Why you need a Lawyer if you are Seriously Injured.
Legal knowledge of insurance is of particular value to passengers who are injured in others' vehicles. Often your insurance policy may be applicable in an accident which did not even involve your vehicle. A proper insurance analysis for a legal case will involve consideration of several policies, covering not only medical bills and lost wages, but ultimate coverage for residual damages, disability, past and future lost earnings, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of quality of life. Usually, some combination of insurance benefits is employed to best suit your case.
It is critical that accident victims understand that the Defendant's insurance company, as well as your company may have interests adverse to your own. You should not speak to any representative from any company without first consulting with an attorney. Furthermore, there are written notice requirements which need to be completed within short periods of time and should also not be done without a competent attorney.
Once the case has been accepted and these initial steps taken, your lawyer will proceed to take measures which will help you to prove liability and maximize your results. First, we "freeze" the evidence, securing evidence which may disappear in time. Such evidence may include photographs of damage to the vehicles, roadway conditions and skid marks, as well as witness statements, perhaps the most important evidence to secure early on.
As the case proceeds, lawyers will conduct "discovery" in order to compel information from the opposition. During this time, the lawyers assist in making sure that you have the best medical treatment possible and properly document your injuries and their effect on your life. Many don't realize that in a personal injury lawsuit, you have a right to recover for damages that have taken place, as well as those which will affect you in five, ten, or even twenty years.
Drunk Drivers and Dram Shop Cases
Some accidents are caused by drunk drivers. When that driver has consumed intoxicating beverages at a commercial establishment, an additional claim known as a "dram shop" case, may be added to your case. The "dram shop" claim may be especially helpful when the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, and may add significant coverage in the case of serious and extensive injuries.
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