If you or a loved one is injured, you may have questions on how to go about working with a personal injury lawyer. After you identify the best personal injury lawyer for your case, you will agree on a fee agreement. But what happens after that?
Your Perspective as a Personal Injury Claimant
How you view the case is essential. You may have serious injuries to consider for a short or long period of time. Of course, you hired a personal injury lawyer to receive their help and advice. That’s why it’s crucial to select a lawyer who is educated and communicates well.
Your involvement in the personal injury claim is very important. You must take some level of control over decisions to be made about your injury lawsuit, even when an experienced lawyer has taken the case.
Of course, you don’t want to tell the lawyer what to do, but you should have concerns about time and costs in your case. You should be consulted when the personal injury lawyer makes major decisions. If your personal injury lawyer outsources work relating to your case, you should be aware of it.
Expert and Investigator in the Personal Injury Claim
Some types of personal injury circumstances benefit from the work of experts and investigators. These professionals study what caused the accident. They identify witnesses or find other useful details about the defendant’s alleged negligence.
Your personal injury lawyer may hire an accident reconstruction expert or specialist investigator. They may also hire medical professionals to provide expert opinions about the injuries you sustained or the estimated future costs of your medical care.
An expert isn’t an employee of the personal injury attorney’s office, so any fees associated with them are deducted from the final settlement or award in your case. Because the costs of hiring experts may add up quickly, discuss the details with your lawyer, and ask for prior approval. It’s your money.
Your Personal Injury Case
You have a legal right to discuss your matter with everyone involved, including your personal injury lawyer, insurance, or claims adjusters for the negligent defendant. You also have the right to expect the expeditious resolution of your lawsuit or claim.
While it’s reasonable to expect some delays in the insurance claim process or the court calendar, you can keep things moving by staying in regular contact with all parties. Your gentle pressure in the form of follow-up phone calls can help your case.
Contact your lawyer if you haven’t received a status update about the case in a few weeks. Ask what’s happening in the case and discuss the next steps in the process. Of course, there’s a fine line between effective communications and pestering your legal team. Remember to stay calm, check in every week or so, and discuss the next steps to take.
Settle Your Personal Injury Claim
Your personal injury lawyer may suggest it’s time to settle your personal injury claim. Ultimately, the decision to accept the defendant’s settlement offer is always yours. Remember, your main considerations as a personal injury claimant include ongoing expenses, how much time and attention you may allot to the case, how fast the case is settled or when you should accept a settlement offer, and when to file a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.