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The first hours following an injury are of utmost importance not just for your health, but for finding and securing legal representation. The sooner you get in touch with a personal injury lawyer, the sooner you will have access to the legal support you need to recover fully.

Evidence regarding the cause and extent of your injuries must be collected immediately in order to begin building the groundwork for your case and to help you get all of the benefits, medical care, and financial settlements you are entitled to. You need a lawyer with the experience and resources to collect and document evidence like unsafe construction, faulty lighting, skid marks, and other evidence.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, here are the top 10 tips on how to proceed next:

1. Get help.

If you aren’t sure if you should hire a lawyer, taking the time to visit with one can offer you more insight as to what a lawyer can do for you. Most offer a free consultation during which time the lawyer will listen to your case and give you objective advice regarding the chances you have of a successful lawsuit.

Most accident cases never get to trial but are settled out of court. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, it shows the insurance company you are willing and prepared to go to trial. This usually motivates them to settle.

2. Get the most compensation and best medical care.

No matter if you were a pedestrian, driver, or passenger, you are legally entitled to full care, compensation, and representation. Even if you were at fault you are entitled to all of these things, and a personal injury lawyer can help protect your rights and make sure you receive compensation you deserve.

3. Gain access to outside experts.

When you work with an attorney who specializes in personal injury, you also gain access to his or her resources like medical and safety professionals, CPAs, private investigators, and legal assistants. Your lawyer will work with these professionals to help build a case that insurance agencies cannot deny.

4. Get the experience you need.

You need a personal injury attorney who knows how to work around the system to maximize your benefits. Choose a lawyer who will make sure you are fairly compensated. A seasoned attorney will prevent insurance companies from taking advantage of you and will improve your odds of winning the highest settlement possible.

5. Reduce your stress.

One of the worst parts of an accident is having to deal with insurance companies. When you hire a personal injury lawyer, they’ll work with those insurance companies on your behalf, which means you can focus on getting better and other aspects of life.

6. Receive compensation.

Many people who choose not to get legal representation lose out on thousands of dollars because they just don’t know how much compensation they can expect. A personal injury lawyer can determine the value of pain and suffering as well as lost wages and other subtleties.

If your compensation needs change due to medical treatment, your lawyer can also handle what’s needed in that regard.

7. Avoid dealing with insurance limitations and paperwork.

Any time you report an accident to your insurance company you are required to fill out reams of paperwork. On top of that, many policies have exclusions, limitations, time-sensitive deadlines, and other issues that can change the coverage to which you are allowed to claim, or may cause your claim to be denied. An experienced lawyer can help you get through the paperwork and ensure it is filled out accurately so you can move forward with your claim.

Insurance companies rely on people to have gaps in legal knowledge so they can get out of paying compensation based on technicalities. Working with an attorney who knows how to mediate and litigate your personal injury claim will make sure you don’t lose out on thousands of dollars.

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