When you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, there are many things you should do. At the top of your list is to identify a local injury attorney to represent you. Personal injury lawsuits are a legal specialty unto themselves, so it’s very important to have an attorney experienced in this specialty. Hiring a personal injury attorney on your side brings additional benefits.
It is very important for your personal injury attorney to be familiar with the local laws that apply to your claim. Every state has its own laws that affect whether you are entitled to compensation when an accident has occurred. These laws include:
- How long after the accident you may still file a claim
- What’s the process for resolving claims
- Whether insurance is available in your case
- Are there any limits on the compensation you might claim
You should be aware that state laws differ regarding worker’s compensation cases, motor vehicle accidents, and slip-and-fall accidents. You are required to file any lawsuits in the state where the accident occurred. Your local injury attorney will be familiar with the laws in the state where you are filing the lawsuit.
Your local injury attorney will be able to estimate the value of your claim, something that you really cannot do on your own. He or she will know if your state limits the compensation you may seek for the type of accident and injuries you have suffered. Your attorney will know how to apply the law, and exceptions that may impact the case. This is likely to maximize any compensation you may be awarded.
The best accident lawyers will tell you that it is typical for insurance companies to give you a “lowball” offer to settle the claim, and it is difficult for you to know that the offer is less than could be obtained. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will help provide some leverage against the insurance company. Your attorney will be familiar with this negotiation and will work to protect your rights.
Another great benefit of hiring a local injury attorney is that he or she is rewarded for pressing your case forward to a timely resolution. Personal injury attorneys are paid on a “contingency” basis, and this simply means – they do not get paid until you get paid. When they receive payment, the attorney receives a percentage of your settlement, plus reimbursement for the lawyer’s costs for pursuing the claim. This structure encourages the attorney to work to maximize the settlement. An insurance company, on the other hand, benefits from minimizing your compensation and drawing out the length of the negotiation over time.
There are quite a few sound reasons to hire a local injury attorney. Not the least is your lawyer’s knowledge of the correct legal process. Failure to file a lawsuit in a timely manner, and failure to meet any number of legal deadlines or expectations could mean that you lose the entire claim. Your lawyer is likely to be an experienced negotiator, and if you go to trial, he/she can capably navigate all aspects of the court system.
Don’t needlessly delay pursuing your personal injury claim. Contact Perna & Abracht, LLC to consult with an experienced local injury attorney.