If you’ve been injured in an accident, this is a question you’ve probably asked yourself. It’s tempting to try and go it alone when it comes to making an injury claim to the at-fault party’s insurance company. After all, you have the evidence on your side, right? Well, sometimes it’s not as simple as that. Many factors are at work when you file a personal injury claim, and sometimes individuals are not equipped to deal with all the ins and outs, not to mention the stress, that goes along with trying to get compensated for their injuries. This is why hiring a lawyer is the wisest course of action for accident victims. Here are a few ways that personal injury attorneys benefit their clients:
After presenting your claim to an insurance adjuster, a negotiation process takes place. This involves the extent of your injuries, the cost of medical treatment, damage to your vehicle, and money lost due to time spent off work. While it is possible to compile this information yourself and present it, an experienced lawyer can help you to know exactly what information (such as photographs and receipts) you need to bolster your claim and how much to expect in settlements money. An attorney can also prevent you from taking a low settlement offer, protecting your interests by advising you to hold out for more compensation. Because personal injury lawyers are familiar with negotiation tactics, you can rest assured that you’re getting the maximum possible settlement.
Settlement vs. Lawsuit
The majority of personal injury claims end in settlements, but it is important to know when to fight for compensation in court. An experienced New York accident attorney can help you decide whether to pursue a lawsuit if you feel you have not been offered an adequate settlement amount. Having a trusted lawyer in your corner can also give you the confidence to hold out for a larger settlement than you might if you were meeting with an insurance adjuster by yourself. If you choose a personal injury lawyer who has dealt with similar cases in the past, they will have expertise you can rely on as you decide your future course of action.
Should you decide to take your case to court, your lawyer will construct the best possible case for you. Your lawyer will sometimes use evidence to prove that the other driver, in the case of an automobile accident, did not exercise duty of care. This means the driver did not take reasonable steps to drive safely and ensure the safety of other drivers. If the driver at fault was intoxicated, for example, this would indicate that they were not performing to a reasonable standard of care when operating a vehicle. Your lawyer will determine which evidence is pertinent to helping your case so you can focus on getting well after being injured.
Although it costs a portion of your settlement money to hire a personal injury lawyer, it is worth it in the long run. An experienced attorney can protect your peace of mind and ensure that you are awarded the money you need. To speak with a New York injury lawyer, call the law offices of Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein at 917-730-7151 for a free consultation.