Receiving compensation from a party or individual who caused your personal injury involves complex procedures, numerous deadlines, strong negotiation skills, and knowledge of how the legal process works.
Tasks You Must Handle on Your Own If You Don’t Have a Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer will take on these details to get you the compensation you need and deserve. If you are considering handling your quest for compensation by yourself, you might want to read our list first. It will give you an idea of everything you have to do if you don’t have a lawyer.
1) Document and Prove That the Defendant Caused Your Accident
This will involve obtaining and reviewing the official police or facility accident report, interviewing witnesses, obtaining and documenting photos, and surveillance videos, as well as knowing enough about personal injury law to argue that the at-fault party was negligent. A personal injury lawyer knows where to look for this proof, and they have the resources to dig deep to get the evidence you need.
2) Find a Private Investigator to Help Prove Fault and Establish Liability
The insurance company and/or the defendant will be tapping every resource available to show they are not liable for your damages. If you want to stand a chance against them, you will have to level the playing field with a proper investigation of what and who caused your accident. When you hire a lawyer to represent you, they take care of this investigation and build your case on a foundation of compelling evidence.
3) Document and Prove Your Injuries
You will need to gather all the medical records related to your accident and be able to prove that they were caused by the accident. A law firm has the resources to thoroughly and efficiently handle this important collection of documentation.
4) Document and Prove Your Economic Damages
This step goes beyond collecting receipts, bills, and wage statements to show what you have had to pay for your injuries. You will also need to apply high-level economic principles to show how your injuries will impact you financially down the road. A lawyer has access to experts who can provide a credible opinion about your past, present, and future losses.
5) Document and Prove Pain and Suffering and Other Noneconomic Damages
The legal industry uses standard formulas for establishing damages like pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, mental anguish, and so on. If you just draw a number out of thin air, your recoverable damages may be less than what you deserve or over the top and hard to justify. A personal injury lawyer is familiar with these formulas and knows how to strategically apply them to get you the compensation you deserve.
6) Be Aware of Timing for Various Legal Procedures, Filings, and Other Events
Even if your claim does not go to trial, there are procedures associated with recovering compensation for your injury. When a lawyer represents you, they stay on top of the sequence of events that follow and ensure they happen correctly and on time.
7) Communicate and Negotiate with the Insurance Company
You will need to construct a demand letter consisting of all your damages and values associated with each. After presenting the demand letter to the insurer, you will most likely engage in an aggressive negotiation process, fighting the insurer to get the compensation you need and deserve. A personal injury lawyer is accustomed to dealing with insurance companies and knows their language, as well as how to respond to their settlement offers.
8) File a Lawsuit, if Necessary
If the insurance company fails to agree to a fair settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit and argue in civil court for your right to recover damages. A lawyer understands the art and science of litigation and will be able to present your case in a compelling way, so the judge or jury favors your right to receive compensation.
9) Negotiate with Lawyers
Often, the defendant’s lawyers will want to meet to discuss a settlement. This usually happens during pretrial and discovery but can occur immediately before a judgment is rendered. When a lawyer represents you, they are prepared for this final opportunity to settle and will know how to negotiate, when to accept an offer, and when to take their chances with a verdict.
For a free legal consultation, call (312) 598-0739
The Danger of Representing Yourself
It is possible that at some point after your accident, the at-fault party’s insurer will contact you and offer to settle the case for a certain amount. You could very well be caught off guard and find yourself tempted to take whatever the insurer offers. This is a quick route to take, and it will put money in your bank account.
However, before you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, keep in mind that whatever the amount, it is most likely a low-ball offer, and it knows you can get much more if you negotiate or go to trial.
Your best bet is to call a personal injury lawyer who can identify the true value of your case and negotiate for the settlement amount you need and deserve.
Call for Your Free Legal Consultation Today
Knowing what you have to do if you don’t have a lawyer, we hope you take this information into consideration. Call The Kryder Law Group, LLC at (312) 223-1700 for your free case review and legal consultation.