The role of a personal injury attorney is to help accident victims recover maximum compensation from the party (or parties) responsible for an injury. The amount of money damages can vary widely, and this article explores how personal injury attorneys seek to recover the most money for their clients.
Do You Have a Right to Compensation?
Generally, when another person injures you due to their negligence or reckless behavior, you have a legal right to collect compensation. However, how much you can receive and whether you’ll be able to collect those funds are questions that are not as easy to answer.
One of the first steps in any personal injury case is apportioning blame for the incident. For example, in a car accident case, someone who runs a red light is typically found at fault, but what if the other car was speeding? Does the speeding car share part of the blame? And if so, how does that affect compensation?
California follows a comparative negligence standard that would allow the speeding car to receive monetary damages with a deduction that accounts for their percentage of fault.
For example, if the accident victim driving the speeding car was found to be 20% at fault for the accident, and the total damages sustained were worth $100,000, they would receive $80,000.
The next big question that clients often ask us is how much their case is worth. In the above example, we referenced a car accident case worth $100,000. How do we come up with that number?
One of the most important roles of a personal injury is accurately assessing the value of a case and proving that amount to an insurance company or the court.
Your attorney starts by establishing an amount based on your financial losses, such as lost wages and medical expense categories. From there, an attorney may use the “Multiplier Method” to account for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. For example, if your financial losses amount to $20,000, a multiplier method could be utilized to make that figure five times higher (or $100,000).
How Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help Maximize Compensation
Because personal injury cases have so many variables, having an experienced attorney on your side can mean the difference between receiving a fair settlement and receiving far less than your case is worth.
According to the Insurance Research Council, accident victims receive settlements that are 3.5 times larger when they have legal representation than those who choose to handle the matter themselves. This amount is significant, and the contributions that a personal injury attorney can make to your case are outlined below.
Gather Evidence About Your Case
There are two sides to every store, and there’s usually evidence that will sway the allocation of fault in one direction. A personal injury attorney will investigate the incident and look for favorable evidence.
Negotiate on Your Behalf
It can feel like you’re against the world when you’re dealing with insurance companies and attorneys whose goal is to minimize your compensation to keep more money in their pocket. By having a personal injury lawyer on your side, you have an advocate who negotiates with the other party without emotions and stress getting in the way.
File Paperwork and Meet Deadlines
There are a lot of forms that need to be completed and submitted to successfully settle or litigate a personal injury claim. There is also regular correspondence required that can increase with the case’s complexity.
Provide Legal Representation in Court
If settlement talks fail and you need to file a lawsuit, then a personal injury attorney can file a lawsuit and represent you during a trial.
How You Can Help Your Personal Injury Case
You and your lawyer will work together as a collaborative team to explore multiple avenues to maximize compensation.
Because you have the most information about the facts of the accident, your lawyer will likely ask you many detailed questions, proactively looking for legal nuances that can help your case and potential pitfalls to mitigate or avoid.
A personal injury attorney will also be with you at every step of the way to aid in both your physical and financial recovery, including providing variations of the following advice:
- Get medical treatment: Your health is a top priority, so seeking medical attention should take precedence over anything else. Seeking prompt medical treatment also helps document your medical record and strengthen your case.
- Report the incident: Depending on where and how the accident occurred, you’ll want to obtain a record. For car accident cases, this could be reporting the accident to the police. For a slip and fall case on a commercial property, you may file a complaint with the manager.
Regardless of when or how the accident occurred, gather as much evidence as possible, including photos, witness statements, and other forensic evidence that proves your side of events.
- Avoid discussing the incident: The phrase “anything you say can be used against you” is typically associated with criminal cases, but talking about what happened during a personal injury claim can come back and bite you. Avoid speaking to the other party’s insurance company.
We also recommend refraining from posting anything on social media until your case is settled. An innocuous post about taking a stroll around the block could make the extent of your injuries seem unbelievable.
- Be realistic, but stay positive: Every personal injury case is different, and we’ve seen matters settle for as little as a few thousand dollars to well into the millions. Many accident victims mistakenly believe that their financial recovery is limited to lost wages and medical bills, but the reality is that you may also be eligible to receive monetary damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and a reduction in your quality of life.
Contact an Experienced Newport Beach Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured, please don’t wait to speak to a personal injury attorney about your case. Call Khalil Law Group at (714) 617-7870 for a free consultation.