Victims of car accidents, medical malpractice, those who are injured on a property due to unsafe conditions — these are the people who will consult with a personal injury lawyer in Bend. However, these are the same people who have questions about the process. Some of these questions include:
- What can a personal injury lawyer do for me?
- Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer in Bend?
- What is the settlement process in personal injury cases?
- How do I pay for the services of a personal injury law firm in Central Oregon?
Read on and we will answer these questions.
What can a personal injury lawyer do for me?
When you suffer an injury and someone else is at fault, you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. This will be the person who is there to help protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and make sure they are prepared to take your case to court if the insurance company fails to offer a reasonable settlement.
The basic process of working with a personal injury lawyer includes:
- You schedule a free consultation with an attorney
- The attorney explains your rights and your legal options
- You take the necessary steps to hire the lawyer to represent you
- Your personal injury lawyer in Bend prepares a settlement demand for the insurer
- Your attorney sends you the answer to the settlement demand with his recommendation
- Your lawyer continues negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf
- Your lawyer brings in outside help for further investigation when needed
- Your lawyer continues to make objective recommendations for you to decide about the status of your case
- Your lawyer advises you about making statements, refers you to medical professionals when necessary, and fairly and objectively determines the value of your claim.
Remember, while most personal injury cases are settled outside of court, the process can be lengthy. Insurance companies have time to respond to settlement demands. They are interested in drawing the process out as much as possible because, in many cases, they know the longer the case takes to settle, the more financially difficult it becomes for you and your family.
Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer in Bend?
Unless you have a complete understanding of personal injury law, including the Oregon statutes of limitations, you should always hire a personal injury lawyer in Bend to represent you with your claim. When we are suffering from an injury, we have a lot of issues we are dealing with including being out of work, financial challenges, and caring for our families.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer in Bend takes an additional burden from your shoulders. Insurance company adjusters are going to play hardball with you because they know the harder they work to pressure you, the more likely you are to cave and accept a lower settlement. The more complex your situation, the more you need a personal injury lawyer in Bend.
You should always remember the person you are attempting to hold accountable is shielded from a great deal of the ongoing issues which must be dealt with during a personal injury claim. In fact, once they provide their insurance company with the details of an accident in which they were at fault, they may only have to deal with a few more telephone calls, and an increase in their premium.
That is because once the insurance company takes over, then nearly all of the ongoing negotiations are going to occur between you, the victim of someone else’s negligent act or behavior, and the insurance adjuster and/or the attorney representing the insurance company. You want an even playing field and that is the best reason to hire a personal injury lawyer in Bend.
What is the settlement process in personal injury cases?
Once you and your attorney have reached an agreement to have them represent you, they will prepare a settlement demand and send it to the responsible party’s insurance company. The demand will typically have a date by which they must respond. The responses they come back with may be:
- Agree to the settlement demand amount (initially unlikely)
- Deny any liability
- Agree to the liability but make a counteroffer (likely)
Once the insurer has agreed their client is liable, and made a counteroffer, your attorney will advise you of the offer amount. Once your decision is made, your Bend personal injury lawyer will go back to the insurance company and counteroffer if necessary.
The negotiation process will be underway at this point and your attorney will likely discuss with you the minimum settlement which you will accept. Should the insurer fail to meet that minimum, then your personal injury lawyer will prepare your case for court and file the required paperwork.
Remember, settlements are nearly always agreed to before a trial starts. Working with a lawyer who makes sure you understand where negotiations stand is always a good idea.
How do I pay for the services of a personal injury law firm in Central Oregon?
Anyone who is recovering from an injury is likely not working full time, which means they are facing some financial challenges. This means they often think they cannot afford to hire a personal injury lawyer. This is simply wrong thinking. When you hire a personal injury law firm in Central Oregon, there are no upfront fees.
Your attorney will be working on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that until your personal injury lawyer is successful in securing a settlement on your behalf, they do not get paid. In the rare event they are unsuccessful in obtaining a settlement, you do not pay any legal fees.
Once a personal injury law firm in Central Oregon is successful with their negotiations with the insurance company, they will receive a percentage of the settlement the insurance company offers. Your legal contract will clearly spell out the percentage as well as any charges for additional costs like filing fees or hiring experts.