Whether you’ve gotten into a car accident, been bitten by a dog, or were injured by a defective product, you may incur substantial costs. These could include medical expenses such as ambulance fees, hospital bills and long-term physical therapy. The financial toll could include property damage, such as the cost of a totaled vehicle. You might also have lost wages or disability if you are unable to work temporarily or permanently.
You may be entitled to compensation for all these damages, plus more. (For a more complete list, read our article “What Kind of Damages or Compensation Could I Be Awarded?”)
But legal cases can be extremely complicated, so it is wise to consult with an expert attorney. Below we will outline the types of cases injury attorneys typically handle and how a lawyer can help you obtain a favorable settlement.
Types of accidents and injuries
Personal injury law covers a wide variety of accidents. Some of the most common incidents that lead to personal injury cases include:
• Automobile accidents
• Commercial vehicle accidents
• Motorcycle accidents
• Pedestrian accidents
• Bicycle accidents
• Bus accidents
• Wrongful death
• Dog bites
• Premises liability/fall accidents
• Fires, explosions and electrical accidents
• Drowning and swimming pool accidents
Some common injuries that often lead to long-term complications are:
• Closed head injuries
• Traumatic brain injuries
• Spinal cord injuries
• Broken bones
• Crush injuries
• Facial lacerations
When you should speak with a lawyer
You should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer if:
• Your injuries are severe and/or disabling.
• You require ongoing healthcare.
• You need home health services for an extended period of time.
• The at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to pay your bills.
• You lost a family member in an accident.
The legal consultation
When you consult with an attorney, he or she will discuss:
• Whether another individual or entity’s negligence contributed to the accident.
• If there is an individual or entity from whom to seek compensation.
• The severity of your injuries.
• Your medical costs, past and future.
• Your legal rights and options.
The Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team provides free, no-obligation consultations and case evaluations.
How can a lawyer help you obtain a favorable settlement?
After the consultation(s), an experienced injury attorney should then do the following to help you build the strongest case possible and navigate the tricky waters of legal cases:
• Handle all communication and negotiations with the insurance companies.
• Obtain and evaluate all the information collected at the scene of the incident and by insurance companies, including police reports, photos, eye-witness testimonies and medical records.
• Conduct a thorough, independent investigation. This might involve collaborating with accident reconstruction experts, securing the vehicle’s black box and obtaining video surveillance footage. This evidence may hold clues to road conditions, vehicle defects, and the causes of the accident. Your attorney may also locate witnesses and interview them. In addition, he or she may consult with medical or other experts about your injuries and their potential lifelong aftereffects.
• Determine fault and the degree of each individual’s or entity’s liability.
• Establish the full value of your injuries and other losses.
• Navigate the intricate laws related to the accident within your state.
• Investigate and anticipate the opposing party’s potential defenses.
• Submit a demand for settlement, including a letter outlining the details of your case, liability and damages (injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of life’s enjoyment and future medical care). Putting together a high-quality demand package is crucial to winning a case. While most lawyers submit a demand letter including documents and photos, the Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team sends iPads loaded with videos, photos and all documentation. The demand package can make an indelible impression on the opposing party, which reviews the demand and will either reject it, make a counteroffer or accept it. Your lawyer will handle all of the communication with the opposing party.
• File a lawsuit if your case cannot be settled up front.
• Obtain further evidence prior to the trial.
• Negotiate with a mediator between the parties. A mediator is often brought in to prevent going to trial.
• Represent you at trial if necessary.
• Handle an appeal if necessary.
• Keep you informed throughout the legal process.
• On select cases at Lamber-Goodnow, clients are lent Apple iPads or Google Glass for communication and documentation sharing. We also utilize video conferencing and several apps to share information easily and constantly keep in touch with our clients.
Clearly, legal cases are complex, require arcane knowledge, and can involve lengthy and costly investigations, negotiations and trials. That is why it is wise to hire an experienced attorney.
At Lamber-Goodnow, the initial consultation and evaluation is free. If we believe you have a strong case and you decide to hire us, we will fully investigate your claim. We only get paid when we secure a favorable settlement for you.