Choosing a Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorney
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Otherwise, keep reading below to learn more about choosing a Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer.
Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer?
You aren’t required by law to hire an attorney to handle your personal injury claim, but having a professional on your side will definitely increase your chances of winning your case.
Plus, without a personal injury lawyer working with you, you will be personally responsible for filing the massive amount of paperwork that comes along with the process.
Two Big Reasons To Hire A Lawyer
This presents two key motivators for hiring a professional to have by your side.
- First, you should be solely focused on recovery after an accident or injury. Not filing paperwork trying to get the compensation you deserve. So, by hiring a professional lawyer, you allow them to expedite the paper processes. They’ll handle it on your behalf and you’ll have confidence that they are filing everything correctly because they have done it plenty of times before.
- Second, by having a professional on your side, your chances of winning will greatly increase. In addition to their experience with the paperwork and other due diligence processes, having a personal injury lawyer represent you in court will allow for a speedy and accurate hearing in your favor. The lawyer will know exactly what points to bring up and, in general, you’ll be taken more seriously versus representing yourself.
Of course, if you’re wondering whether or not your personal injury warrants hiring a lawyer, you just need to think about the details of your case. Oftentimes, a law office themselves will offer a free consultation that will inform you on whether or not your case is worth bringing to court.
Will I Win The Personal Injury Case?
There is no reason fighting a case in court that’s unlikely to get you compensation. This could be due to the minority of the injury and/or other factors that would stand in your way of winning compensation.
If the law office thinks you’ll only win a small amount, or nothing at all, they will likely advise you not to go to court because the legal fees will cost you just as much or more. Remember the law firm only makes money when you make money.
However, if you still feel your case is worth fighting after hearing these things during a consultation, you can definitely attempt to file the paperwork yourself.
With that said, most cases are not turned down. And, you’re likely to receive full reimbursement for your medical fees if you have proper documentation to support your case.
What You Need to Win
Proper documentation of your injury is an absolute must if you are seeking compensation. Without this documentation, you and your lawyer will struggle to prove your claim and it will be nearly impossible to get compensated.
You need a few different types of documentation in order to support your claim. The more evidence you have, the more likely you are to receive compensation–and the more compensation you may get.
For instance, if all you have is a medical bill from the day of your injury, that is likely enough to get you reimbursement for your out-of-pocket cost for the visit.
However, if you also have returning visits documenting the development of your injury or things like a doctor’s recommendation to attend physical therapy, you are likely to receive even more compensation.
If you have additional documentation from a medical professional or another relevant and trustworthy party that details the extent of your injury, your chances of winning your case go up substantially. The more documents you have proving your injury, and perhaps who’s responsible for it, the more compensation you will be entitled to.
Your lawyer will be able to walk you through the typical claims process and explain what all documentation they need to get started. Ideally, you will have copies of all of your medical bills relating to the case and injury. You will also have documents supporting any additional therapies you will need to recover.
Even if you do not have all of your documents, the attorney’s office can request the medical records on your behalf once you sign up.
If your injury has caused you to take time off work, you may be able to get compensation for lost wages. If your injury will cause a permanent ailment or disability, you may also get compensation for the disability that has resulted from the injury.
You can also seek compensation for pain and suffering, although it can be difficult to prove unless you have substantiated a long-term disability or some other broader impact on your life as a result of the injury.
What If I Can’t Afford A Lawyer?
Fortunately, most personal injury lawyers charge minimal fees up-front. Here at Smiley Law Firm, we do not charge fees up front. You only pay if you win.
Most law firms will only charge you if they win your case, which makes it a win/win situation for both of you.
This business model gives you confidence knowing your lawyer is fighting as hard as they can for you and not just running away with your hard-earned money. It also ensures you’ll be able to pay them once you win because their fees will come out of the compensation you receive from the responsible party.
Of course, you should never assume that a law firm is going to work on this business model. Be sure to ask the lawyer what their fees are in the initial consultation so that you’ll know from the beginning. This consultation is usually free, so you have nothing to lose by calling around.
Choosing a Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorney
Choosing the right Baton Rouge personal injury attorney for your needs can be a little daunting. As a native of Baton Rouge, I grew up watching the city grow and prosper. The legal industry has also grown.
Above everything, the lawyer you choose needs to instill confidence in you that they can win your case.
The right lawyer will be realistic yet optimistic about your injury claim. This means they should detail similar cases that they may have worked in the past and use their experience to give you an estimation of the compensation they think you should seek. However, good lawyers know not to give out half-hearted estimates on how much the client’s case is worth. That is simply bad lawyering.
Questions To Ask At The Consultation
In order to choose the right lawyer, you should schedule a free consultation with a number of different law firms. This free consultation will happen either over the phone or in-person at their office. You should come to this consultation with a few questions prepared:
- Do you think my case will win? Why or why not?
- Have you worked cases similar to this before? What was the outcome?
- How much compensation do you think I should seek? Can you justify that number?
- Will we be seeking a lost wages claim?
- Will we be seeking a pain and suffering claim?
- If I could get additional documentation to help me win my case, what would you recommend?
A Consultation Is A Two-Way Interview
A good lawyer will sympathize with your pain and suffering from the injury, along with the financial stress it may have caused you. However, they should not mislead you into thinking that you can get more compensation than you realistically will. They also shouldn’t mislead you into seeking an unrealistic amount of compensation because it’s unlikely to work in your favor.
That’s why, before they answer on how much compensation they think you should seek, they should first ask you a few questions about how much your medical bills have been since the injury.
They should also inquire about any time missed from work, any therapies or medications you have been prescribed, and so on in order to calculate a realistic amount of compensation to seek.
Their answer to the final question will be based on the documentation they already know that you have. They may or may not think that additional documentation could help your case, but it’s always worth asking in case you can get additional evidence to support your claim.
After consulting with one or more attorneys, think about the decision you have to make. Be certain to check the track record of each attorney you are considering. Once you have made up your mind, promptly respond to the attorney you are interested in hiring.
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