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Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney
We were talking to somebody the other day and they asked me, “How do you choose the right attorney if you’ve been injured in Kansas?” We explained that there are three main things you want to make sure you find in an attorney. One is you want to make sure that the attorney’s core focus is on personal injury. You don’t want somebody who handles a variety of things. You may know a lawyer who has previously handled a will for your family or a divorce, or something like that. Your natural tendency would be to go to that attorney, but that attorney is probably handling a lot of different types of cases and won’t know all the ins and outs of personal injury law, so it’s really important to find an attorney that focuses on personal injury law only. They would be better equipped to help you with your case.
Number two is you want to find somebody who has experience and success with personal injury cases. They have that experience that you’re going to need with that experience. The insurance companies are used to dealing with that attorney, and understand that that attorney is going to fight for you. They know that that attorney knows what they’re doing, so they will deal with them in a different way than they would with an attorney that handles a variety of things.
Number three, and maybe the most important thing, is to make sure you find a trial attorney. There are differences in attorneys. Not all attorneys will go to trial. There are a lot of attorneys out there advertising for your personal injury case, but they just want to get your case and settle it quickly. You want to make sure you find a trial attorney, somebody who is skilled at trial work and going to trial, should we need that for your case. You want to make sure you find somebody that is a trial attorney who will work up your case and be prepared to go to trial if that’s necessary.
Mistakes To Avoid After a Personal Injury
We had a client come in the other day who had a personal injury claim in Kansas and, unfortunately, they had made a lot of the most common mistakes that we see with people who do have a personal injury claim. One, they failed to collect all the evidence at the scene. Everyone thinks that law enforcement at the scene of an injury or anyone investigating is going to be documenting all the evidence, gathering all the witnesses’ information, and taking photographs, but unfortunately that does not always happen. Sometimes it does happen, but, before they get back to their desk to finalize their report, that information is lost, so it really is important to gather evidence there immediately at the scene, take photographs and get as much information as you can. If you’re injured to the point that you can’t do that, get in touch with an attorney right away who can get as much evidence gathered as soon as possible. The more time that goes by, the more difficulty anyone will have in locating that evidence.
Another mistake that this person made is they did not go get the medical treatment that they needed. When something first happens, a lot of people feel like they’re not injured. They have a lot of adrenaline going at that time, and they immediately turn down calling the ambulance or going to the emergency room, but that adrenaline often wears off and people then start feeling the effects of their injury. Even then, a lot of times, people think they’ll get better, and they don’t need to go to the doctor, don’t want to rack up medical bills, and they’ll wait sometimes weeks or longer to get the treatment that they need. That is a huge mistake. If you have waited several weeks to go get any treatment at all, the insurance company is going to argue that you were not actually injured from the injury or the incident and instead that you had an injury some other time after that. It’s helpful to document that treatment and the symptoms that you’re having, and also to get started on your treatment right away so that you can get ahead of it hopefully and improve as quickly as possible.
Another mistake this person made was they spoke to the insurance company and gave a recorded statement. That is a common mistake that we see. People think they don’t have anything to lie about and they’re just going to tell the truth. They figure they can’t do any harm to their case, but unfortunately that is a big mistake. Insurance companies know what they’re doing and are skilled at this. They ask questions in a certain way, in a certain order, focused on or with the goal of making sure they can gather evidence to help them delay or deny your claim.
The biggest mistake that this person had made was they hired a different attorney, which ended up being the wrong attorney. It’s very important to make sure that you hire an attorney who is skilled and experienced in personal injury law, as well as a trial attorney who is willing to take your case to trial if the insurance company is not being fair and reasonable and not willing to pay a fair amount for your damages. If you don’t hire the right attorney, then you either won’t get the best recovery available or you may end up having to try to find another attorney, like this person was doing.
Those are the four things that this person did that we see pretty consistently with a lot of people, so don’t make those mistakes. If you have any questions about this or any other personal injury matter, give us a call and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have.
Personal Injury Case Going to Trial
A lot of people ask us if their personal injury case is going to have to go to trial. People don’t want to go to trial if they don’t have to, and we do a pretty good job of getting a majority of these cases settled without going to trial. Most cases are settled before ever having to go to trial, but that totally depends on whether the insurance company is fair and reasonable in settling your claim. If they’re willing to pay a fair and reasonable amount, then we can absolutely get your case settled.
If the insurance company is unreasonable and not willing to pay a fair amount for your damages, then we have to be prepared to go to trial. That isn’t anything you should worry about; we will be prepared to do that. We will prepare you and make sure everything is taken care of for trial. You don’t have to worry about anything. We’ll make sure that that goes well. If you have any questions about this, feel free to give us a call and we can talk some more.
Personal Injury Case Value
One question we get a lot is, “How do I determine the value of my personal injury case in Kansas?” That’s really a question that is difficult to answer, certainly impossible to answer early on in a case. There are a lot of different things that go into determining the value of a case.
In Kansas we have essentially two different types of damages. One is the economic damages. Those are the things such as medical bills, lost wages, things that we can look at – a bill, an invoice, or a statement – and determine exactly what the dollar amount of that damage is. The other type of damage in Kansas is what we call non-economic damages, and those are the things that don’t have an exact number attached to them and are dependent upon each person’s experience, each person’s injury. Those are the things like pain and suffering, the inconvenience of having to go to the doctor’s appointments, the effect and impact that this injury has had on your life.
Once we have an idea of not only all the medical bills and lost wages, and other economic damage, but also how this injury has impacted your life, then we would be able to give you a better idea of the value of your personal injury case. If you have any questions about this or any other issue, please give us a call.
Were you or a loved one severely injured in Kansas and have questions about your personal injury case? Don’t ruin your personal injury case before it even starts! Contact our experienced Kansas personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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