A musical number in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying—“A Secretary is Not a Toy”—addresses the problem of mistaken beliefs about the functions of certain occupations. The lyrics to this number clarify to the upper-echelon businessmen envying pretty secretaries that it does not matter what their secretaries look like, since all they’re supposed to do is take dictation and run errands. “A secretary,” admonishes the irritated secretarial pool, “is not a thing wound by key, pulled by string.” In order for things to run smoothly, it is important that everyone’s duties are made clear.
Correspondingly, a damages claim is less complicated when the accident victim holds up their own end, whether by composing a clear narrative or by meeting deadlines. Those people who expect that retaining a personal injury attorney is something akin to hiring an unscrupulous legal hit man are sorely mistaken. While an attorney can make things much easier, their client will still have to file paperwork, recall information, and be honest.
So, what does a personal injury attorney get paid for? Read on to find out:
1. Becomes acquainted with the details of your case
Because a personal injury attorney’s efficacy depends on the depth of their knowledge of your situation, it is vital that you divulge everything you know with the utmost accuracy. The attorney stands a better chance of providing you with guidance and representing you well if you furnish enough facts. The more they know about your case, the better an idea they will have of how the law applies to your case.
2. Gathers evidence
Like a criminal or private investigator, a personal injury attorney will go out to the scene and take photographs, talk to witnesses, and conduct research on the person or establishment bearing the blame for your injury. Combined with your narrative, a record of the circumstances under which it occurred will support your account and, therefore, your claim.
3. Assists your interaction with culpable parties, insurance companies, etc.
Another important function of the personal injury attorney is to act as a liaison between you and those you will have to negotiate with for a settlement. The information you present to your insurance agent and the manner in which you present it can affect your credibility. A competent attorney can prepare you to meet with independent physicians and others who will influence how your claim comes across and defend your rights at the bargaining table.
4. Keeps you apprised of your obligation
While it is technically your responsibility to make sure you stay up on your paperwork, a legal expert will, more than likely, remind you of important deadlines and assist you in doing so when you require help. Claims can be denied on the basis of a missed deadline; neither you nor your attorney will get paid if that happens.
5. Represents you in court
For those who currently find themselves in a quandary in the claims process, help is just a phone call away: Utah personal injury attorneys at Christensen & Hymas offer free diagnostic consultations to anyone wondering if they could benefit from the services outlined above. To air your grievances and receive professional advice, call (801) 506-0800.
Image courtesy of Char Newcomb