Maximizing Your Recovery after an Accident: How Personal Injury Attorneys in Detroit, MI Can Help

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There is no question that the amount a person can recover from an accident varies considerably. Multiple elements have an impact, ranging from how an accident occurs, what laws applied at the time, how parties behaved, and what witnesses saw. The evidence reflects how parties negotiate a claim and how if it gets filed, a lawsuit is treated in court.

While an injured party can’t control every element, he or she does have the opportunity to bring in legal expertise to represent their interests. The use of a personal injury attorney in Detroit, MI, for legal representation is not required; in fact, people have the ability to represent themselves as well as handle all aspects of a claim. That said, it’s not a smart idea. Even an attorney shouldn’t represent himself because the emotional attachment to the incident and injury alone can distract one from seeing critical elements.

How an Attorney Helps with Recovery

First and foremost, any significant recovery from an accident is going to require representation that is versed in the legal requirements of the law. If this element is missing, it can result in not seeking recovery in as many areas as a victim can do so, and it can cause a claim to be summarily thrown out by the court for not being correct or properly prepared. There simply has to be a basic level of legal expertise, both in the general application of the law and to understand the nuances of the local court system rules. Procedural requirements in the legal world are just as important as the substance of a case for success.

Secondly, understanding the nature of the parties and how to negotiate with them makes a big difference in the recoveries possible. Insurance companies and proxies, for example, are focused heavily on risk management. To the extent that they can handle a claim out of court and reduce the amount claimed, it’s savings and reduction of the risk cost they would otherwise have to pay. The average person might assume an insurance settlement seems sufficient at the time, especially if medical bills and car repairs are pressing, but, in reality, it may be a third or less of what would otherwise be paid for recovery if fully represented. Avoiding those claims contributes to the bottom line of the coverage provider.

Representation by an accident attorney instantly changes the dynamic of the insurance company’s approach. Knowing that the attorney is fully aware of the victim’s recovery options and that the same lawyer can bring a lawsuit to the court that can cost much more, the insurance company is then motivated to settle out of court, often with a much higher amount than was offered to a party without representation to settle the matter quickly.

Attorney Representation Also Prevents Common Problems

Medical providers who have assisted a victim will aggressively look for any avenue to cover their costs and expenses that the victim often signed off on and agreed to at the time they entered the hospital and were suffering in pain, not really understanding the ramifications. Handled wrong, these providers can easily gobble up any recovery a victim receives quickly without anticipating how much medical costs can grow. And the costs charged without going through health coverage are oftentimes inflated as they are not controlled by any health insurance contract. An attorney can rein in these collection activities as well as block the tool often used, lien actions, which, when approved, are hard to reverse after the fact.

Preventing harmful information or erroneous statements from working against a client is another big benefit to an attorney in recovery. The average person, when asked a question, oftentimes doesn’t just answer the question but also elaborates. People frequently have a habit of continuing to talk with a listener who is silent, for example. However, what people don’t always know or forget is that the legal process of recovery is adversarial; the opposite side works actively to disprove the claim of a victim, especially if it goes to a lawsuit. So, everything can be used by a defendant or insurance company to fend off a claim, and it’s often pulled out via depositions, evidence demands, and testimony. Again, having an experienced accident attorney representing a victim provides critical protection for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time as victim and claimant.

Attorneys Also Help Make Claims Better

The evidence, witnesses, and claim documentation that is used also matter tremendously. Poor or shoddy evidence, contradicting statements, and poor testimony all work against a potential recovery, weakening a case, especially if it goes in front of a judge or jury. A good attorney tests all parts of a case, even if going into settlement, to make sure every argument is as strong as possible. Every party sued will almost always have attorneys working for them, typically provided through insurance providers. These lawyers earn their fees aggressively defending their clients, which will be at the expense of the victim’s case. Not being prepared to deal with this reaction can usually mean a poor recovery result or even a case dismissal.

What to Do Right after an Accident

Under no circumstances sign or agree to anything right after an accident. This is a time when, as an accident victim, you are likely hurt, disoriented, to be treated medically, and emotionally upset. Attorneys and insurance companies know this is the case and also know medical and repair costs are typically creating pressure on victims. It becomes very easy to convince someone without an attorney to accept a ready-cash payment on the spot for a quick settlement. And it’s almost always far less than what the true recovery amount possible could be.

Instead, by hiring a personal injury attorney in Detroit, MI, a client can focus on recovery and healing while the representative works on the case right away. This allows a couple of things to happen right away with a direct impact on recovery: 1) the attorney can immediately deal with and stop bill collectors and harassment by parties looking to settle right away, 2) representation can also begin objectively finding evidence, witnesses, and information critical to proving a claim as well as the extent of harm caused to the victim, both of which directly impact recovery potential, and 3) the attorney can handle the negotiations with responsible parties as well as the court, professionally communicating what is needed without over-stating information or creating situations that work against an accident victim. Finally, an accident attorney can confirm whether a settlement offer is worth considering or is an attempt to lowball the victim, as well as make sure all aspects of recovery are included. Remember, recovery is more than just physical harm and property loss; it also includes lost income, inability to work for income, pain and suffering, and long-term rehabilitation as well.

Most importantly, there is nothing lost in talking to an accident attorney. Accidents are handled as personal injury cases, which work on a contingency model; your attorney is paid as the case is successfully settled or won. That means, as a client, you’re not hampered by legal costs upfront, preventing you from accessing competent representation. Take advantage of a good accident attorney; otherwise, you’re leaving recovery potential on the table.

Barry Goodman

Barry J. Goodman is a founding partner of a Detroit-based personal injury law firm. He received his undergraduate degree from Bradley University in 1974 and earned his J.D. with honors from Stetson University College of Law in 1977.

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