If you've been injured and someone else was at fault, you can be compensated for the cost of your medical care and other damages.
In simple cases with minor injuries, the at-fault person's insurance company may offer a quick and fair settlement to pay your medical bills and lost wages. However, when your case is complex, your bills are high, or your recovery is lengthy, the process quickly gets complicated.
That's when it's a good idea to hire a personal injury attorney — someone with expertise championing your cause will get further than you could on your own. Here's what to expect when you hire an attorney for your personal injury case.
An attorney will deal with insurance companies
From the beginning, an attorney will take care of the details of your case, from telling you your rights and responsibilities to making the injury claim on your behalf and dealing with insurance companies.
"Additionally, the attorney can also address the issues of property damage, medical bills, and wage loss," according to Seattle Law Offices of Michael Mazon. "Ideally, the attorney should communicate with the insurance company while the client's sole concern should be in obtaining medical treatment for injuries."
Allowing an attorney to take care of filing paperwork, collecting evidence, and dealing with the insurance company lets you focus on healing. Additionally, an attorney may recommend waiting until you've completed any treatment before filing a claim because then you'll know the extent of your injury and the cost of your care.
An attorney will address the impact of your injury
Being injured can impact your whole life. Not only are you having to go through treatment and pay any medical bills, but the effects can ripple out to your job and personal life, something that should be reflected in the final settlement.
"An award of special damages should make a victim whole for expenses incurred or for money lost due to the incident or accident that caused their injuries," according to AllLaw.
These are some common issues that may be compensated:
- Low current or future earnings
- Medical bills
- Cost of future medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
If a loved one died, wrongful death damages could include funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial contribution, and loss of services and support. Your attorney will know which damages apply to you and gather the information necessary to present the best case to an insurance company or jury.
An attorney will help you collect money
Going through a personal injury lawsuit can last months or more than a year. Once damages are awarded, it may be difficult to collect the money because the amount may exceed the at-fault person's insurance liability limits. That means the remainder would need to come from the defendant's personal assets.
"Defendants on the hook to pay a damages award may or may not be able to satisfy the entire award and might be unwilling to pay it at all," according to AllLaw. "A plaintiff's attorney can help with the collection process by discovering undisclosed assets, placing liens on a property and even garnishing wages."
Fortunately, local attorney Michael Mazon has experience as an insurance company attorney and uses his insider knowledge of their tactics to represent personal injury clients. As one of the most successful personal injury attorneys in Washington, he tells clients to "let me battle with the insurance company!" For more information and to schedule a free consultation, visit seattlelawoffices.com.