#1. Explaining Victims’ Rights
Personal injury lawyers can discuss how certain legal issues may impact your rights during a personal injury case. For instance, a personal injury lawyer can inform you of the statute of limitations for your claim, which is the time victims have to file a personal injury claim. In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the accident
Your version of events will guide your attorney as they work to protect your rights. Attorneys will attempt to collect as much information about the accident and injuries as possible to determine the best approach to seek compensation.
#2. Providing Advice
A personal injury lawyer also provides advice for your case and how to proceed. Personal injury cases
can become very complex, depending on the nature of the accident and other factors. Lawyers can ensure that you understand what your case will entail, simplify certain concepts, and assist with paperwork.
An attorney may offer advice in a variety of areas. For example, they might recommend that someone seek professional medical treatment despite apparent minor injuries
to help identify and diagnose any underlying conditions. Seeking medical treatment generates medical records that attorneys can use as evidence to support a claim or lawsuit.
In addition, an attorney could advise on how to communicate with insurance companies during the claims process. When victims communicate directly and issue statements to insurers, they risk inadvertently compromising their case
and denial of their claim.
#3. Case Investigation and Gathering of Evidence
When going through the claims process, attorneys investigate the case and begin the discovery process.
Throughout this process, attorneys:
- Collect photos and video footage of the accident scene, involved vehicles, and injuries
- Connect with and interview witnesses
- Gather employer and police reports
- Check for any potentially dangerous conditions at accident sites or evidence of dangerous conditions, such as vehicle parts and skid marks
By completing these tasks, attorneys build your case and help prove who was at fault for the accident and subsequent damages.
#4. Providing Representation in Court
Most personal injury cases never go to trial, with many settling during the claims process while victims and insurers negotiate a settlement. However, some cases wind up in court if insurance companies deny a claim and attorneys believe a civil trial is required to recover adequate compensation.
Throughout the litigation process, individuals need to adhere to specific procedures. If accident victims are unfamiliar with the trial process, they could hurt rather than help their case by representing themselves. Instead, it helps to have professional legal representation throughout litigation to navigate the trial process.
#5. Accurate Calculation of Compensation
In personal injury cases, victims may recover multiple types of damages
. These damages include economic damages that are easier to calculate because of their specific costs and non-economic damages that are more subjective and harder to quantify.
Economic damages, or special damages, include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and the cost of ongoing treatment, among other items with specific dollar amounts. Meanwhile, non-economic or general damages could include less tangible damages such as pain and suffering, psychological distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
It’s often difficult to calculate the precise amount a case is worth based on all damages. Insurance companies will typically try to reach the lowest acceptable settlement amount, but an attorney can determine a case’s true value.