Accidents happen every day. While the people involved often walk away unscathed, there are always accidents that result in serious injuries and sometimes even death. When people are injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness, they are entitled to be made whole under the law. This means that they deserve compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, many people are hesitant to reach out to a lawyer. They may be worried about the expense, or they think the insurance company will take care of them. Without a lawyer, however, you risk your health and your future. If you have been injured in an accident, we encourage you to at least talk to an attorney to understand your rights and your options.
1. Proving Your Claim Is More Difficult Than You Think
It may seem obvious to you that the other party’s carelessness caused your accident and that they should therefore be responsible for your injuries and other losses. In order for your claim to be successful, you need to essentially prove three things:
- The other party owed you a duty of care;
- The other party breached that duty; and
- The other party’s breach caused the accident that resulted in your injuries.
Proving these elements requires both knowledge of the law and an understanding of what evidence you will need to submit. Different types of accidents have different duties of care. For example, motorists have an obligation to drive safely and pay full time and attention while on the road. Property owners have an obligation to maintain their property so that it is free from hazards for guests and visitors. Doctors and other medical providers have an obligation to provide treatment that meets the established standard of care. Once you have identified the appropriate duty of care, you also need to prove that the other party’s duty of care extended to you.
Proving that the other party breached their duty of care typically involves proving negligence. This means gathering evidence such as accident reports, statements from witnesses, and other facts that demonstrate that the other party was at fault. This can be both challenging and time-consuming, especially when you have been seriously injured.
Lastly, proving your injuries requires extensive documentation. You will need to gather all of your medical records and bills related to your accident and ensure that they clearly document the cause of your injuries, your limitations, and your expected recovery.
Failing to prove any element of your claim means that you risk losing the compensation you need to rebuild your life. An attorney who handles personal injury cases can help you with all of this so that you can focus on your recovery.
2. The Insurance Company Is Not on Your Side
If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you need to understand that the insurance company will be focused on paying as little as possible on your claim. Some of the tactics they may use against you include the following:
- Trying to get you to admit at least partial fault in causing the accident
- Engaging in bad faith by unreasonably delaying or denying your claim
- Demanding that you be examined by a doctor of their choosing
- Making low-ball offers and refusing to settle for far less than your case is worth
- Pressuring you to accept an early settlement offer before you know all of your losses
- Demanding unnecessary documentation of your injuries or other losses
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize these dangers until it’s too late. They either settle their claim and discover that they have bills they can’t pay or otherwise lose their rights. To get the compensation you deserve, you need an experienced advocate who will protect your interests.
3. Your Claim May Be Disputed By the Other Party
Many accident victims are shocked when the other party not only refuses to accept responsibility for the accident but may even claim that the accident is the victim’s fault. Depending on the nature and circumstances surrounding your accident, there are a number of defenses that may be raised:
- A property owner may claim that you were trespassing or on a part of the property you did not have permission to go
- The other driver may claim that the accident was caused by your own negligence
- A dog owner may claim that you were harassing their dog prior to being bitte
- A doctor may claim that the harm you suffered was within the potential risks associated with your treatment and was unavoidable
These defenses can jeopardize your claim unless you know how to respond to them. An experienced lawyer can help you overcome these defenses so that you can get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.
4. There is Nothing to Lose
You can get legal advice and even hire a lawyer with no financial commitment. Most, if not all, personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation. This means that you can have a lawyer review your case, determine whether you have a claim, and explain your options free of charge.
Furthermore, personal injury lawyers handle cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that they do not charge you legal fees unless they recover compensation on your behalf. Their fee is then paid from a percentage of the compensation you receive. As a result, you never pay any legal fees out-of-pocket, and it costs you nothing if your claim is unsuccessful. And because they get paid only if they win, you can be confident that they will provide you with a candid assessment of your case at the outset.
Contact Powell, Powell & Powell if You Have Been Injured
At Powell, Powell & Powell, we have decades of experience in helping accident victims get the compensation they need to put their accidents behind them. Whether you were injured in a truck or motorcycle accident or were harmed by a dangerous product, we know how to get results. Contact us today by calling 850-682-2757 to schedule a free consultation.