It’s terrifying when you get hurt in any kind of accident that you didn’t cause. Your whole world can change in an instant, whether it’s due to a car accident, a slip-and-fall at your favorite store or restaurant, an accident at someone else’s home, or any other accident-related injury. They can cause large medical bills that you can’t afford to pay, especially considering you may have time off work to recover.
You know you deserve to be compensated, but you don’t know where to begin. Calling a personal injury lawyer is often a good idea, but is there anything you need to know before you do? Check out some information on how personal injury cases proceed, what you need to know when hiring a personal injury lawyer in Mobile, AL, and why the Long Brothers are here for you.
After the Accident: The Insurance Adjuster
In personal injury cases, especially in car accidents or when you’re hurt on someone else’s property, you will most likely be contacted by an insurance adjuster who will act very compassionate at first. In most cases, this adjuster will then issue you a lowball settlement offer for the harm you’ve suffered. The first thing to know is, never sign this initial offer! If you agree to their offer, you may forfeit your right to pursue more compensation later on.
Many people don’t realize this, but you don’t even have to talk to the insurance adjuster at all. You can simply refer them to your personal injury attorney and let your lawyer do the talking for you. It’s the insurance adjuster’s job to lessen your settlement, and it’s our job to protect your rights. We recommend having a legal professional communicate with the insurance adjuster if you want your best chance at maximum compensation.
How Does a Personal Injury Case Proceed?
After you contact an attorney, like our team at Long & Long, Attorneys at Law, we will sit down and discuss what happened. Your attorney will gather all of the information, documents, and evidence to support your case, and then we will issue a demand letter. This letter will outline the amount of compensation we are demanding for your injuries, including details to evidence why you deserve this amount of money.
The best case scenario is when the other side pays out a fair settlement, and that’s the end of things. Most of the time, however, the defendant will issue a counter letter. They will pick apart our demand letter and talk about why they think you deserve far less. They will then issue a counteroffer, which will likely be lower than deserved.
That’s when the process of negotiations begins. We will go back and forth, debating the various points of both arguments. Finally, in the vast majority of cases, both sides will come to an agreement that everyone is satisfied with.
Sometimes, however, negotiations break down, and we hit a wall. We can then try options like arbitration and mediation, where third parties help get things back on track. But, if those options don’t work, we may have to go to court. Going to court for a personal injury case is rare because it’s usually not in anyone’s best interest since court cases tend to be costly in both time and money.
But, if we do end up having to go to court, we will be by your side, defending your rights and fighting for compensation. Once you walk through our door, we will fight for you and treat you like a member of our own family. That’s what you get when you work with a family law firm like Long & Long, Attorneys at Law.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence, a term for who is found responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, is the core of every personal injury case. It’s what we will need to prove to get you the compensation you deserve. Proving negligence involves three factors:
- The other person acted in a way that was so irresponsible that no reasonable person would act that careless. This is the “Reasonable Person” standard.
- Their irresponsible act led, either directly or indirectly, to the accident.
- Your injuries were a direct result of that accident.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer to ensure your best chance at proving negligence is essential, especially in Mobile. In Alabama, a “contributory negligence” rule states that if you are found at fault to any degree, even 1%, for your accident, you can’t get any compensation. That’s why it’s so important to have an Alabama injury lawyer in your corner, to build an ironclad case.
What You Need to Know When Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
There are a few other things to know when hiring a personal injury lawyer. Remember that you have legal rights, and if someone else caused the accident that hurt you, you deserve to get compensated. Qualified attorneys will be willing to review your case for free by phone or over the internet, so you don’t even have to leave your home. You want a compassionate attorney who treats you like family and understands what a life-changing experience you have been through.
Secondly, any trustworthy personal injury attorney works on what is known as a “contingency basis.” That means their services are accessible to you; you don’t have to pay them for the consultation, and you won’t owe them a dime in fees at all if they don’t win your case. If you find a lawyer who charges upfront fees or retainers for your personal injury case, it is a red flag.
When the lawyer works on contingency, they simply get a percentage of your award after you win your case and receive your settlement. Your lawyer will have a clear interest in treating you like family and putting your interests first.
Lastly, look for attorneys with a legacy of success, have received large settlements for many clients, and have the testimonials to back it up. Find an attorney with experience in your type of injury, whether it’s work-related, vehicle accident, medical malpractice, faulty products, slip-and-fall accidents, or other injuries you have suffered.
Your Mobile, AL, Personal Injury Attorneys
All of these things and more are what you get from our Long & Long, Attorneys at Law family. Family values and family care is central to everything we do, and we prioritize treating every client like they are a member of our own family. We want to hear your story and evaluate how we can help you seek the results you are looking for. All you have to do is give us a call or fill out our form to get your free case review today. Our team will handle the rest from there!