If you’ve been injured, it makes sense to make healing and recovery your first priority. It may not be until some time has passed and you’re feeling better that you begin to think about all the details and paperwork that have piled up during your recuperation. There will likely be medical bills from your injury, along with, perhaps, lost wages from time taken away from work. In the aftermath of an accident or injury, it can be difficult to think about these details.
The good news is that, depending on how and where your injury occurred, you may be entitled to help with your medical costs and compensation for your injury. So, while you focus on your recovery, it may make sense to consult with a personal injury attorney, such as the experts at Warren Allen LLP in Portland, who can look after your legal interests while you focus on getting better. Below are a few of the benefits a personal injury attorney can provide if you’ve been injured.
Most of the time, when you’re dealing with a personal injury, your points of contact will be one or more insurance companies. If you’re attempting to settle a claim on your own, not only can it be frustrating and time-consuming, but you may end up with little to show for your effort. Insurance companies are profit-oriented and, like most businesses, have their own interests in mind. Insurance companies, therefore, have every incentive to minimize their losses by paying out as little as possible for your claim.
These companies are also staffed with lawyers who can work deftly within the law to find loopholes and other ways to reduce any payout you may receive. Having a personal injury attorney means you have an advocate and an ally that’s 100% on your side. Your personal injury lawyer will have expertise in the laws governing insurance settlements and can help protect you from losing out on compensation that you may be entitled to.
Personal injury claims, while common, can be very complex. There is a lot to do and a lot to document along the way. For example, each state has its own guidelines and rules for how to document and file a personal injury case. There will be evidence that needs collecting (e.g., hospital records, bills, pay stubs, etc.), and there will be deadlines attached to each piece of paperwork you’re asked to file. Even for the most diligent and organized among us, it can be a lot to manage—especially when you’re recovering from an injury.
Personal injury attorneys have the depth of experience to know what you’ll need to build your case. They know how to collect accident reports, witness statements, insurance information, and other crucial evidence for your claim. Importantly, they also know what procedures to follow and the deadlines attached to all of those forms. This is important because personal injury attorneys can also avoid errors that might cost you deserved compensation.
Very few things are as frustrating as a simple error causing a huge headache down the line. When you file a personal injury claim, getting the facts straight is absolutely crucial. Seemingly minor details, such as the exact time of an accident, the precise nature of any injury diagnosis, or a miscommunication between you and a witness, can make it more difficult for you to win a just settlement. Again, the experience of a personal injury attorney is a valuable asset when filling out forms and collecting evidence. They are equipped to keep track of the complicated trail of evidence, and they know to double- and triple-check for errors that could allow an insurance company to lower your settlement.
It can be easy to forget that negotiation over a personal injury claim is an adversarial process, even when you’re working with the kindest of insurance representatives. No one is at their best in the aftermath of an injury. It makes sense to hire an expert to keep track of the minutiae while you spend your time recovering.
Even if your claim seems relatively straightforward, there are still some legal processes you’ll need to go through, and sometimes those processes are intimidating. For example, you may be required to give a deposition. A deposition is sworn testimony that you provide outside of a courtroom. With other lawyers and recording devices present, it can be difficult to recount everything that happened to you in a comprehensive way that’s also clear and accurate. You might feel a bit of stage fright or feel the need to rush through your story, forgetting key details. Your personal injury lawyer will work with you if you’re deposed. They’ll help you practice your testimony in advance. They’ll know how to help you explain exactly what happened in a calm, clear, and accurate way.
A personal injury lawyer will also be able to help you establish fault and help evaluate your injury accurately. Your claim, for example, may go beyond your physical injury and include less visible damage. Emotional harm, long-term pain, or suffering—these are things that an expert in the field knows how to identify. They can also give you a better understanding of what those claims may be worth when it comes to a settlement.
A personal injury attorney can take a lot off your plate at a time when you’re not feeling your best. Their expertise can help assure the proper evidence is collected, your forms are in on time, and you’re compensated for the depth and breadth of your injury and any of its after-effects. If you have any questions about whether you might need a personal injury attorney to help you, or even if you just need some advice, please don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Warren Allen LLP. We’ve been serving the Pacific Northwest since 1971, and we’re here to help.