Don't try to go it alone. Some victims believe they can handle their own injury cases because they are knowledgeable about their own accidents. Others think that their claim is small and therefore does not require the assistance of an attorney. But regardless of your knowledge base and/or the size of your claim, it is wise to consult with an attorney who has experiencing representing clients in similar scenarios.
Further, attempting to bring your own personal injury claim often does more harm than good. You do not want to damage your own personal injury claim because you cannot undo harm once it occurs; if something damaging is said, it can never be unheard by an at-fault driver, an employer, or an insurance company.
From day one there can be obstacles to overcome in a case. Within hours after an accident you may find yourself speaking to the other side's insurance carrier or a representative of an at-fault party. Injured people often fail to realize that the goal of the insurance company is to mitigate damages, meaning they want to pay you as little money as possible, regardless of the actual value of a claim. One of the first things they might ask you for is a recorded statement that can eventually be used against you in settlement negotiations or in the event your claim proceeds to trial.
The earlier in the case you have an experienced personal injury attorney protecting your rights, the better off you will be because you will have an advocate who puts your interests first in your case.
Benefits of Using a Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury lawyer provides numerous benefits to an accident victim from the beginning. Initially, those hurt in an accident may feel that local police officers or state's attorneys will work to make sure their interests are protected, but that is not how the laws are designed to function. Police and other officials work to keep the public safe and they work for the benefit of the State of Illinois; they do not work to get justice for those harmed in accidents or collisions. Any criminal or traffic charges brought against a responsible party will benefit the State of Illinois and the public at large, and fines and fees that stem from those charges will not go directly to the victim who was hurt.
Victims to wish to obtain relief must seek the compensation they deserve affirmatively and in accordance with all state and local laws. Even in the worst accidents, a victim who does not act to bring a claim within the time period specified by law will lose the right to obtain relief forever. Different types of incidents have different lengths in which the claims can be brought, known as statutes of limitations, and therefore it is critical that a victim receive proper information about what length of a statute of limitations applies in her case. With thousands of potential personal injury incidents that can lead to claims in Chicago, it is unreasonable to expect a typical citizen to understand and recall all these timelines, let alone to take the action necessary to bring a claim prior to the expiration of these statutes.
A personal injury lawyer can help ease all that confusion and make sure that an advocate is on the side of the victim, the person who suffered due to the actions of another. A lawyer can obtain needed documents from police departments or from an organization that may be responsible and can even take legal action to make sure these documents are not destroyed. Lawyers know when a case should be filed so protective orders can be issued and can be used to preserve evidence like video surveillance films, incident reports, and medical exams.
Following the initial steps of an investigation, an attorney can help level the playing field for victims, who tend to be at a disadvantage after an injury. Insurance companies and corporations have extensive resources and experience defending claims and making things difficult to impossible for victims, causing some to never obtain the relief they deserve. A personal injury lawyer can help a victim by adding experience and resources on the victim's side and fighting for the victim's rights.
Some cases settle out of court and before a lawsuit is filed. When a victim does not obtain legal counsel, this is how almost all claims are resolved. Personal injury lawyers also are able to resolve many claims pre-suit but there is a stark difference between claims that are settled by a victim without representation and those who have hired an attorney. When a lawyer is involved, the compensation offer extended by an at-fault driver, insurance company, or corporation is substantially higher on average than those extended to victims who are unrepresented in their claims and usually reflects the appropriate, proper value of an injury or a claim. Without the experience to understand how much a case is worth, victims who are not represented by a lawyer can be led to a settlement by an insurance company that ignores the full value of a claim, causing a victim to receive substantially less than she may deserve.
When a case cannot be resolved out-of-court, a lawsuit may need to be filed to help a victim obtain relief. The rules and regulations that accompany in-court action in Chicago and across Illinois are convoluted and complex. While some victims may be legally entitled to bring their claim without representation, it is incredibly difficult for any of them to represent their best interests in a competent manner and may lead them to work against their own best interests. Hiring a licensed Illinois lawyer enables a victim to get skilled representation from someone with experience handling similar claims and allows them to present their cases toe-to-toe with opposing counsel.
Finally, cases rarely resolve instantly. There are many post-settlement or post-verdict legal actions that must be handled to resolve all issues and to close the case in the victim's best interests. Failing to address any of these can leave a victim vulnerable to additional legal claims for the remainder of his or her life. Fortunately, a personal injury lawyer understands these trailing actions and can take the steps necessary to close a case for good, enabling a victim to receive relief while moving forward from the incident that led to the case.
How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Chicago
If you have been injured in an accident, you may have a valid claim for your damages, and hiring a personal injury lawyer is a good first step to take. The firm of Abels & Annes, P.C. is comprised only of personal injury attorneys who fight for the rights of the victims they represent, and if an accident has affected your life, we want to fight for you.
We offer a free case consultation without any obligation to all victims and their families who call us toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575 and everything discussed will be kept confidential. You can also contact us online to learn about your options and your rights. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we understand that accidents can happen at any time of the day or night so we have a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe that victims deserve to have their interests protected, and we make it our business to help those who have been hurt in Chicago. If we can help you, call us today.
If you have been involved in an accident and you were injured, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.