Why hire a personal injury attorney? This is a question that is asked by persons injured in auto accidents or other mishaps. Many people know lawyers, or know someone who knows a lawyer. When they are in an accident or are injured they then go to a specific lawyer that they know or have heard of and hope that lawyer can help them in asserting a claim for bodily harm.
This post is to help people understand why when they are injured in an accident they need to speak to a personal injury attorney, rather than a friend of a friend (unless of course that friend of a friend is A PERSONAL INJURY attorney.)
Why is it important to hire a personal injury lawyer instead of just any type of attorney?
First. There are many different types of attorney’s in California. At this time, there are over 200,000 licensed attorneys in California. Each attorney typically is experienced in one or two areas of law. This could be as wide ranging as a contract attorney, who also understands the principles of real estate sales, or, a criminal defense attorney who also can file an appeal. Each attorney has an expertise in a minute area of the law because that is where the majority of their practice has been spent. Because of this, if you are injured, you need an attorney who specializes in injuries.
Second. In line with the first reason, there are primarily two types of attorneys, litigation attorneys and transactional attorneys. A transactional attorney’s practice of the law is limited to the written law (contracts primarily). A transactional attorney’s practice is limited to all the myriad types of contracts and business deals that require legal assistance. A transactional attorney can be a multi-million dollar sports agent, or the guy down the street who will help you set up your corporation. Transactional attorneys do not understand the intricacies in preparing a case to be ready for trial. A litigation attorney is an attorney who appears in court. Litigation attorneys are those that will take on the case and work it up towards trial. In other words, litigation attorneys are the ones who will file lawsuits and those that will defend lawsuits.
Third. Not all litigation attorneys specialize in personal injury. Some lawyers litigate commercial, real estate or probate cases. A personal injury lawyer knows how to prepare an injury claim to be presented to a jury. In addition, litigation takes many forms including defending the very insurance companies on personal injury claims from whom you are seeking recovery.
Fourth. Personal injury attorneys specialize solely in the field of personal injury. Because each case is different, and each case has its own different sets of complexities and hurdles, an experienced personal injury attorney has both the expertise and practical knowledge to wade through the complexities and go over the hurdles that insurance companies throw their way. Every insurance carrier has experienced attorney’s who do nothing but defend personal injury cases ready at a moment’s notice. These attorneys specialize in limiting the amount of money insurance companies have to pay people who are rightfully due money to make them whole again.
If you are injured, you will be facing attorneys who do nothing but defend insurance companies, you need to have an attorney who is experienced in taking the insurance companies on and who are in it to win it.
Many attorneys, who do not handle personal injury cases believe that in order to capitalize on a personal injury case that all they have to do is call the adjuster, tell them my client is injured and that will result in the client being paid. It is not that simple. First, insurance companies and their adjusters are trained to give the lease amount of money possible to each claim. They will not give anything unless there is verifiable proof of the injuries that you are seeking to recover from. Further, the adjuster then picks this verifiable proof apart until damages that are visible and sometimes catastrophic are rendered down to an insignificant bruise or strain.
Non-injury lawyers simply do not know how to interpret the reports and prove to the adjuster that the damages are what the reports say they are. Because many adjusters are trained to minimize true injuries, these attorneys will often fall prey to the adjuster’s reasonable sounding explanations of the reports. An attorney who has a primary, sole practice devoted to personal injury DOES know how to interpret the report, and also knows how to counter, overcome, and debunk the adjusters arguments. An attorney who handles criminal defense or real estate transactions does not have this training.
Similarly, many times, I have received calls from past clients, or friends and family asking me a legal question regarding a rental agreement or to look over papers they are filling out to form a new business. I am not able to handle those cases because that is not my practice. I am a personal injury attorney and my area of focus is recovering every dollar due to a person who has been injured through no fault of his or her own.
For any accident claim anywhere in Lake County or the surrounding communities, give me a call and I will go to work for you!