When a person has been injured, whether physically, emotionally or both, as the result of an act of negligence or wrongdoing, they often choose to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer. These legal professionals are engaged in protecting the rights of injured persons, filing claims and lawsuits, and managing all aspects of recovering compensation.
All personal injury cases hinge upon the legal concept of negligence, which is essentially when a person (or entity) acts or fails to act in a manner that another reasonable person would.
It is a broad concept, but can be applied to countless situations, such as drunk, speeding, reckless or distracted drivers, acts of medical malpractice, unsafe premises, or even dangerous dogs that have been allowed to roam freely. Establishing negligence is the first order of business for the personal injury lawyer, and he or she will review the facts in the case to make a decision about its merits. Some cases of negligence are very clear, and not in question, where others could are far more difficult to resolve.
Most injury cases are settled outside of court, but some must proceed to court when challenged, or when an insurance company will not pay adequate compensation to a victim.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and are commercial operations that answer to upper management and shareholders. The bottom line is the profits made by the company. Most people do not fully understand the processes that insurance companies employ when evaluate the value of, and pay out compensation for claims. Initially, an interview with the injured person takes place. Unfortunately, these interviews may have a hidden goal – getting the injured party to admit to some level of responsibility for the injury. Access to medical records is part of the process as well, and your entire medical history will be painstakingly reviewed to find out if there is any condition, illness or other situation that could have made the level of injury worse.
For example, if you had an existing back pain problem, were then hit by another driver, and your back injury was exacerbated, the insurance company could claim you already had a back condition and the accident was not the sole cause of the injuries you sustained. A personal injury lawyer works to protect the injured from these types of strategies, and is very familiar with how to manage requests for information from an insurance adjuster. In many cases, a person who is represented by an injury attorney will recover double or triple the amount in compensation than if the he or she had tried to resolve the case without legal help.
Insurance Companies and Personal Injury Lawyers
Insurance company personnel can often try to deter an injured person from contacting a lawyer, and will say that all that will occur is that some of the settlement money will be lost in legal fees. In fact, a personal injury lawyer takes a set percentage of the final settlement, which if it is far higher than the injured person would have recovered, is still significantly higher in value. How do they do it? They know how to correctly evaluate the long term consequences of the injury upon the person, and how state-specific laws or caps on certain damages can impact the amount sought in a claim or lawsuit.
For serious injuries, it is important that the injured person is adequately compensated. An individual who is facing disabilities, whether physical, mental or both, will be dealing with difficult challenges, and may never be able to work in his or her chosen profession again, or provide the income, love and care to the family as prior to the injury. These are all issues that must be evaluated and given a monetary value. A personal injury lawyer is a professional in this field, and can advise you of the actual value of your injury claim, and then proceed to pursue compensation that is fair. Insurance company personnel, such as defense lawyers, are aware that when a legal professional is on the case there is far less “wiggle room” and a much lower chance of getting an injured person to accept an unfair settlement.