Dealing with a personal injury claim might sound easy. You get injured in a car accident because of a reckless driver or slip and fall since a property owner hasn’t taken care of their premises. Naturally, you are inclined to believe that all you have to do is report the accident, and by holding the at-fault parties liable, you will receive compensation for your troubles.
However, it’s not always that easy, and if you truly want to receive the compensation you deserve, you will need a personal injury lawyer by your side. Read more here about Woodland Hills personal injury attorneys.
Let’s see exactly why having an attorney can be a great benefit.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim
Few people take responsibility for their actions in our society, especially when they harm others. While you may believe that the at-fault party and their insurance companies will rush to offer you compensation for your troubles, it doesn’t happen this way – at least not for the right reasons if it does.
When you are approached with a settlement offer after making your claim, it is most likely an unfair amount meant to end your claim as soon as possible. In some instances, this might be done to please the victim, as to not work with a lawyer or perform further investigations to conclude that their damages are worth more.
For example, an insurance adjuster might say that since you weren’t wearing a seatbelt during your car crash, you suffered more significant injuries due to your own negligence or rule-breaking.
Since California uses the comparative fault system, it can be concluded that you are partially liable for your injuries since you weren’t using a seatbelt. A fault percentage will be attributed to you, deducting a portion of your compensation.
In some other states, the seat belt defense cannot be used against you in court as a means to minimize your compensation claim. However, what you can do in California is work with a personal injury lawyer who can prove you suffer from a medical condition that exempts you from its car seat belt laws or come up with another justifiable reason not to make you liable.
This is just one example out of many of how a personal injury lawyer can help you out. But let’s look at what could happen if you pursue a personal injury case alone.
Not Working With a Lawyer
Not many people know how personal injury laws work or how other laws can come into play in their claims unless they work with a personal injury lawyer. The seatbelt situation from above is just one instance where a victim can be deceived out of their rightful compensation amount.
Being in an accident is a traumatic event in and of itself. However, when someone points out to us that we are also to blame, it might be hard to develop a good defense. Even if we decide to take our case to court, the at-fault party might find other ways to undermine our claim and assign more fault to us. Not to mention that they will most likely hire their own lawyers.
Seeking a personal injury claim on your own is never a good option. But let’s see how a personal injury lawyer can help you!
Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer
You don’t have to spend money to work with a personal injury lawyer. In most instances, you pay them only if you win your case. It’s a win-win situation. A personal injury lawyer isn’t just an expert in legal matters regarding negligence.
They also know how hard it is for victims to recover from their accidents. In such cases, a personal injury lawyer is highly knowledgeable about the economic and non-economic damages you are entitled to.
You might think that a settlement is just meant to reward you for your injuries, lost wages, and property damage. However, there are far too many other damages that you might not consider. One of them is pain and suffering, a type of intangible damage.
In other instances, you can be compensated for your emotional distress or PTSD if you develop symptoms after the accident. A lawyer can prove the losses you have suffered.
They will be there for you, communicating with you all the way to uncover exactly what you went through, how it happened, and many other things so that they can determine exactly what you are entitled to.
A lawyer can even help you get treatment for your injuries. As you rest and recover, a lawyer can begin to build you a strong case, gathering evidence, talking to eyewitnesses, receiving statements, investigating medical and police reports, talking to experts who can help your case, visiting commercial buildings to procure CCTV footage, and more.
There are many other things that a lawyer can do for you based on the circumstances of your case. Lawyers are great negotiators, and as they build your case, they can convince the at-fault party to accept a settlement in your favor and avoid going to court.
Not going to trial is advantageous because you will receive your compensation faster. However, if the other party continues to deny your claims, and proves problematic, then you shouldn’t worry. Much of your case will already be prepared for a trial. If needed, your lawyer might go the extra mile to work with accident reconstruction experts and prove the other party’s negligence.
Establishing the other party’s fault is crucial for your compensation due to California’s comparative fault laws. Yet, with a personal injury lawyer by your side, you will get rid of most of the paperwork and hassle that comes with legal proceedings. Even if your case goes to court, your lawyer will take care of everything.