So many of our clients call knowing they need a Maryland personal injury lawyer to handle their claim. Their focus is simply that I think I will get more money in my pocket and less fear of getting ripped off if I hire the best lawyer I can. Let me explain generally what we do. So if you are reading this before you call a lawyer, you will have some idea of what we do and what we will do for you as we advance your claim forward to settlement or trial.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
One question you have to ask yourself is do I need a personal injury lawyer? You can try to handle your accident claim yourself. If you have a small case, you will probably end up with less money and more hassle than if you had tried a lawyer. But if you are one of those “I want to do it myself if it is remotely possible” people and you have not suffered a meaningful or permanent injury, go ahead. Use the link above and take a shot at it. Is it possible you will completely screw it up? Of course. But the risk is not as grave in a minor accident case.
If you have a serious injury or wrongful death case, you are foolish to handle it alone. There are too many moving parts and too many risks. So many people handle serious cases on their own and they get a settlement. They think they won. What they won was a sucker award for getting completely ripped off.
How a Lawyer Helps You Maximize Your Case
Most people have a general understanding that personal injury lawyers help you get money. If you are injured in an accident, a personal injury lawyer helps you claim financial compensation for your injury. Personal injury attorneys are most commonly associated with auto accidents. While we handle medical malpractice and product liability cases, the focus of this blog is car and truck accidents so that is how I’m approaching this post.
Much like doctors help you physically recover from an injury. Personal injury attorneys can help you financially recover. I’ve never drawn that connection until this very moment. But that is what we do.
When you are injured, your primary focus is necessarily on your medical treatment and recovery. While you go to doctor appointments, physical therapy, surgery, etc. Your lawyer focuses on asserting your legal rights. Your personal injury lawyer can act as a barrier between you and all the people who might otherwise cause stress after an accident, including:
- Hospital administrators who want to know about payment for your medical bills
- Police officers investigating an accident
- Your own insurance company will want a statement to determine if they owe you PIP benefits or if you may be at-fault
- Claims adjusters from the other party’s insurance company will press you for information and a formal statement so that they can avoid paying any money on your claim
These are things you might handle yourself. But you don’t need to face these challenges alone. A personal injury attorney can intervene in these situations on your behalf. As your legal agent, your attorney can force all of these people to deal with him instead of harassing you.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Tell You Whether You Have a Case
One of the very first things that a personal injury lawyer can do for you (usually before you even retain them) is tell you whether or not you have a viable case. Our firm takes calls from potential clients all day long. Each of them wants to know whether they can sue someone and get money. A personal injury lawyers, we listen to their stories and give them an honest, objective opinion as to: (a) whether they have a valid legal case against someone; and (b) whether our firm is interested in taking their case.
This “gatekeeping” role is one of the important functions that all personal injury law firms perform. People have a lot of misconceptions about when they can sue someone and whether they are entitled to any money. Like all personal injury firms, we turn down most of the new leads we get in. Sometimes, we turn leads down because the person simply does not have a valid legal claim at all (e.g., they want to sue their neighbor for running over their flowers). In other cases, however, the person does have a valid case but the amount of damages involved is simply not enough for it to be a viable case.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Investigate Your Case
Another important service that personal injury lawyers perform for clients is investigating the facts of their case. After a personal injury lawyer agrees to take your case, they will investigate the case to determine exactly what happened and what facts they can prove. The type of investigation will vary depending on what type of case is involved.
In an auto accident case, the attorney’s investigation will focus on establishing the facts of what occurred in the accident. This will involve getting the police report, collecting photos from the scene of the accident, getting witness statements, and getting other documentation that will help establish your fact allegations. Sometimes, the lawyer may hire an accident re-creation or an accident reconstructionist as an expert. In a medical malpractice case, the investigation involves collecting medical records and having them reviewed by expert witnesses.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Negotiate with Insurance Companies
One of the most important functions that a personal injury lawyer performs in any type of case, is negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf. This is particularly important in auto accident, workers comp, and premises liability cases. Presenting a claim to an insurance company and then negotiating a settlement of that claim can be a complex and intricate process. Personal injury attorneys are experts in navigating this process. They know exactly how to present your claim and how to press the claims adjuster for a fair settlement offer.
Negotiating your claim with insurance companies is really the bread and butter of what a personal injury lawyer can do for you. This is how personal injury lawyers get financial compensation for your injuries. It is also a process that very few people can handle themselves without being at a major disadvantage. Having a good personal injury lawyer negotiate your claim can make a huge difference because it forces claims adjusters to take your case seriously.
Other Things Personal Injury Lawyers Do For You
There are a lot of other, little things that a personal injury lawyer can do for you behind the scenes that people rarely think about. These include:
- Sending Letters of Representation: when a lawyer starts to represent you, will send out a letter notifying all parties of this representation. This forces all parties to communicate with your lawyer instead of contacting you directly. It can be a huge stress relief.
- Request and Review Applicable Insurance Policies: your personal injury lawyer will obtain copies of all relevant insurance policies that might relate to your claim. This includes your own insurance policy and the defendant’s insurance policy. Reviewing the coverage available under these policies can help maximize the available sources of compensation.
- Collects and Tracks Medical Treatment Bills: reimbursement for medical treatment resulting from the accident is a major component of any financial compensation award in a personal injury case. Collecting ongoing treatment bills and presenting them for reimbursement is a key administrative function that most lawyers perform.
Contact Miller & Zois About Your Personal Injury Case
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the personal injury lawyer at Miller & Zois for a free consultation. We can help get you maximum compensation for your claim.