In earlier blogs. I have pointed out that your personal injury lawyer wants to maximize the compensation you can expect to receive for your injuries. Why? Because your injury lawyer’s interests align with yours. A higher compensation package for you means a higher compensation fee for your injury lawyer.
Today I want to address the question of whether it makes a difference if you hire a personal injury lawyer instead of a general practice lawyer—even if you know a lawyer or have had one recommended to you. The answer is “Yes”.
I believe there are 5 important reasons why hiring a personal injury lawyer is your best choice to maximize the compensation from your personal injury.
1. A personal injury lawyer understands your situation
You are injured. You think you have a legitimate claim for compensation for damages. You also probably are used to feeling in control and now suddenly feel vulnerable.
- You likely have questions about the legal process, how long it will take and what compensation you can you expect?
- You may be worried about whether you will be able to work while you are healing or even afterwards.
- You may think you need the help of medical experts to prove your claim.
There is too much at risk to take a chance. A lawyer will empathize and offer help. A personal injury lawyer will understand and know what to do to help.
For instance, I’ve dealt with thousands of injury cases, from minor injuries to serious injuries and fatalities, and from compensation in the thousands to millions of dollars. When I sit down to meet with you, you can be confident I will understand your situation and know how I can help you. That is the advantage you get with a personal injury lawyer, someone who understands how you feel, the questions you have, your concerns, and your needs—and what to do to help you.
2. A personal injury lawyer has experience dealing with insurance companies and their lawyers
The at-fault party’s insurance company and its lawyers are not your friends. Their job is to minimize your compensation. Your personal injury lawyer’s job is to maximize your compensation. A lawyer will probably have dealt with insurance companies and their lawyers before. A personal injury lawyer will have experience dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance company and its lawyers.
For example, I have dealt with
- all auto accident insurers
- adjusters with junior and very senior levels of experience
- the lawyers and law firms they retain to defend claims.
Remember, when you hire an injury lawyer, you are also hiring that lawyer’s experience with—and knowledge of—insurance companies and their lawyers.
3. A personal injury lawyer has the experience and knowledge to weigh the evidence in your case
What does the evidence from an accident tell a lawyer? Any lawyer will turn a critical eye to the evidence from an injury accident. A personal injury lawyer will know how to examine that evidence, what to look for, and whether injury experts need to be used to prove damages.
My injury lawyer business depends on my ability to weigh evidence in an injury claim case. I have studied the evidence from thousands of injury cases. As an experienced injury lawyer, I also know whether proving damages requires the use of qualified injury experts, such as:
- an accident investigator to obtain witness statements to help determine liability or fault
- an accident reconstruction engineer to obtain and preserve “black box” data following a vehicle accident to show evidence such as vehicle speed, and braking before impact.
4. A personal injury lawyer has the team and financial resources to support you through the resolution of your claim
Will your lawyer know if your case needs the assistance of scientific, medical, and other personal injury experts to prove damages? Retaining these experts can be expensive and a lawyer usually does not recover the costs until after the claim is resolved. A lawyer who sometimes practises injury law may not be certain if such experts are needed, know which experts to use, or even have the financial resources to pay for them. A personal injury lawyer will have:
- the experience and expertise to know if top-notch personal injury experts are needed
- the required and trusted team members available
- the financial resources to pay for them until you receive your settlement or judgement at trial.
For example, I only use personal injury experts who have been qualified by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench to testify in their respective capacities. You can learn more about my team of experts and who pays for their fees on my website. I have also written a blog called What experts should be on my injury lawyer’s team? if you want to learn more.
5. A personal injury lawyer knows the case law
The lawyers who work for the at-fault party’s insurance company know injury case law. They need that knowledge to maintain their livelihood. A good lawyer can also research case law. A personal injury lawyer will know the case law and will have used it in proving damages in other cases.
When you hire an injury lawyer, you achieve an equal legal footing with the insurance company’s lawyers. That’s what I do for my clients. I know the case law and the legal grounds required to successfully prove damages from an accident.
If you believe you have a claim for an accident injury, I strongly recommend you hire a personal injury lawyer to protect your interests and achieve the greatest possible compensation for your injuries.
My next blog in this series will be “Do I want an injury lawyer or a team of injury lawyers?”