What Can (and Should) You Expect from Your Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, you need help. You need help making the right decisions for you and your family, and you need help protecting your legal rights. This means that you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
So, what can (and should) you expect from a personal injury lawyer? Most accident victims have never hired a lawyer previously, and they understandably have questions about the process. Many accident victims are also apprehensive, and they aren’t sure whether it is truly in their best interests to hire a lawyer to represent them.
As personal injury lawyers, we hear from accident victims all the time who aren’t sure what to do or who to trust. Dealing with the aftermath of a serious accident isn’t easy, and you can’t afford to place your trust in the wrong hands. To help you move forward, here is an overview of what you can (and should) expect from your personal injury lawyer.
7 Reasonable Expectations When You’ve Been Injured in an Accident
The following are all reasonable expectations when you’ve been injured in an accident and you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you:
1. Your Lawyer Will Explain Your Situation
During your free initial consultation, your lawyer will explain your situation in detail. Your lawyer will go over your options for filing a claim, the steps involved in filing a claim, and the costs you may be entitled to recover. Your lawyer will also ask you questions to gather information about your accident and provide a preliminary evaluation of your legal rights.
2. Your Lawyer Will Provide Advice with Your Best Interests in Mind
When you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you, your lawyer’s interests and your interests are aligned. You want to make sure you recover the financial compensation you deserve, and your lawyer wants to help maximize your financial recovery. As a result, your lawyer will advise you with your best interests in mind, and you can rely on your lawyer’s advice as you move forward.
The same cannot be said of your insurance adjuster. Your insurance adjuster works for your insurance company, and your insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible. So, while you can (and should) rely on your lawyer’s advice, you should be wary of doing anything your adjuster recommends unless your lawyer says it’s okay.
3. Your Lawyer Will Guide You Through Your Next Steps
Along with providing advice that is custom-tailored to your individual circumstances, your lawyer will also guide you through your next steps. Whether you were injured in a car accident, fall or any other type of accident, there are steps you need to take to protect your legal rights. Your lawyer will explain the steps you need to take (and mistakes you need to avoid), and your lawyer will be there for you if you have questions along the way.
4. Your Lawyer Will Conduct a Thorough Investigation
After your free initial consultation, one of your lawyer’s next steps will be to conduct a thorough investigation. The steps involved in conducting this investigation will depend on the nature of your accident, the timing and various other factors. Your lawyer may send an investigator to the scene of the accident, seek to obtain copies of traffic camera or surveillance camera footage, talk to witnesses, and/or pursue various other means of gathering evidence to determine what happened and who is responsible.
5. Your Lawyer Will Assess Your Legal Rights
Once your lawyer has sufficient evidence of liability, your lawyer will then be able to assess your legal rights. At this stage, you will meet with your lawyer again to go over your options for seeking just compensation. While many personal injury cases involve filing claims with a driver’s or property owner’s insurance company, there are several other possibilities as well. Your lawyer will assess all of these possibilities, and, if necessary, your lawyer will pursue multiple claims on your behalf.
6. Your Lawyer Will Pursue All Available Claims on Your Behalf
Recovering just compensation after a serious accident is not as simple as filing a claim. In fact, filing a claim is just the start of the process.
Once your lawyer files your claim (or claims), your lawyer will go through the process of proving that you are entitled to financial compensation. This will involve submitting evidence, dealing with the insurance companies’ adjusters and defense lawyers, and dealing with any tactics they may use to try to deny liability. If they acknowledge liability, then the focus will shift to negotiating a settlement. At this stage, your lawyer will present evidence of your financial and non-financial losses, and your lawyer will help you make an informed decision about when (and if) to settle.
If the insurance companies deny liability or refuse to settle for just compensation, then your lawyer will need to take your case to court. While this is relatively uncommon, it does happen. You will need to be prepared to go to court if a fair settlement isn’t on the table, and you will need to work closely with your lawyer to maximize your chances of a full financial recovery.
7. Your Lawyer Will Represent You on a Contingency-Fee Basis
Regardless of what it takes to pursue your claim (or claims), your lawyer will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. This means that you will pay nothing out of pocket. If you win your case, your legal fees will be calculated as a percentage of your settlement or verdict. If you don’t win your case, you owe nothing for your legal representation.
Discuss Your Situation with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Pennsylvania
Do you need to know more about protecting your legal rights after a serious accident in Pennsylvania? If so, we invite you to get in touch. With offices in Allentown, Bethlehem, Doylestown, Easton and Stroudsburg, we represent accident victims statewide. Call 888-777-7098 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.