You have been hurt. Someone else was at fault. You deserve compensation. In your mind, the facts of your personal injury case may be clear and simple. You may not feel the need to complicate your life and your situation with a personal injury lawyer.
This desire to go it alone may be especially tempting if you are offered what appears to be a sufficient settlement soon after your accident. But before you decide to forgo legal assistance, you should stop and consider all the ways an attorney can help you with your personal injury case.
An attorney’s skill set is useful for far more than simply making a compelling argument in court. In fact, there are numerous stages in any personal injury lawsuit during which your attorney’s talents can be put to use.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Assists You with Your Case
The more skill and experience your personal injury lawyer has in representing personal injury victims, the greater and more significant the benefits they can provide to you throughout your case. Some of the reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer include:
Advising You After an Accident
Some of the steps you might take or things you might say after an accident or injury can negatively affect your future recovery.
For instance, failing to seek medical care or keep follow-up appointments can make it more difficult to obtain full compensation for your medical expenses. Giving an uninformed recorded statement to an insurance company can lead to challenges later in establishing fault.
Hiring a personal injury attorney soon after you are hurt means that they can guide you in what you need to do to best protect your rights.
Filing an Insurance Claim and Personal Injury Case
Both tasks are crucial to your ability to receive compensation, and both involve considerable paperwork. If this paperwork is not completed properly, you can experience delays or difficulties in receiving the compensation you are otherwise due.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will be familiar with these claims forms and know how to prepare lawsuit petitions. Your attorney can complete these tasks for you while you focus on your recovery.
Negotiating a Settlement in Your Case
Whether your case involves a slip and fall at a store or a car accident, you are more likely to settle than to go to trial. But settling a case is risky; once you settle, you cannot seek additional compensation later. You are giving up your right to sue in exchange for the promise of speedy compensation.
Negotiating an appropriate settlement is more difficult than it may appear. You must be able to understand and demonstrate both the present and future costs of your injuries.
It requires tenacity and skill to push back against insurance companies and other firms that desire to save themselves and their clients’ money. If you do not consider yourself a forceful person, consider hiring a personal injury lawyer who is.
Guiding Your Case Through the Civil Legal System
If you cannot reach a settlement, filing a civil lawsuit petition is just the first step in getting compensation. Your case must proceed through various steps and stages between the filing of your petition and a trial. Within each stage, there will be tasks to do and deadlines to meet. Failing to meet a deadline can spell trouble for your ability to receive compensation.
For example, shortly after your accident, you will want to identify evidence and witnesses who can support your claims and your request for damages. If you do not do this swiftly, witnesses can become difficult or impossible to locate, and important records can become lost.
A second stage in the civil lawsuit process is discovery, during which you and the other party exchange information relevant to your case.
Not honoring your discovery obligations can result in sanctions by the court. And if you don’t take this opportunity to learn what evidence the other party has in their possession, you could be at a disadvantage at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.
If your case does go to trial, you’ll have to learn and follow numerous rules of procedures and substantive laws that govern the conduct of the trial.
Your presentation can slip and stumble if you are constantly being corrected because you are not following these laws and rules. Evidence that is helpful to you may be kept out of the trial if you do not know how to properly enter into the court’s record.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you can trust that your attorney knows these obligations and understands what must occur at each step of the process. It also means that you do not have to worry about deadlines and requirements, as your attorney will be vigilant about handling them appropriately as they come up.
Enforcing Judgments and Settlements
Suppose your personal injury case is successful and you reach a settlement agreement or obtain a favorable judgment. This does not necessarily mean you will have money in your pocket right away. Some defendants may resist honoring an agreement or a court order with which they do not agree.
You can take certain legal steps to enforce a settlement contract or a personal injury judgment. Attorneys are aware of these options and know how to take advantage of them. You, however, may not be, and some of these options available to you are time sensitive.
By hiring an attorney, you are availing yourself of someone who is familiar with these enforcement options and how to use them. Since most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and offer free consultations, you have nothing to lose by consulting with an attorney who could help you with your case.
Contact Schiff & Associates Today
If you have been hurt by someone’s negligent actions in Ohio, do not be afraid to ask for help. At Schiff & Associates, we pride ourselves on providing competent and professional representation to personal injury victims. Let us show you how retaining our services can greatly improve your experience in obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Call Schiff & Associates, and we will get in touch within 24 hours to discuss what your case might be worth and explain how we can assist you in realizing that amount.