to find an attorney who can win your personal injury claim. It can almost seem too good to be true, but is it true? Does hiring an attorney improve your chances of winning your personal injury claim?
We have asked a legal expert, attorney Alaina Sullivan, about what you should do. Here is what she had to say:
Experience with Insurance Negotiations
A personal injury attorney often has experience working with insurance companies and may already having a working relationship with the one you are dealing with. If that is the case, that experience could make the process smoother for you in the long run.
Attorneys know what tactics insurance companies use, and they know the ins and outs of the negotiation process. You could try this on your own, but it is often best to have the assistance of a true professional when facing such a daunting process.
Preparing for Trial
Preparing for any type of legal case is no laughing matter. Trial preparation can include a multitude of things including interviewing expert witnesses, subpoenaing necessary documents, filing multiple court motions, attending preliminary hearings and conducting depositions.
Everything you do as you lead up to trial can have a lasting impact on your case. Statements made in discovery can be used in court, especially in depositions, and it is imperative you have someone looking out for your best interests throughout the entire process.
An attorney would be able to take all of this work on for you and ensure that nothing is submitted by you that could incriminate you in a hearing and can also do the digging to ensure you have the evidence you need to win your claim at trial.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Many times, you will be asked to go to mediation or arbitration prior to trial or in lieu of going to court. Attorneys are well-versed in both forms of alternate dispute resolution. With mediation, you come to the table with the other side, along with a neutral third-party mediator and attempt to work out a resolution to avoid going to trial.
In arbitration, the third-party arbitrator makes a “binding” decision on the parties. You cannot always appeal this decision by going to court, depending on your insurance provisions. However, an attorney can work with you along the way to ensure that you are properly represented and that nothing is determined or admitted that would hurt your interests.
He or she will know when to submit certain evidence or statements or when to withhold. The art of negotiation is one that attorneys possess, and that can also go a long way in mediation or arbitration proceedings.
Winning in Trial
If you do go to trial, hiring an attorney is almost a necessity. You should always assume that the insurance company will have counsel representing their interests, and going against well-trained litigation attorneys can be nearly impossible on your own. Attorneys know the rules of evidence.
They know how to get information out of witnesses, which witness to call, which objections to make and what arguments to avoid. They will know what you can and cannot ask for in court, as well as information you cannot present to the court and what should be presented.
Their assistance is invaluable, especially in highly contested personal injury cases.
Contact an Attorney Today
Most attorneys will consult with you first free of cost before you make your decision on pursuing litigation. If you have been involved in a car accident, you should contact an attorney today to discuss your case.
A licensed personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine if you have a claim against the other party’s insurance company. To receive the compensation for your medical bills, property damages, and pain and suffering, you should speak with a personal injury attorney in your area today.