Following serious injuries, whether in the case of a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim, working with a personal injury attorney is the most effective way to ensure that you receive the support you deserve. Many clients find that a personal injury attorney can help increase the compensation you receive for your injuries. From hospitality workers who suffer injuries in the New Orleans area to construction workers who suffer injury on the job or even landscaping or masonry workers who face serious injuries due to their work responsibilities, there are many advantages to having an attorney on your side.
Unfortunately, if a language barrier exists, it can complicate the legal process and leave you confused, intimidated, and uncertain. What did the opposing counsel actually find? How did the judge respond? You may find yourself out of your depth, especially when facing extremely technical language or dealing with questions you do not understand.
A bilingual attorney can help. Consider these benefits of working with a bilingual attorney when you must deal with a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim in Louisiana.
1. A bilingual attorney can make sure that you understand the questions you’re asked and how you should respond.
Many people respond to uncertainty by talking more. If you did not fully understand the question in the first place, providing more information will increase the odds that you answered it correctly, right?
Unfortunately, when dealing with workers’ compensation or personal injury claims, it can prove beneficial to provide less information to the insurance company or other party asking questions. A bilingual attorney can help you understand the questions asked and what information you need to provide. Not only that, they can ensure that you understand your rights and what information you should and should not share, preventing you from potentially minimizing the compensation you can receive by offering too much information.
2. A bilingual attorney can improve your understanding of the data collected by opposing counsel.
If you need to take your claim to court, it can prove extremely confusing even when you speak the language fluently. When a language barrier exists, opposing counsel may try to capitalize on your lack of understanding as they present evidence. You may have the key to disproving or disputing evidence they have provided, but if you do not understand it, you may not have the ability to provide it. A bilingual attorney, on the other hand, can translate all of that information into your native language, increasing your understanding.
3. A bilingual attorney can make sure that everyone understands you.
Whether you’re on the phone with the insurance company for the fourth time this month or you’re answering questions about your injuries and limitations in court, a bilingual attorney can help ensure that everyone involved in the process understands what you have to say. A communication barrier can make it incredibly difficult for you to share information, whether you’re going over how your injuries have impacted your life or explaining how the injuries occurred and who helped contribute to your accident. A bilingual attorney can help translate what you have to say and ensure that your story gets heard correctly.
4. A bilingual attorney can help you better understand your rights.
Let’s face it: many laws and legal rights are difficult to understand even in your native language. Add in a language barrier, and it can prove even more difficult for you to get the information you need. By working with a bilingual attorney, however, you can improve your understanding of your legal rights. Your attorney can explain your right to compensation following a serious injury, help you understand what happens after a workplace injury, or help you understand how to handle your medical bills following a serious accident.
5. A bilingual attorney can help you understand the compensation offers provided.
In many personal injury claims, the insurance company that covers the liable party will not simply write a check for the full amount you deserve. In many cases, they may try to get you to accept a lower settlement. When a language barrier exists, you may struggle more to understand exactly what the offer entails, including how that offer compares to your long-term medical expenses and the other issues you may face. A bilingual attorney can help provide you with a better understanding of that settlement offer and how it is likely to impact you. This can help you make a better decision about when to accept an offer and when to continue negotiating.
If your claim needs to go to court, a bilingual attorney can also translate the judge’s pronouncements or a jury verdict, which means you will fully understand what the verdict represents for you.
6. A bilingual attorney can help connect you to the resources you need.
Your injuries may leave you in serious need of assistance, especially if you suffered severe injuries that cause multiple complications. Where a language barrier exists, it can cause additional complications in getting the support and assistance you need. While some providers offer services in a second language, others may not–and it can prove difficult to discover which ones will work with you and for you without calling each one. When you work with a bilingual attorney, on the other hand, that attorney can help narrow down available resources and ensure that you can connect with the providers you really need throughout your recovery and as you file your claim.
If English is not your first language, working with a bilingual attorney can make handling your personal injury or workers’ compensation claim substantially easier. At Stephenson, Chavarri & Dawson, L.L.C., we have a complete bilingual staff who are experienced in translating legal jargon and ensuring that our clients fully understand the challenges they face. If you suffered an injury due to the negligence of another party or suffered an injury at work that has left you in need of workers’ compensation assistance, contact us today at 504-523-6496 to schedule a consultation.