How Necessary Is An Attorney For Filing An Injury Claim?
If you're thinking about pursuing a claim or lawsuit, understandably, you might wonder how necessary a personal injury lawyer might be.
People often understand the need for counsel best when they see a breakdown of a lawyer's role in a case. Let's look at four basic ways a personal injury attorney adds value when you file a claim.
Knowledge of the Legal Basics
Injury law focuses a lot on paperwork. You will need to officially file your claim within the time period outlined in your state's statute of limitations. Likewise, you'll need to be aware of whether your claim falls under a handful of exceptions that might require faster filing or allow a slower process.
Also, you will have to name the correct party as the defendant in the case. If a defendant can prove the plaintiff should have sought compensation from someone else, all a filer will have done is burn precious time.
Research and Presentation of Facts
The supporting documentation of a person's injuries will be critical. The plaintiff should have reports from doctors, and they may also have reports from police officers, EMTs, firefighters, or other first responders. A personal injury lawyer will assemble these reports into a demand package to explain why the defendant was at fault, how extensive the victim's injuries are, and how much compensation is in order.
Occasionally, an injury case will rely on a less common or legally solid argument. A defendant might claim they were acting in a capacity as an employee because they were running an errand for their boss on the way home from work, for example. Arguably, this could make the employer the defendant. A personal injury attorney may need to include a study of case law explaining why the employee or the employer is the at-fault party.
Defendants, especially when they're paying compensation through their insurance policies, often don't pay everything in one shot. Many create structured settlements, often in the form of annuities. These pay the compensation over years to keep the defendant from going broke. A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the creation and implementation of the payment structure.
Similarly, there may be payment issues if you successfully sue. If a defendant can't pay, a personal injury lawyer can ask a judge to seize the defendant's assets or garnish their wages.
Contact a personal injury lawyer to learn more.