After you have suffered a personal injury because of the carelessness or negligence of a third party, you may be focused solely on getting better. But finding the time to contact a law firm is equally important. If you are currently preparing to speak with a personal injury attorney, you should arrive at your first consultation with a number of questions so that you can better understand your case going forward. Below are three of the most important questions to start with.
What is a realistic settlement?
Unless you have an extensive legal background and familiarity with recent personal injury cases, there's simply no way of accurately predicting your settlement with any degree of certainty. A personal injury attorney and their legal team, however, have the context necessary to do so. You may learn that your estimate for a settlement is far lower than it should be, or that you need to adjust them to be more realistic. Either way, an attorney can help set those expectations from the beginning so that there are no sudden surprises.
What documents are needed?
Paperwork is crucial to proving that the injuries you sustained were a direct result of a third party's negligence. As such, you should be sure to ask an attorney what paperwork is most important to proving your case, and when copies need to be filed. Depending on the extent of your injury, a lawyer may have their team go about collecting all the required documents—such as eyewitness statements and medical records—on your behalf, asking you for signatures and approval when necessary.
What if a settlement isn't reached?
Not all personal injury cases reach a settlement. An insurance company may refuse to pay the amount requested by the plaintiff at the outset, or the plaintiff themselves may reject repeated lowball offers from insurance representatives. In either instance, it can be unclear what happens next. Thankfully, a personal injury attorney can guide you through the steps that will be taken if a settlement simply can't be agreed upon. These include taking the case to trial, bringing relevant witnesses to testify on your behalf, and perhaps even testifying yourself.
Regardless of the specifics of the case, going to trial demands the expertise of a lawyer who can represent your best interests. Without one, you risk losing out on compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Contact a local law firm to learn more.