For those who have been injured due to the negligence or fault of another, there is one question that often sticks out: Will I recover more compensation if I work with an attorney?
While every situation is different and it’s impossible to predict the outcome of your case without talking to you and investigating your unique situation, the simple answer is that all else being equal, yes. According to survey data from Nolo, an online legal resource hub, readers who worked with attorneys were not only more likely to receive a payout, but they received over four times the payout amount.
That might seem far-fetched, but when you understand the experience, resources, and knowledge that a personal injury attorney can bring to your claim, it’s not hard to believe. Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the ways a personal injury lawyer can help maximize your settlement, starting with handling the opposition: insurance companies.
Most people dealing with a personal injury have little understanding of what to expect. They may file a claim with an insurance company and shortly thereafter receive phone calls discussing the details of their claim. The insurance company may ask the individual to sign a statement or a medical release form – neither of which are required but can seem innocent enough.
However, signing these pieces of paperwork can be used against you. If, for example, your signed statement has small details different from what you claim later on, they may argue that you are changing your story. They may also use your medical records against you, trying to find inconsistencies or anything they can use to mitigate your injuries.
Personal injury attorneys have been around the block, so to speak. They’ve seen these tactics used time and again, and they know how to fight back, ensuring accident victims don’t unintentionally damage the viability of their claims.
In some cases, an insurance company may provide a settlement offer. This is usually good news. It means the insurance company knows you deserve compensation.
That said, this initial offer is generally going to be much less than you deserve for the damages you have and continue to endure. But how do you know how much you should pursue? The goal is not to be unreasonable but to know the right amount.
A lawyer with personal injury experience will have a thorough understanding of how to find the right number. This will start with your medical bills and property damage, but it could also expand to other losses and damages, such as lost wages or pain and suffering.
An attorney will also have the benefit of experience working on other claims, meaning they know what others in similar situations have been able to recover – which can make them very effective negotiators.
If an insurance company thinks they can pay less through a court decision, they will be more than willing to take your claim to court. The same is true of a good personal injury attorney: if they believe they can recover more compensation for you by going to court, they will do it.
That said, settlement negotiations can be like walking a tightrope. Both parties – you and the insurance company – might benefit from an out-of-court settlement. It’s quicker, more predictable, and less expensive. But knowing when to agree to a settlement offer and when to push back is not easy.
An attorney will understand the position the insurance company is in, which gives them the ability to negotiate intelligently on your behalf. They will have a firm grasp of the evidence available, knowing how much leverage you have, which will help them guide you in the right direction.
If an insurance company is unwilling to settle for a fair amount, it may be in your best interests to take the claim to court. That said, going to trial adds a layer of complexity. Now, instead of negotiating, you must be able to convince a jury that you deserve an appropriate amount of compensation for your damages.
In these situations, insurance companies will deploy highly experienced attorneys who are highly proficient at fighting claims. But if you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, they can even the playing field, helping to ensure your rights are protected and fought for.
Most personal injury attorneys – including the attorneys at the Karl Truman Law Office – work on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to pay us unless and until we win compensation for you, at which point the fee is a percentage of total compensation won.
For accident victims, this means they aren’t burdened with additional bills while healing from their injuries, removing the risk that can come with not knowing how a case may turn out. It also gives claimants peace of mind knowing their attorneys will do everything they can to maximize their compensation.
Beyond our contingency fee arrangement, the attorneys at the Karl Truman Law Office also offer free consultations. This means we can have a complimentary, no-strings-attached conversation about your situation to help you better understand what your rights are, what compensation you may be able to recover, and more.
To speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at the Karl Truman Law Office, call our Jeffersonville, Indiana office today at (812) 282-8500 to schedule your free consultation.