In most situations, someone will advise you to “never settle,” but that advice is not necessarily valuable for personal injury matters. The vast majority of personal injury cases end with a settlement. However, there is a difference between a settlement and a “good” settlement. That difference is often the difference between the do-it-yourself approach and contacting a skilled attorney.
A study from the Insurance Research Council in 1999 found that personal injury attorneys, on average, recover 3.5 times as much in compensation. The reason for this is that skilled attorneys prepare to go to trial for every matter and understand the value of the evidence, such as:
Police reports are vital documents
In Wisconsin, nearly any accident will lead to a police report. This will put a public record of the accident on file for easy reference. In the case of significant accidents that require emergency response actions, the police will file the report themselves, including the circumstances.
While not every accident is closely investigated, the documented circumstances carry significant weight with the court.
Accident photos offer a unique perspective
Photos of the accident, either taken immediately after the crash or of the vehicle’s state, can build a narrative. The state of vehicles after a collision can indicate speed, where the accident began and the drivers’ activities during the crash. All of these are important pieces of information when proving liability.
Witness testimony may have a powerful impact on proceedings
While eye-witnesses are not as reliable as perceived, they still carry immense weight in a court proceeding. If a question of fault comes down to the testimony of a third party, this can vastly change the possible compensation.
Building an argument that fits the facts
Personal injury attorneys use the facts of your accident and your injuries to build your case. The goal is to recover as much compensation as possible for your injuries.
Attorneys fight insurers so that their clients can receive the compensation they deserve. Your case may not ever go to court, but an attorney can still vastly improve your outcomes.