If you or a loved one were injured, and you think you have a viable personal injury lawsuit, you may be wondering whether you really need to hire a lawyer in order to file your claim.
The short answer is yes, not only because they will protect your interests but also because they know how much your case is worth and will not settle for less. Plus, it usually cost you nothing out-of-pocket.
Here’s what a personal injury lawyer can do for you, and why you should hire one to file your claim.
Determining If You Have a Case & Filing the Complaint
The first thing an attorney will do is determine if you qualify for a lawsuit. At Morgan & Morgan, we offer free, no-obligation case evaluations, in which we review your situation and gauge the strength of a potential case. This is a crucial step that will ensure that your time is valued. If you do have a solid claim, we can file a formal complaint against the negligent party, as well as all related paperwork.
Though many people assume they can’t afford to hire or even speak to an attorney, most personal injury firms —including Morgan & Morgan—operate on contingency. This means that it costs nothing upfront to hire us. If we successfully resolve your case through a settlement or jury verdict, our fee is a percentage of your award and never comes out of your own pocket. In short, we don’t get paid unless you do.
Gathering Evidence & Building Your Case
In addition to evaluating and filing your case, a lawyer can gather evidence to build a persuasive argument in your favor. Depending on the type of lawsuit you’ve filed, this might involve the following steps:
- Recreating the scene of the incident/injury
- Contacting witnesses and collecting statements
- Examining photographic and video evidence
- Reviewing police and medical records
- Consulting with medical experts
Each specific type of personal injury has a set of criteria that must be met. An experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in your type of personal injury will know exactly what these criteria are and how to go about satisfying them. Conversely, if you were to file the claim on your own, you might find yourself lost in legal jargon and minutiae, unsure of what exactly you’re supposed to be proving or, more importantly, how to prove it.
Negotiating with the Other Side
After your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer have built their cases, they’ll meet at the negotiating table for the mediation phase of the lawsuit. The hope is that each side will be able to reach a fair settlement agreement to avoid going to trial, and indeed, this is what happens most of the time.
But here’s the thing: you probably don’t know what the value of your case is—an experienced attorney does.
For example, most people consider $10,000 to be a lot of money, so if an insurance company offered them that amount to settle, many would accept it in a heartbeat. But what if that case was worth $100,000? Or $500,000? Insurance companies are banking on plaintiffs not realizing how much their case is worth and settling for much less than they should. Don’t fall into that trap.
Presenting at Trial
If you filed a claim but were unable to reach a settlement with the other side, you then have to present your case at trial, before a jury of your peers. Unless you’re an attorney yourself or have some other experience litigating cases, you are likely ill-equipped to make a compelling argument in court. The law is complicated, and winning at trial requires weeks of preparation even for seasoned attorneys. This is one situation where you want to leave it to the professionals.
Contact America’s Largest Personal Injury Law Firm
If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, don’t be a hero—contact a law firm with decades of experience winning these cases.
Since 1988, Morgan & Morgan has been fighting for people injured because of others’ negligence. Over that time, we’ve recovered more than $13 billion for 300,000 clients, growing into America’s largest injury law firm, with 800 attorneys in offices across the country.
No matter where you live or what your situation is, we may be able to help you. Contact us for a free consultation to see if you’re entitled to compensation. These cases are time-sensitive, so don’t wait. Contact us today.