What Are the Responsibilities of a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you were seriously hurt because someone failed to act with reasonable care, it’s wise to call a personal injury lawyer. As long as you incurred damages—mounting medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, for example—a seasoned attorney can help you pursue the compensation needed to make your life whole again.
Assuming you do end up hiring a lawyer, here are the various responsibilities he or she will assume on your behalf:
1. Conduct a Thorough Investigation
Your personal injury attorney will start building your claim by investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident in which you were hurt. This may include:
- Reviewing official reports;
- Deposing eyewitnesses;
- Compiling photographs and video footage of the scene; and
- Consulting accident reconstruction experts.
2. Handle Relevant Correspondence
A lawyer’s primary responsibility is protecting the client’s best interests. During personal injury proceedings, that generally means handling all correspondence with the claims adjuster and/or opposing counsel.
As long as your attorney is intercepting all communications, the opposing party won’t be able to manipulate you into admitting fault, accepting an unfair payout, or otherwise jeopardizing your claim.
3. Track Damages
Florida allows for the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages. If you forward all relevant bills, receipts, invoices, and paystubs to your legal team, they will track your economic losses. They can also consult with financial and industry experts as needed to estimate anticipated damages like lost earning capacity.
Your lawyer will also use widely accepted formulas to determine a reasonable figure for your non-economic losses. This will provide a starting point for the negotiations.
4. Manage Negotiations
Considering that claims adjusters are essentially professional negotiations, it’s ill-advised to go up against one on your own. Thankfully, you won’t have to if you hire a strategic personal injury attorney.
An experienced lawyer will handle all negotiations on your behalf. And if the claims adjuster refuses to offer a fair settlement—or disputes liability altogether—your attorney will help you proceed with a formal lawsuit.
5. Prepare the Case for Court
Although most personal injury claims are settled, a small percentage end up before a judge or jury. As such, you should look for a lawyer who will prepare your case for trial even if a settlement is the expected outcome.
In addition to letting the opposing party know that you’re determined to see the claim through to the end—which will hopefully incentivize them to settle in the process—this will prevent unnecessary delays should your case be one of the few that does go to court.
Speak with a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorney
If you intend to file a personal injury claim in Palm Beach County, contact Donaldson & Weston. Our resourceful team will help you pursue the maximum payout possible. Call 561-299-3999 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach.