- What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do… and How Can They Help Me?
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do… and How Can They Help Me?
Remember when you were a kid and people would ask what you wanted to be when you grew up? You may have answered that you dreamed of becoming a dedicated doctor, a courageous firefighter, or an inspiring teacher… but we’d be willing to venture you probably never responded that you were dying to become a personal injury attorney!
That’s perfectly fine — because the dedicated legal team at Mike Morse Law Firm happily answered that uncommon calling! And while some of the folks who work here didn’t originally plan to follow this challenging (and quite satisfying) career path, tens of thousands of clients we’ve served over the years are very glad we did. Recently, in just one week, our clients collectively received more than $10 million in settlements! In fact, we’ve won settlements totaling over $1.5 billion on behalf of satisfied clients since our inception in 1995.
Unfortunately, some pundits have disparagingly referred to personal injury attorneys as “ambulance chasers” since we spend much of our time representing the interests of innocent people who’ve been injured in car accidents. But we also protect folks who’ve suffered dog bites, been denied Social Security Disability claims, and sustained injuries in other ways at the hands of negligent individuals and entities. We sincerely hope you never need to utilize the services of a personal injury attorney but, if you do, the following details will be of great benefit when determining how to proceed with a potential injury case.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
A lot! Several processes occur in nearly every case handled by a seasoned personal injury attorney (also known in the legal field as a “PI” lawyer). Let’s review them here.
The first thing we do is listen. Carefully. When someone calls us to report they’ve been hurt, we take comprehensive notes, ask relevant questions, gather details about their injuries, and document their experiences. We take the time to listen to their stories and make sure we understand the damages they’ve experienced, not to mention the pain and suffering they’ve felt.
Then we investigate. We visit the accident or injury scene. We take an abundance of photos. We interview victims, witnesses, police officers, emergency medical technicians, doctors, and other healthcare personnel. We meet with clients and families in person. We seek out footage taken by traffic cams and other video surveillance devices. We may also hire outside investigators to help us uncover incriminating facts others could be trying to conceal. We dig, we dig deeper, and then we dig some more.
Then we begin to litigate. This process can start as simply as sending a hard-nosed “demand letter” to the defendant and their insurance company, letting them know we’re considering filing a lawsuit. We make unwavering demands on behalf of our clients and do everything we can to ensure their needs are being met medically, financially, and legally. We take depositions (sworn statements) from injured parties, witnesses, and defendants. We locate and arrange for eyewitnesses to appear in court if needed. We even research and find expert witnesses who can testify to our clients’ conditions and the circumstances that led to the painful yet avoidable injuries that were no fault of their own.
Then – if all goes according to plan – we either negotiate a financial settlement or we take matters to court. While we can’t guarantee we’ll win in the courtroom, we can report that, more often than not, an individual represented by a personal injury attorney comes out with a larger settlement than the initial offer of the defendant’s insurance company. In fact, a recent study cited by legal encyclopedia Nolo.com notes that folks who were represented by a personal injury attorney received legal settlements about three times greater than individuals who didn’t have PI lawyer representation.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
While we can’t speak for other PI firms, we don’t charge our clients anything out of pocket. To be perfectly clear, you won’t pay a single cent for our representation until we win your case. Your initial consultation, filing fees, and all subsequent meetings are always 100% free of charge. And even after you decide to hire us, you are still never responsible for paying us a penny until we’ve won. (Even then, what we make comes from the legal settlement funds – never from you, personally.)
If you’re ever approached by a supposed personal injury attorney who attempts to charge you a fee prior to filing a lawsuit, we strongly advise caution. There’s a tried-and-true legal term you may have heard: caveat emptor, meaning “let the buyer beware.” No one can promise to win you a settlement… and taking money out of your own pocket to pay someone based on promises of a future financial windfall is simply inadvisable.
Do I Have to Hire an Attorney to File a Lawsuit Against an Insurance Company?
Let’s answer that question by posing a few of our own. Would you hire a plumber to fix bad wiring in your house? Would you hire an electrician to replace a leaking toilet? Would you ask a sanitation worker to diagnose your child’s sore throat? Would you bring in a team of cosmetic surgeons to paint your kitchen? Your answers to these (silly) questions are surely a series of resounding NOs! And this should indicate the importance of seeking a personal injury attorney’s specialized knowledge and skills when you’ve been hurt by someone’s negligence or a company’s carelessness.
We all know there are some folks who believe they can act as their own attorney and will attempt to deal with the costs and intricacies of filing a lawsuit entirely on their own. But why would you, especially when you don’t pay us a cent to take your case? Remember that insurance companies have their own experienced lawyers on staff to protect their corporate interests. They certainly wouldn’t trust their assets to an untrained individual — and neither should you.
Even Nolo.com, the pioneering legal website we previously mentioned, advises accident victims to consult with personal injury attorneys in all but the most simple circumstances. They recognize that PI attorneys know the ins and outs of the legal system and, that by having a lawyer on your side, you may be more likely to obtain “the full spectrum of damages” you’re entitled to receive.
If you’ve been victimized or injured in any way, you have nothing to lose – and possibly a lot to gain – by getting an experienced fighter in your corner. And some of the best fighters we know are located right here in the friendly offices of Mike Morse Law Firm. You can meet them in person at 24901 Northwestern Highway, Suite 700 in Southfield, or at 2211 East Jefferson Avenue, Suite 320 in Detroit. Of course, if you’re reading this blog, you can simply click here to get in touch. Or, as always, just pick up the phone and call 855-MIKE-WINS!