This question is regularly asked by accident victims, both on the Internet and its various channels of expression, and to victims’ associations and lawyers specializing in compensation for bodily injury. Why choose a “personal injury” lawyer? For victims of medical or traffic accidents seeking help, there are a multitude of variously titled websites where “experts” offer “maximized” compensation.
Are they specialists approved by a court to give an opinion on a specific question? Does this expertise concern a medical, legal or technical specialty? There are a few reasons to doubt it. On the other hand, the technical nature of a lawyer experienced in personal injury law is an asset for accident victims to get out of an impasse during amicable discussions with their insurer. They are optimal when working locally, with regards to mastery of the terrain and situations. For example, if someone has an injury in Las Vegas, he or she is advised to contact a Las Vegas personal injury attorney.
The possibility of an indemnity proceeding weighs heavily in negotiations with an insurer. Insurance companies anticipate and price the risks covered: they therefore love nothing less than the vagaries of a possible compensation procedure before the courts, the amount of which may turn out to be much greater than that of a transaction.
To carry out a compensation procedure for bodily injury, the specialist lawyer conducts this process according to recognized methods:
– written referral to the insurance company,
– legal advice to its clients,
– procedural choices (criminal, civil, compensation commission),
– independent negotiation vis-à-vis the insurance company,
– objective and indisputable assessment of damages,
– possibility of exercising legal remedies.
Experience also shows that professional practice rules provide safety for victims. Ethics protects clients: belonging to the legal profession, like other so-called “regulated” professions, imposes professional obligations called “ethics”. In this context, the rule of independence prohibits the lawyer from any situation of conflict of interest. The rule of independence ensures that every lawyer can work objectively. It’s a set rule that ensures every client gets the most objective outcome possible, regardless of the court’s decision.
The lawyer practicing bodily injury must therefore respect, vis-à-vis a strong economic player (hospital group, pharmaceutical laboratory or insurance company), strict independence. He must speak freely and act without complacency to assert your rights, without any concern other than serving your interests, regardless of any pressure.
His role is to ensure the defense and protection of the patient’s rights throughout the procedure. His presence is compulsory before civil and, in practice, administrative courts. The intervention of a lawyer remains optional, even if it seems advisable to us, in particular for major damages. Indeed, volunteers within associations, as devoted as they are, do not always have the training legal and competence enabling them to negotiate with an insurance company or to assess a loss.
The remark also applies to a “general practitioner” lawyer who has never done compensation for personal injury. A lawyer represents your interests, assists you during appraisal operations, defends the reality and the existence of your prejudices, engages in amicable negotiations or even negotiates with the opposing party. They can, and now do almost systematically, request a performance fee generally between 6 and 10% (excluding taxes) of the sums recovered.
There are lawyers specializing in personal injury compensation, and more specifically in medical law. Afterall, the lawyer is the first actor, in his presence, necessary alongside the victim at each stage of the judicial phase. He is also highly desirable when a transaction is proposed by the responsible author or by the insurer.