Stages of a Personal Injury Case in New Mexico – Part II: Choosing an Attorney & Reviewing Your Claim
Part two of our three-part series on the personal injury claims process takes a look at why accident victims should take their time choosing the right attorney for their claim. We also explain what claim review is and show how this important step may help an attorney adopt a strategy that will have the best chances for success.
Step 2: Choosing the Right Attorney
After an accident, the main concern of an injured person should be to get the best possible medical attention in order to recover as soon as possible. Making informed decisions about treatment options, combined with frequent visits to the hospital and painful rehabilitation sessions, can become quite the burden – both physically and emotionally. While it is technically true that you can opt for self-representation when trying to settle a personal injury claim, in light of everything else you are already dealing with, this choice is usually, not only impractical but could also jeopardize your outcome.
Choosing the right attorney to represent your interests will ensure that the legal aspects of your claim are in the hands of a professional, allowing you to focus on recovery.
It is equally important to understand that, in order to maximize your chances of a successful outcome, you will need to use good judgment when choosing the legal professional who will represent you.
Some people may wrongly assume that any lawyer will be fit for the job, regardless of their legal background and specialization. This would be tantamount to imagining that an orthodontist can perform heart surgery. While both an orthodontist and a heart surgeon may be skilled medical professionals, their knowledge, abilities, and experience differ greatly. Therefore, an injured person should look specifically for a skilled personal injury attorney, particularly one with experience handling your type of injury claim.
Step 3: Claim Review
Your attorney will cooperate closely with you to prepare a strong personal injury claim with a high chance of success. The attorney’s work usually starts with reviewing the claim. It includes interviewing the injured party and carefully analyzing the circumstances of the accident, the extent of the injuries, the scope of financial losses and so forth. For example, an attorney will often analyze the testimonies of the witnesses of the accident – or try to contact the witnesses to obtain such testimonies. He or she will also review medical records of the injured person and make sure that they have reached a point of maximum medical improvement. Gathering and analyzing all such data will help the attorney to adopt the best strategy for the claim and present the at-fault party with the right kind of legal demands.
The final article in this series, we will explain what a demand letter is and why, in some circumstances, a lawyer may decide to reach a settlement with the at-fault party instead of filing a lawsuit. We will also analyze what happens when a case goes to trial.
If you missed part one of this series, you can read it here: