You may wonder if you should hire a personal injury lawyer if you have been in an accident. This can be a complicated question dependent on several different things, including how severe your injuries are and your own comfort in navigating the legal system. If you contact an attorney, they can help you decide if a personal injury claim is appropriate for your situation.
If you’ve been injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be confused and overwhelmed by the process. There are many things a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can do to help make this process easier. The kind of personal injury lawyer you might want to retain will depend on the specifics of your injury.
What Kind of Injury Makes You Want to Retain an Injury Lawyer?
In short, any injury that causes a significant disruption to your day-to-day functioning and was caused by the negligence or malice of someone else may make you want to consult an attorney. Some of the main practice areas of personal injury are:
- Car, truck, motorcycle, and other motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Defective products
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice
The goal of personal injury law in Nevada is to get you back in the position you were in before the accident. No one can take back pain or give back missed time with family, but monetary compensation can provide the resources and tools to get back to life. If you have these injuries, it may be helpful to contact an attorney and discuss the details of your case with them to make a decision that is right for you.
What Are the Benefits of a Personal Injury Lawyer?
When you retain a personal injury attorney, you aren’t just securing their ability to do legal research, file documents in court, or their familiarity with the process. You are securing their experience with similar cases. They can see the nuance in your case and use that to build a case beyond the obvious economic damages.
When you hire a lawyer specializing in your specific injury, they are experts in navigating that kind of case. This means they will know the kinds of specialists you need for assessments and documentation and what experts to call as witnesses. For example, you should see a physician and physical therapist specializing in your kind of injury instead of a general neurologist, and your attorney can make those connections for you.
Non-economic damages Beyond physical injuries, your attorney can assess and fight for compensation based on non-economic injury. These can include emotional damages and reduced quality of life or earning potential. Much of this knowledge is based on professional experience you might not have if you represent yourself.
Based on the facts of your case, your attorney might find it appropriate to also pursue punitive damages. In Nevada, this type of claim is not meant as compensatory damages to the victim but specifically to punish the defendant for malicious intent.
Red Flags that a Personal Injury Attorney Is Needed
While some people might feel comfortable navigating the process alone, it may be important to bring in an attorney if you come across a couple of scenarios. These would include if anyone involved suggests that you might be partially at fault if the insurance company seems to be requiring you to jump through unnecessary hoops or if the insurance company denies a valid claim.
Another indicator that you might benefit from retaining a personal injury lawyer is if you are at all unsure of how much your injuries cost or are worth. A personal injury attorney will have experience in how to assess and value your injuries. This will include economic and non-economic needs.
The Personal Injury Claim Process
If you have decided to retain a lawyer, you will work closely with them for months or years. Finding an attorney that you trust and will be honest with is vital. This will help them to build a stronger case and get in front of any potential issues.
Steps to Your Claim
Once you and your lawyer have determined there is a case to make and you might be eligible for compensation, one of the first steps will be discovery. This is where your lawyer will gather evidence and share and receive evidence from the other parties.
Once all evidence and witness statements have been gathered, the process for negotiations and settlements can start. Your lawyer has years of experience navigating these claims and will work with you to discuss any potential settlement offers and collaborate with accepting or countering the offer to find a resolution most fitting for you.
While most personal injury claims are settled outside of the courtroom, if you and your attorney cannot agree on a settlement amount with opposing parties, the matter will progress to a trial. You will, once again, work with your attorney to prepare for that.
Through this process, your attorney will update you on any developments with your claim, including any new evidence, settlement offers, or court dates. If your attorney suggests that you see a certain provider or specialist, you should follow their advice because it is likely useful in gathering evidence for your case. All of this can be useful in securing your maximum compensation.
What Is Right for You
Many factors determine if you should retain a personal injury lawyer. This can be your confidence in navigating the legal system and claim process, how severe your injuries are, and maybe the biggest of all, whether your injury resulted from someone else’s negligence or malice. It may not be worth bringing in an attorney for small claims, but they can typically get a higher compensation amount than you could on your own.
If you are unsure, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to an attorney when in doubt since they typically act on a contingency fee schedule. This means they don’t collect payment until they secure payment for you. Most law firms will provide a free case consultation and assess the needs and validity of your individual situation.