If you have been injured in an accident, you are dealing with a lot of pain and you are probably wondering how you are ever going to pay all of your bills. If you have already called your insurance company, they may have asked you some confusing questions and told you that they will get back to you with an offer. The insurance company may try to deny your claim or low ball you. A personal injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Think about it, insurance companies are staffed with sophisticated attorneys who know every loophole to keep your money in their hands. A personal injury attorney will be just as knowledgeable about the laws as the insurance company’s attorneys, and they will know just what arguments to use and what facts to research in order to get you your money.
What You Need to Do
When you have an accident, you should always call the police and stay at the scene until the officer arrives. You should get the names of any witnesses that there may be and take pictures if you can. You should exchange information with the other driver, but remember to never admit to guilt at the scene, even if you think you caused the accident.
You should call your insurance company as soon as possible. They will ask for copies of all your medical bills, any receipts for prescription or over the counter drugs that you have and a letter from your employer stating the amount of time that you have missed off of work. They may ask to record the call, but you are under no obligation to say yes.
What to Look for in an Attorney
The attorney you select should have many years of experience in personal injury law and good reviews from previous clients. They should have a stellar reputation with the state bar, and it is always impressive if they have articles published in legal publications. If you are in Oregon, the attorneys at Johnson Johnson Lucas & Middleton Personal Injury Lawyer, are the perfect example of superior personal injury attorneys.
How a Good Attorney Negotiates
When an attorney first gets a personal injury case, they calculate the special damages and the general damages. Special damages are things such as lost wages, medical or funeral expenses and property damage. They may also include loss of future wages. General damages tend to be more intangible things, such as pain and suffering, embarrassment caused by your injuries and loss of companionship.
The attorney will then adjust the value of your claim to fit your specific circumstances. They will research the liability in the accident and determine if any percent of the accident was caused by you or circumstances as opposed to the other driver. They will look at your driving record and the record of the other driver or drivers. If you waited to see your doctor and your condition worsened, your attorney may have to adjust the amount of money you are seeking.
Your attorney will then contact the insurance company requesting a settlement amount. Your lawyer and the insurance company will negotiate from there.
Your health and finances are important. Be sure to research your attorney and bring them all the information you need to win your case.