When you think of personal injury claims, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it a car accident? A dog bite? A slip and fall?
All of those unfortunate events fall under personal injury law.
With so many different types of personal injury claims, it makes sense that no two claims processes are exactly alike. The type of claim you file – and the severity of the injury or damage – will determine which steps you need to take to get the compensation you deserve.
There’s one thing, however, that won’t change: the importance of consulting with a New Orleans personal injury attorney. For essentially any type of personal injury claim, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t call an experienced personal injury attorney before you try dealing directly with the insurance company.
If you’ve already signed an agreement with an insurance company, you’re out of luck trying to get fairly compensated.
A personal injury attorney should:
- Offer a consultation to discuss your case and how strong it is. This is usually a free service offered by the attorney. It won’t cost you anything to consult, and it doesn’t mean you have to hire the attorney.
- Work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if you get paid (most personal injury attorneys work this way). They’ll take a percentage of your settlement. If you don’t get any money from the accident, neither will your attorney.
- Help you with insurance companies. These companies will do everything in their power to pay you as little as possible. Attorneys know this, and they have tools in their toolbox to force the insurance companies to pay up.
- Be able to determine whether you’re entitled to “pain and suffering.” Sometimes, that’s only included if there’s a lawsuit attached to the claim. Without an attorney, you may never know how much pain and suffering compensation you deserve.
The other important step that all personal injury cases should do from the beginning is seek medical treatment.
Even if you think your injuries are minor, that could change as your treatment progresses. Doctors may find that your injuries were worse than you thought.
Plus, foregoing medical treatment would be disadvantageous in terms of compensation. The insurance company and/or the person responsible for your injury can point to your lack of treatment as reason to dismiss your request for compensation. Once you have visited a doctor, your personal injury attorney will help you through the next steps of your case.
These are the more complicated aspects of the case, so you will be happy to have an attorney by your side.
- Setting Up a Claim: Your attorney will inform the party liable for your injuries and their insurance company that you plan to file a claim.
- Collecting Information for Your Claim: With your attorney, collect medical records and invoices from your doctors, as well as any and all other relevant evidence for your claim, including invoices and/or estimates of damage, records of lost wages, etc.
- Negotiations for Reaching a Settlement or Filing a Lawsuit:: Your attorney will work with the other party to reach an agreeable settlement for both sides. If no settlement can be reached, your case may go to court.
Insurance claims and lawsuits can be very complicated. One wrong step could cost you. Isn’t it better to have someone who knows the law handle your case?
Contact Wright Gray today for a consultation.