Finding the right personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process. You can compare attorneys based on experience, success rates, fees and more.
During your consultation, ask the attorney what their success rate is. You want someone who has successfully negotiated settlements and taken cases to trial.
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Ideally, personal injury attorneys try to collect as much evidence as possible at the scene of an accident. This includes photographs, witness contact information, and medical records documenting injuries and their cost to treat. Physical evidence can deteriorate or get lost if not preserved immediately, and witnesses can forget details over time.
A skilled Brooklyn personal injury lawyer will examine the evidence and perform a thorough liability analysis. This involves reviewing case law, common laws, and applicable statutes in order to present a solid argument for why an insurance company must pay your claim.
Your attorney will also interview witnesses and request surveillance footage. They may also hire expert witnesses to testify on your behalf, depending on the nature of the case. For example, a doctor or therapist could testify about how your injury will impact your life in the future. They will also review your medical records and other documentation that proves your loss of income, damages, and expenses.
In personal injury cases, proving liability can take time. A New York City personal injury attorney will need to review medical records and other evidence such as a police report from the accident, hip x-rays or a CT scan of the brain to prove your injuries. In some cases, these documents are not available or can take a long time to retrieve.
A personal injury lawyer must identify all individuals and entities whose wrongful conduct may have contributed to an accident. This may include the driver and their employer, a manufacturer or auto repair shop, or even a government entity like a city bus company or road maintenance crew. New York law allows a victim to seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering even if they are partially at fault. An experienced Manhattan injury lawyer can help victims determine how much they might be able to receive. The lawyer will also review similar verdicts and settlements to establish a benchmark for what they might expect from the responsible party.
Settlement or Trial
The decision whether to settle or take a case to trial is a significant one that involves many variables. Taking a case to trial may result in a higher compensation award, public accountability of the negligent party and a more fair judgment. It can also cost more and require a greater investment of time.
Settlement negotiations usually start with your attorney submitting a demand letter to the insurance company. They then engage in back-and-forth negotiations that often result in a compromise.
Personal injury attorneys know how to negotiate tactfully and strategically in order to achieve a favorable outcome for their clients. They will consider the long-term effects of an injury and calculate future expenses that can be compensated by a settlement or verdict. They will not accept a settlement that is less than what they believe to be fair. This is why it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Filing a Lawsuit
A personal injury attorney will file a Complaint, which lists case details and summons the party who injured you (defendant). The defendant must “answer” within a set time, which is an opportunity to admit or deny each allegation.
During this phase, your lawyer can request documents and depositions from the defendant. Generally, both sides must submit to physical and oral examinations. Your attorney can help you meet with physicians who are knowledgeable in personal injury law and are likely to be able to testify at trial.
It is important that your attorney negotiates with the insurance company to get you the best settlement possible. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to calculate the value of your losses based on medical bills, lost wages and property damage. In addition, your attorney will take into account noneconomic damages like pain and suffering. These can be difficult to put a dollar amount on but are an integral part of your claim.