If you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to obtain remuneration for your injuries and any associated losses. To do that, your best bet is to hire a skilled personal injury attorney such as the lawyers at Smith Stag LLC. For instance, if you’ve been injured because of a misdiagnosis, you should seek out a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice. Each field requires its own set of skills and experience, so you can’t just hire any old lawyer – you have to hire the right one.
But once you do hire an attorney, what exactly should you expect the attorney to do for you? As it turns out, a lawyer can do a lot for you and your claim. From the initial stage of gathering evidence to the final negotiations, your lawyer will be there every step of the way working hard to win you the best possible settlement (or award, if your claim goes to court).
Right after you retain the lawyers at Smith Stag, we will work to gather all the records and data pertaining to your injury. We will take the lead on this initial investigation, looking into every relevant nook and cranny to find case-strengthening information. Without an attorney, it can be incredibly daunting to hunt down medical records, gather photos and cull receipts to paint a picture of the event and the financial and emotional effects it has had on your life.
Your attorney will also have a working knowledge of the claims process, knowing when and how to file the appropriate paperwork. He or she will know what information you need to hand over to the insurance company (yours or the defendant’s) and what information you can withhold. And since we will be the main point of contact, we can act as the gatekeeper, filtering out the unnecessary information that the other side could potentially use against you. This is very important because the insurance company (or the defendant) will want to use anything they can get their hands on in order to deny (or lessen the value of) your claim.
Moreover, your attorney will be crucial in settlement negotiations. Without a lawyer, you could find yourself subject to the profit-seeking motives of the insurance company, who more often than not is looking to low-ball you. Most people who choose to negotiate with their insurance company without an attorney end up taking the initial offer, which is almost always far too low. At Smith Stag, we understand the tactics employed by insurance companies (and defense attorneys), so we can advise you when the insurance company’s offer is fair and when an offer is underwhelming.
A lawyer can also provide you with much-need litigation experience. This is important because, even though a majority of claims are settled out-of-court, an insurance company is far less likely to low-ball an attorney who has been to court. The logic is simple: insurance companies don’t want to go to court, if they can help it, because going to court means spending money and they’d prefer to avoid that.
And if, on the off-chance, you do go to court – and, remember, only 5 percent of cases do – having a skilled litigator is essential. They know which experts to hire. They know how to handle the discovery process. They have experience in making a case. In short, they have what it takes to argue on your behalf in a court of law.
What’s more, at Smith Stag, we understand the particularities of the law in Louisiana. Each jurisdiction has its own peculiarities. These idiosyncrasies matter, as they can greatly affect every step of the process.
Your lawyer isn’t there to make decisions for you. Instead, our role is to provide you with much-needed knowledge to help you make informed decisions about your own claims.