The vast majority of us use the roads every day, needing to do so for work and leisure. Sadly, there are accidents every single day, ranging from people falling off bikes to being killed in head-on collisions. Each year, 30 million accidents are reported in America, and car accidents are the most common reported globally. These things are tragically a part of life.
It’s when it happens to you that things get real. Perhaps there was an incident with a bicycle or motorbike, car or truck. These things can happen very quickly, but take a long time to sort out. Some people make claims for personal injury alone and choose to represent themselves. Others use a lawyer. This article is designed to explain when the latter option is the best choice.
When Justice Is Needed
It’s hard to think there could be anything worse than being injured in a road accident. Sadly, some parties deny responsibility and fight tooth and nail to avoid being held accountable.
In nearly all personal injury cases, attorneys have one mission: to prove negligence or wrongdoing. Perhaps the driver was being reckless or was under the influence of alcohol. According to the Demas Law Group, there should be justice for the unjustly injured; the guilty parties should be held accountable. Fortunately, most lawyers display their experience and success rates online, to help people choose wisely.
It can be difficult for someone to function effectively at work if they are not in the best headspace. Similarly, anyone who has been adversely affected by an accident may not be best placed to represent themselves during a compensation claim.
When Documents Must Be Collated
Once a personal injury lawyer has been chosen, they will make it their job to put forward a strong case. They will be better placed than the victim to know what documents should be secured and when. These will include witness statements and possibly professional statements as well.
A member of the public may think that a doctor’s report is sufficient medical evidence. An attorney will know otherwise and will request a specialist’s report. This is because doctors are qualified in general medical matters while consultants are more specialized. Their reports carry more weight in court as a result.
The attorney will be requesting medical photos to demonstrate the nature (both physically and emotionally) of the injury. They will also want to see photos of any damage done to any cars or bikes.
If other pictures of the road were taken, the lawyer will know that they could contain key evidence, such as if there was poor light or a badly maintained road. The lawyer may well request footage from any security cameras in the vicinity of the crash. They will also request sight of any police reports.
When Protection Is Needed
Personal injury lawyers can create a wall of protection around their clients. They will advise on the importance of keeping silent about the incident, including on social media. This is because any adverse posts or varying accounts of the incident would compromise the case.
Lawyers also protect their clients from other parties. Insurance companies are designed to run for profit, so they will be seeking a way out of paying legal compensation. They may try to contact the client directly and recommend they don’t employ an attorney. This is because they may be more than a match for lone rangers who fight their case alone.
Whilst a person won’t have to pay legal fees if they go it alone, they may not know what to do or how much compensation to request. Statistics confirm that people who use a lawyer usually get more payout than those who don’t.
When There Are Early Settlement Offers
In many cases, the party responsible will want to settle out of court to avoid adverse publicity. This will lead to an early settlement offer. Whilst it would be tempting for the claimant to access the money and have an early resolution, the attorney will know the value of holding fire. This is because the first offer will usually be too low.
Lawyers also know that injured parties are unwise accepting any settlement offer before a full and final diagnosis has been made. This is because the full nature of the injury has not yet been found. People sometimes have one medical issue after an accident, only to discover a second one appears later on. These things will have a direct impact on the amount of compensation to claim.
If the other party has fully admitted responsibility, it is a matter of time before a compensation payment will be made. An interim payment would become available to help the injured person with their medical expenses and so on before the case has been resolved. The other party may not offer it, but the attorney will know it can be claimed.
When Part 36 Offers Are Made Before the Court Ruling
It can be tricky if it’s near the end of legal proceedings and the other party offers slightly less than the amount requested. It should be the lawyer’s call as to whether to accept or refuse at this stage.
The legal system can also create anxiety, as in the case of Part 36 offers. If an offer is refused before the Court, but the ultimate payout is less, the claimant will become liable to pay the other party’s legal expenses.
When There Is Trauma
Victims of road accidents may understandably experience anything from anxiety and depression to full-blown PTSD. The latter may manifest itself in a fear of cars or an overreaction to travel. The person may be afraid to go outdoors or be affected by insomnia, panic attacks, and flashbacks.
Lawyers will know the legal power trauma can have in securing a fair payout. Attorneys will also look for secondary trauma. This is where a loved one or close friend gets affected by observing the accident.
Legal cases like these can be quite complex, and sometimes go all the way to court. In these instances, the lawyer becomes the voice of the injured party. Whilst people can go it alone, there are many reasons why someone should have a legal professional by their side, from start to finish. This will mean they are best placed for the fairest financial outcome.