By Marcus Fernandez
You have the right to seek compensation against the responsible party if you have been seriously injured in an accident. You may be weighing your options and wondering why you should use a personal injury lawyer. Is it worth it? Or should you handle it yourself?
Nothing says that you must be represented by a lawyer. But retaining the services of a lawyer offers benefits that may affect the outcome of your case. Take a moment to consider some of the reasons why you should use a personal injury lawyer.
An intimate knowledge of the law
According to the American Bar Association, more than 79,000 lawyers are admitted to practice law in Florida. But the lawyer who helped you set up your business or defended your neighbor in a criminal case may not be the best choice. You want someone who knows and understands personal injury laws. You want a lawyer who knows the evidence needed to prove your claim for damages against the at-fault party.
A lawyer whose practice focuses on personal injury law has more in-depth knowledge and experience of this area. Personal injury lawyers develop the ability to build a strong and persuasive case. They build the case with the legal requirements for proving negligence and fault on the part of another party.
Certain types of personal injury claims can be highly technical. Medical malpractice and product liability claims require knowledge of specific areas. These areas of the law may be unfamiliar to lawyers who do not handle them on a regular basis. So try to find a practice that has experience in your specific injury case.
Courtroom experience makes a difference
Personal injury lawyers develop courtroom skills and techniques to effectively present the evidence in a case. Their experience helps persuade a judge or a panel of jurors to award the level of compensation that you deserve. It takes years of trial experience to learn to persuasively advocate on behalf of the victim by presenting evidence, such as:
- Direct and cross-examination of witnesses.
- Accident reports.
- Medical records.
- Medical and other types of expert witnesses.
- Photos of the accident scene.
- Photos of scars and injuries.
Using a lawyer with the skills and ability to take a case to trial when necessary to achieve the best result for an accident victim may also influence settlement of a claim. Adjusters and defense attorneys working for insurance companies may be more inclined to negotiate a settlement when they know your lawyer is willing to take the case to court.
Personal injury lawyers know the value of a claim
Insurance companies welcome the opportunity to settle cases directly with accident victims because most people do not know what their claim is actually worth. They either underestimate its value and cheat themselves out of getting what they really deserve, or they over inflate its value with the result being a refusal to negotiate by the insurance company for the other party.
A personal injury lawyer evaluates the value of your claim for damages by considering the following factors:
- Type and severity of the injury.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering you endured.
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses related to treatment.
- Extent of anticipated future medical treatment and its cost.
- Earnings lost due to the injuries.
- Extent of future reduction of earning capacity from the injuries.
- Effect of the injuries on your quality of life.
Your lawyer considers these and other factors relevant to your claim. This is done before engaging in settlement discussions with the insurance carrier or defense attorney to ensure that you receive fair and just compensation.
Negotiating skills and knowledge of insurance company tactics
Insurance companies do not make money by paying claims to accident victims. The adjusters and defense attorneys working on behalf of the party responsible for causing your injuries have as their primary goal paying as little as possible to resolve your claim for damages.
Your lawyer becomes a trusted advocate committed to aggressively fighting to ensure the party whose negligence caused you to be injured pays the compensation you deserve and are entitled to receive. You get the peace of mind knowing someone is looking out for your rights and wellbeing. Meanwhile, you focus on the medical care and rest needed to recover from your injuries.
Identifying parties that may be responsible
Lawyers develop skills to sift through the facts of a case and identify all parties that may be at fault. For example, the driver of a truck loses control over it and crashes into your car. The most obvious party to make a claim against may be the driver of the truck, but an experienced personal injury lawyer would analyze the evidence and the facts before jumping to conclusions about who may be responsible.
How cargo is loaded and secured on a truck may affect the ability of its driver to maintain control. When improperly secured cargo causes a crash, the party responsible for loading it may be held responsible in addition to the driver of the truck who failed to inspect.
Advice and guidance
Dealing with the stress of an accident that leaves you with serious injuries can be overwhelming. But you do not have to go through it alone. A free consultation with a Tampa personal injury lawyer offers sound legal advice and options for protecting your rights. Call to speak with an experienced lawyer at Kinney, Fernandez, and Boire or fill out this form for a free case evaluation.