Many clients mistakenly thing they don’t need a personal injury attorney. That thought often costs clients a lot of money. Car accidents and other personal injury cases require experienced legal counsel. Good lawyers explain what you should and shouldn’t say. They understand how to negotiate with insurance adjusters. They know how to anticipate most defense lawyer arguments. Respected trial lawyers work to help you get the medical treatment you need to get better.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that many deaths and injuries could be avoided if drivers:
- Drove sober
- Used seatbelts
- Didn’t speed
When deaths happen, the families of the victims have the right to bring a wrongful death action. Injured victims have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. A respected personal injury attorney knows how to bring these claims.
Lawyers understand how to prove fault and damages
- Understanding what evidence is needed. Proving fault is much more than your word versus the word of the other driver. An experienced lawyer examines the police report and speaks to the officers. His team views the accident site to study the lanes of traffic, traffic devices, traffic patterns, and other background factors. The lawyer works to view the damage to your car and the other cars. The location and extent of vehicle damage is often an indicator of fault. Good lawyers also speak to all relevant witnesses.
- Knowing who’s responsible. In a car accident, other people may be liable other than the other driver. The owners of the car that struck you may be responsible. A tavern owner may be liable if it knowingly served alcohol to the other driver. The state of Florida may even be liable. A parts manufacturer may be responsible.
Lawyers have the correct legal knowledge
Knowing the laws and the procedures. Lawyers need to understand the following laws and procedures:
- The time limits for bringing a case. Florida has specific statutes of limitations for accident cases. If you don’t bring your case in time, you will lose the right to claim any damages. In addition to filing complaints correctly and on time, there may be notice requirements. If you sue the Florida Department of Transportation, for example, you can't bring a claim for 180 days. the 180-day limit gives the state time to investigate the claim.
- The filing of the pleadings. There are specific requirements for filing a complaint. These requirements include properly identifying everyone involved. The complaint should properly detail who’s responsible and why. You also need to make a legal claim for damages. There are precise requirements for serving the complaint. There are deadlines for responding to any pleadings from the defendants.
- Knowing the statutes and the case law. A personal injury attorney understands the traffic statutes and other laws. They understand the Florida case law. Case law means the prior decisions made by other judges in similar types of cases.
Lawyers are strong experienced advocates
- The art of negotiation. It’s important to know when to make the first demand. Experienced personal injury lawyers understand how to value your case. They understand what back and forth offers to lead to successful settlements. Insurance adjusters are more likely to offer higher settlement amounts if they know a lawyer is ready to try your case before a jury if the offer is refused.
- The art of discovery. Respected lawyers prepare their clients for the questions defenses lawyers ask. They understand when you must answer the question and when you can decline to answer. They’ll help you prepare so you can answer the questions to present your best case.
- How to present your case before a jury. There are specific rules for what you can and can’t say to a jury. There’s an art to persuading juries about the merits of your case.