As personal injury lawyers, we have seen the serious consequences of a personal injury. We have represented a variety of clients including those who have not been able to work again, those who have needed expensive medical treatment to regain basic abilities, and those who have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence. That is why we also know how important it can be to have a knowledgeable, experienced personal injury lawyer working diligently on your behalf.
Whether or not to hire a personal injury attorney and the process of finding the right one can feel like overwhelming decisions - but for many families, it is the right decision. Charles Bean & Associates, PLLC, has compiled this Personal Injury Lawyer Resource Guide to help provide answers to the many commonly asked questions about personal injury lawyers. We will help offer an understanding of:
What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer legally represents you after an injury or accident. Your personal injury attorney will work with both the legal and insurance systems on your behalf. Their goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.
One of the first tasks a personal injury lawyer will complete is a review of your case to determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation. They will look at the circumstances of your accident as well as the resulting injuries. An experienced personal injury lawyer will also be able to put a value on your claim. The value will depend on the severity of the injuries as well as how they will affect you and your family in the future. Other factors will include your pain, loss of wages, and punitive damages.
If you consult with a personal injury lawyer and they feel you have a valid claim, they can then help you file a lawsuit against the negligent parties. They can also help you fight the insurance companies. These companies often try to get you to settle for an amount far below what your case is worth. A lawyer can intervene on your behalf to make sure you get a fair amount.
Our personal injury lawyers work with clients in Idaho, Washington, and Montana. We fight hard on their behalf to get significant settlement amounts, and we are not afraid to take a case to court. You can learn more about our legal team by making an appointment for a free initial case review today.
How Do You Select the Best Personal Injury Lawyer?
When you decide to hire a personal injury lawyer, how do you know you are hiring the right one? Here are a few tips to help you find the right lawyer for your personal injury case.
One of the best ways to find a great personal injury lawyer is to get a referral from their previous clients. If you have friends or family members who have used a personal injury lawyer, ask them if they would recommend the lawyer for your case. If no one you know can make a recommendation, then look online. You can read reviews for lawyers online and see what people are saying about their experiences. It will give you insight into what it will be like to work with that lawyer on your case.
Check Their Experience
All personal injury cases are different, but some lawyers have more experience with cases like yours. If you experienced an injury while at work, look for a lawyer with a successful track record in workers' compensation cases. If you have been in a car accident, look for a lawyer with experience in auto injury claims. Previous experience will help them navigate difficult legal situations. It can also help them understand how to build a stronger case on your behalf.
Trust Your Gut and First Impressions
Meet with any potential personal injury lawyer before you hire them. Most personal injury lawyers in Idaho, Montana, and Washington will offer a free consultation and case review. Take advantage of this. You will be able to meet the lawyer in person and hear about how they would approach your claim. Listen to your gut in these meetings. If you like the lawyer, feel you can trust them, and believe they will fight hard on your behalf, then they are probably the lawyer for you.
When Should You Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The sooner you can contact a personal injury lawyer, the better it is going to be for your case. Of course, getting medical attention for the injury you have suffered takes priority. After that, hiring legal representation should be at the top of your to-do list.
Ideally, you will want to contact a personal injury lawyer before you speak to an insurance company. Your lawyer will be able to work with the insurance company directly. That takes the stress off you and your family and ensures you do not say anything that might accidentally hurt your case.
Even if you have already spoken to the insurance company, you can still contact a personal injury lawyer for a consultation. If they believe you have a valid claim for compensation, you can retain their legal services immediately.
Top Ten Reasons You Should Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
- Provides you with a compensation estimate. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to give you a clear estimate of the value of your case.
- Relieves your stress. Once you have hired an attorney, they will take care of everything for you. You will not have to file any claims paperwork or worry about what to say to the insurance companies. They will advise you every step of the way.
- Allows you to focus on recovery. Having an attorney to fight on your behalf means you can focus on your health and wellbeing. Getting your life back on track becomes your top priority while someone else deals with the claim.
- Knowledgeable navigation of the legal system. Personal injury law is complex. If something is not done right, it could mean the end of your case. A good personal injury lawyer will know how to navigate this complicated system successfully.
- Access to an investigation team. Personal injury lawyers will use a team of investigators who will work on your behalf to build the best case possible. These teams know what evidence they need and how to get it.
- Handle the insurance company for you. Insurance companies know that if they can get you to settle early, they can save themselves a lot of money. When you hire a lawyer, they will have to deal with your attorney who will be eager to help you get the maximum compensation amount.
- No fees unless you win your case. You have nothing to lose when it comes to hiring a personal injury lawyer. They generally will not charge you unless you win your case, allowing you to hire the best lawyer possible.
- Saves you time (and a lot of hassle). Trying to fight the insurance companies or file a lawsuit yourself can be expensive. It can also be time-consuming and incredibly stressful. Allowing an experienced professional to do it takes the pressure off.
- Ready to represent you in court. Most personal injury cases settle out of court. If it does go to a jury, though, you will want to have someone there who can argue in court on your behalf.
- Maximizes the value of your case. You deserve the maximum compensation amount for your case. Your personal injury attorney will help you maximize the compensation amount so you can start rebuilding your life.
Want to learn more about these benefits? Get in touch with our legal team to schedule your free consultation.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Most Idaho personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that they do not charge the client any fees unless they win the case. This allows clients to hire the lawyer they feel will best represent their claim without worrying about any up-front costs. All you must do to hire the lawyer is sign the paperwork. They can then begin to work on your case.
Is Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer Worth It?
Even with no up-front costs, is it worth it to hire an attorney for your personal injury case? In almost every circumstance, yes. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to represent your case to the courts and the insurance companies to maximize the value of your claim. They can end up getting you a much bigger settlement than if you had tried to work with the insurance companies on your own. The difference often makes up for the legal fees, and you do not have to do any of the work yourself.
The best way to determine whether it is worth hiring a personal injury lawyer is to know how much your claim could be worth. You can determine this during a free case review. Call Charles Bean & Associates, PLLC in Coeur d'Alene for a free review of your case to learn the potential value of your claim.
Is My Case a Personal Injury Claim or a Workers' Compensation Claim?
When you or a loved one experience an injury on the job, you may wonder if you should be filing a personal injury lawsuit or a workers' compensation claim. There are very distinct legal differences between the two. Knowing what they are may help you understand how to move forward with your case.
- A personal injury claim assumes that someone's negligence caused the injuries. That means they were at fault for the accident (either directly or indirectly). Personal injury compensation considers your pain and suffering. It also factors in the loss of earning potential as well as punitive damages.
- A workers' compensation claim must happen on the job and does not assume that anyone is at fault for the injury. Some workers' compensation laws prevent you from taking legal action against your employer but do not assume that is the case before you speak to a lawyer. Workers' compensation claims compensate you for lost wages, but with no additional amount for pain and suffering.
So which claim is right for your case? In certain circumstances, the answer could be both. It is important to speak to a lawyer experienced in both workers' compensation cases as well as personal injury claims. They will be able to advise you on how to maximize the value of your claim and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. You can make an appointment for a free case review with Charles Bean & Associates, PLLC. Simply call us or fill out the form on our website and let us talk about the best way to move forward with your case.
Why Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Decline to Take a Case?
During a free case review, a personal injury lawyer may decline to take on your case. The most common reasons for this are:
The injury is not serious enough to warrant compensation.
Some injuries, although painful, are not going to be serious enough to fight for compensation. Minor injuries or injuries that could have happened are unlikely to create successful claims.
If the case is not worth the cost to pursue compensation.
Even if your injuries are severe enough to warrant compensation, they might not be worth the cost to the attorney. Lawyers must run their firms like a business. That means they have overhead expenses, salaries to pay, and teams of investigators to compensate. If the cost of investigating your case is going to be more than their potential earnings, a successful lawyer will not want to take on the loss.
If it will be difficult to prove someone else is at fault for your injuries.
Proving fault is the biggest deciding factor in the success of a personal injury case. If it is obvious that someone else's negligence caused your injuries, that case has a good chance of success. If no one was at fault or it would be difficult to prove fault, then a lawyer is on uncertain ground. They may decline the case if they do not think they can convince a jury that it was someone else's negligence that left you with your injuries.
It is important not to assume a lawyer will not take it on your case. Likewise, do not assume your case will lead to a significant compensation amount. Instead, schedule a free case review with an experienced Idaho personal injury attorney. They will be able to provide you with a free, unbiased opinion on your case and suggestions about what next steps to take. Get in touch with our team if you'd like to schedule an appointment with our Coeur d'Alene personal injury attorneys.
What Questions Should You Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer?
When you schedule your free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, it is a good idea to come in with a list of questions to ask. This can help you focus and use the time you have with the legal team wisely. Here are some suggestions about helpful questions to keep in mind:
How much do you charge?
Most personal injury lawyers work on contingency, but it is a good idea to know for sure. You will also want to ask if you will be responsible for any fees if your case is not successful.
Have you handled cases like mine in the past?
What were the outcomes? Knowing their previous track records with claims like yours can give you a better idea about how they will be able to help you.
How long does it usually take to resolve a case like mine?
Some personal injury cases take months and even years to conclude. Knowing this upfront can temper your expectations and help you plan for your future.
How much is my case worth?
It is good to know what kind of compensation you could get with a successful resolution. Knowing the amount may make you rethink moving forward with a claim or help boost your stamina for the fight ahead.
What will you need from me as a client?
Your attorney will handle everything for you, but that does not mean you do not still have a responsibility to them to be a good client. Make sure you know what those expectations are upfront.
What Should You Tell a Personal Injury Attorney During a Free Consultation?
The best thing to do is to take a deep breath and just be honest. Visiting an attorney can feel intimidating. After all, you or an injured loved one are looking for someone who can help you get the compensation you need. That money can help you pay down medical bills and get your life back on track. A good personal injury attorney understands what is at stake for you and your family. All you need to do is be honest about the circumstances of your accident and the extent of your injuries. That will help your lawyer understand the case and give you an idea about whether it is likely to be successful.
It is also a good idea to bring any paperwork you might have about your case. This could include police records, photos of the site of the accident, timecards showing missed time off of work, and medical bills or records. Do not worry about whether the document is important enough to bring. If you are not sure, bring it along. The legal team will decide what is important and what is not later.
Are You Ready to Move Forward with Your Personal Injury Case?
If you'd like more tips about what to expect at your first visit with a personal injury lawyer, head over to our legal blog. When you are ready for your first meeting, get in touch with our office to schedule an appointment. Charles Bean & Associates, PLLC, is ready to talk about your personal injury case today. We can estimate how much your case could be worth and strategize how to help you move forward. Call us or fill out the online form now for a free 45-minute consultation with our Idaho legal team. We can assist with cases in Montana, Idaho, or Washington.