Whether you were injured in a car accident, slip and fall in a restaurant, workplace incident, or by a vicious dog, you'll probably be contacted by an insurance agent or lawyer pretty soon afterward who will try to get you to settle any possible claim you may have against the at-fault party. They may offer you some money in exchange for signing a waiver of liability.
As much as you might want to put the incident behind you, this could be a big mistake. The attorneys at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, recommend talking with a personal injury attorney before you agree to anything.
What Can an Attorney Do for Me That I Can’t Do Myself?
We get this question a lot. In some situations, there's no advantage to hiring an attorney. If you were in a car accident that resulted in less than $2,000 in medical bills, for example, you don’t need an attorney. Massachusetts is a no-fault state for minor car accidents, so your own insurance should cover any losses.
However, if you were injured in a slip and fall, construction accident, dog attack, workplace incident, or more severe car crash, it could be worth your time to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to discuss your options. Partnering with an attorney might significantly increase the value of your case.
If a personal injury attorney thinks they can make a difference in your case, they'll do the following:
- Investigate the accident. While you may not have the knowledge or resources to investigate what happened in your accident, an attorney does. A legal team examines the scene and takes photographs, speaks to witnesses, gets ahold of surveillance video, and looks into the backgrounds of anyone else involved. Many personal injury firms employ investigators and accident reconstructionists for just this purpose.
- Collect evidence. An attorney requests driving records, police reports, commercial driving license documents, maintenance records, employee logs, and more to present as evidence that the other party was negligent in causing your accident. It would be difficult for an accident victim to collect this evidence on their own.
- Negotiate a fair settlement. Armed with the evidence they've collected, your attorney presents a demand for compensation that details what happened, catalogs your injuries, and accounts for the cost of your medical treatment, lost wages, and other damages. Frequently, this demand letter— followed by some negotiating—is enough to get a fair settlement offer from the insurer.
- File a lawsuit. If your attorney is unable to get the insurance company to agree to a fair settlement, they can file a lawsuit so the court decides what you're owed based on the merits of the case. It takes a skilled litigator to win personal injury cases in court, but an experienced attorney will have most of the preparation done at the negotiation stage and is ready to follow up with a lawsuit.
As your attorney takes these steps on your behalf, you're free to focus on medical treatment and recovery. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything upfront, and they only collect a percentage of your settlement if they're successful in winning your case.
Schedule a Consultation With Mahaney & Pappas, LLP
If you were injured in an accident caused by a negligent party, don’t make the decision to go it alone until you speak with a personal injury attorney. In a free consultation, you can find out what they do to maximize the value of your claim.
The lawyers at Mahaney & Pappas, LLP, are experts in personal injury law and regularly handle these cases. Securing the best possible legal team is the first step to protect your rights and make sure you receive an adequate settlement to cover your accident-related expenses. Our legal team aggressively pursues the maximum possible compensation for clients who suffered injuries through no fault of their own.