After an accidental injury, many people debate whether to call an attorney or to try to handle an insurance claim themselves. You may not realize how challenging the insurance process can be, and not having representation may result in a settlement that is far less than you deserve.
Once you accept a settlement, you waive your right to seek more compensation from the at-fault party, so you will then be responsible for your remaining medical expenses and bills. On the other hand, if you contact the right Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, they can help with your claim in many different ways, such as:
- Evaluating who is liable for your injuries. While you may know that another driver hit your car, you may not realize that because the driver was on the job, you can also hold their employer liable. Your attorney will identify all possible sources of compensation and build proof of legal liability. Calculating what your claim is worth.
- Calculating damages involves more than adding up medical bills. Your attorney will factor in lost income, future losses, pain and suffering, and more. Many people grossly underestimate the amount of compensation they deserve and end up with a low settlement and out-of-pocket costs in the future. Having an experienced attorney on your side will ensure you are demanding every bit of compensation you are owed.
- We stand up to insurance companies. Small personal injury claims typically settle without any issues. However, in claims where more money is at stake for the claimant and the insurance company, a dispute is usually more likely than a simple settlement. These commonly include claims with contested liability or fault, complex and expensive claims, and claims where the claimant and the insurance adjuster can’t come to a fair agreement. If your personal injury claim looks similar to these claims, you will need help from a personal injury lawyer. When dealing with insurance companies for personal injury claims, it’s always best to consult a lawyer before even speaking to the insurance company’s representative. Talking to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney before contacting the insurance company about your claim could help prevent hurting your claim. Insurance companies don’t like giving out money, so they will always find excuses to deny claims and avoid paying.
What if the Insurance Company Denied My Claim?
If you received a claim denial, it’s unlikely that the insurance company will reverse its decision unless presented with new evidence. This is the main reason why you need a lawyer before negotiating with an insurance company. But if the insurance company has already denied your claim, an experienced lawyer can certainly help. Your lawyer could evaluate your claim from every angle and figure out if you can get the insurance company to change its mind.
Getting the Right Treatment for Your Injuries
If you suffered injuries, whether in a slip or fall accident, auto accident, or due to a defective product or medical malpractice, your first priority is to get appropriate medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. Even if you already received care from a paramedic, in an urgent care clinic, or an emergency room, it’s still best to continue with a recommended treatment. You might want to see your primary care physician if you have one. Otherwise, go to a doctor that you can trust.
Your primary care physician has experience treating you, knows your medical history, and will presumably recommend competent specialists, such as an orthopedist, physical therapist, or neurologist if you need one, based on your specific injuries. If the medical providers you sought help from qualify under your health insurance, inform them about your insurance information.
Beware of Shady Doctors
Keep in mind that some shady doctors might over-treat injuries in anticipation of a personal injury settlement. Some doctors might not fully document your injuries and treatment in the manner needed for your claim. Always seek medical treatment from a doctor you can trust or ask your personal injury lawyer for a referral.
Give Medical Providers a Detailed Description of Your Accident
It’s crucial to give your medical providers as much detail as you can about your accident and how it impacted your body and led to your injuries. Your detailed account of the accident will help your doctor figure out exactly how you suffered injuries, which will also help form the basis of your personal injury claim.
What to Know about Delayed Onset of Injury Symptoms
Plenty of accident survivors feel perfectly fine immediately after an accident but then feel sore and stiff or have difficulty moving around after several days following the accident. As soon as you feel any delayed symptoms after your accident, see your doctor immediately.
Explain to your doctor all the details of your accident, what you did after your accident, and exactly when and how you felt when your symptoms suddenly kicked in. Certain injuries, like a traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic pain, or herniated disc, could take longer to manifest, and only competent doctors could determine whether injuries like these resulted from the accident.
Seeking the right medical treatment for the injuries you suffered from an accident helps diagnose and treat your injuries and document your symptoms. Ultimately, it will help you prove that your injuries resulted from the accident.
Will Having a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney Increase My Chances of Success?
Most insurance companies deflect, delay, and deny legitimate claims by unrepresented individuals instead of settling claims quickly and fairly. Remember that insurance companies often deny claims based on shady or manipulative reasoning, especially claims of unrepresented claimants. On the other hand, they probably won’t be as bold at denying claims of claimants who have legal representation.
It’s also crucial to know that it’s common practice for insurance companies to use sneaky tactics on individuals who don’t have a lawyer on their side. For instance, if they know that the claimant has a valid claim, they’ll present a quick but low settlement number, hoping that the claimant will accept the offer. Unfortunately, this happens a lot.
Likewise, if the insurance company knows that you’ll have a hard time proving your claim, they’ll deny it, hoping that you’ll walk away. Again, unfortunately, many people end up just walking away from a settlement that they could’ve received if they’d just had a lawyer working tirelessly for them.
The reality is that many personal injury claims are simply too complex to handle by regular people, and an attorney who knows how to stand up to insurance companies will ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Finding the Right Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney
Working with the right personal injury lawyer could make a huge difference between a successful and failed personal injury claim. But most people don’t even have a go-to lawyer, much less need a lawyer until such time that they do. So how do you go about finding the personal injury attorney that will be perfect for you? Here are some essential tips.
Ask Recommendations from Trusted People
Get recommendations from relatives, friends, or coworkers that you really trust. You can also look up lawyers in your area online or check community referral services. However, be aware that each personal injury claim is different and that an attorney who’s perfect for another person may not be perfect for you or your specific claim. So make sure to work with a personal injury lawyer that has extensive experience with claims that are similar to yours.
If possible, listen to client experiences too. Ask detailed questions while still being respectful of their privacy, just to get a clear idea of each individual’s experiences with the lawyer. Pay attention to things like how satisfied they were with the outcome of their case, how helpful their attorney was, and how the attorney handled the case from the beginning to the end.
List Down Things that are Most Important to You
When looking for a personal injury lawyer, you should have a set of criteria that you can refer to. For instance, you probably want a lawyer who works on a contingent fee basis, which means that you won’t have to pay anything if you don’t win your claim. Other crucial things to consider when selecting a personal injury attorney may include:
- The attorney’s experience with your specific claim
- The attorney’s credentials
- The attorney’s availability
- The firm’s access to resources and years of experience
- Case fees
- Experiences of past clients
- Success record
Keep in mind that the specific type of injuries you sustained is also crucial when looking for a lawyer to take on your claim. Some lawyers only focus on automobile accidents or medical malpractice claims, while others handle all areas of personal injury. So consider your prospective lawyer’s experience with your injuries and the particular circumstances of your claim.
That said, recommendations, even from trusted individuals, can’t guarantee that a particular attorney will be perfect for you—you alone can make that decision. So make sure to cover all your bases, do your homework, and go with your instincts.