When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters who evaluate injury claims and try to limit payments to injury victims. To level the playing field, you must retain legal counsel as soon as possible.
After a serious injury, many injured victims face an uncertain future. Fortunately, it is possible to protect your rights to compensation during this difficult time with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Make Sure You Are Aware of the Statute of Limitations
Time is of the essence if you have a personal injury claim. A state statute specifies your deadline to file a lawsuit in civil court. Immediately engage legal counsel if you believe you have suffered an injury due to someone’s negligence, as you do not have unlimited time. Lawyers must take many steps before filing a lawsuit, and your case will be better off if you give them more time to build your claim.
The Insurance Company Has Experts. So Should You.
A typical insurance company has extensive legal resources. When dealing with these companies, you want to ensure that you are on an equal playing field.
For this reason, you should have your own lawyer and team of experts when dealing with these companies.
Any insurance company, whether your own or another’s, will put their interests first. The company may nickel and dime you whenever possible to save money.
Get a personal injury lawyer to represent you during these negotiations. They know how to negotiate the full amount you deserve for your losses.
To maximize your claim, you must also meet with the right physicians. If the case goes to trial, your injury attorney can help you find the right medical experts who can treat you and also serve as good witnesses in your case. A medical professional can play an important role in your case, and finding the right experts is possible through your attorney.
Law firms also have resources beyond a network of experts. They have support staff to assist with evidence collection and processing your claim. Personal injury lawyers have investigators to assist with your case. By exploring what happened and possibly recreating the accident, they can use evidence and information at trial or in negotiations with the insurer to get you the best verdict or settlement.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Brain injuries, burn injuries, and catastrophic injuries can occur in traffic crashes and other accidents. However, even relatively minor injuries can leave you with costly bills and losses.
Always retain a personal injury attorney, regardless of how simple your case may seem. Never go through this minefield alone. Most lawyers do not receive payment for injury cases unless they recover money for you, so you risk nothing by calling an attorney.
Why You Want to Hire an Attorney
Insurance companies have their own attorneys to represent and defend them. Their job is to minimize the payment the insurer offers you. Always have legal representation when filing an insurance claim. The insurer has legal teams protecting its interests, and you need a lawyer to protect yours.
Perhaps Your Injuries Aren’t as Minor as You Thought
Some people might not hire a lawyer for relatively minor injuries. It may not seem worthwhile, but if your injuries led to any losses, you should seek legal help. You might feel fortunate to walk away from an accident with a sprained wrist, but even a sprained wrist might need an urgent care appointment, follow-ups with orthopedists, physical therapy, and more. A sprain can keep some people from working for a few weeks, and the losses add up quickly.
Even seemingly minor injuries can lead to complicated claims, so contacting a lawyer or scheduling an initial consultation is critical.
Minor Injuries Can Become Major Ones
After accepting a settlement offer, if your injuries are worse than you initially thought, you cannot request additional money since you agree to give up all future claims arising from the accident. Having a proven personal injury lawyer by your side will help you to determine the right time to accept an offer after you learn the full extent of your injuries.
It’s Your Right to Recover Damages for Pain and Suffering
If your case goes to court, a jury will consider pain and suffering and emotional distress damages, and a settlement without these types of damages might not be complete. Regardless of how minor your injury appears, your lawyer can explain all the damages you may recover, including pain and suffering. They will advance your case against the insurance company to ensure you receive a satisfactory settlement to cover your intangible losses.
Hiring an attorney when you have suffered serious injuries is always a good idea.
The reason for this is:
- Your lawyer can provide the full range of damages you deserve.
- Your lawyer can maximize your recovery through negotiation skills.
- If an attorney represents you, insurers and defendants will take your claim more seriously.
Do I Have to Worry About My Insurance Company?
Often, people cite the fact that they have insurance or that the other party has insurance as a reason not to hire an attorney. Insurance companies seem to want to protect you.
However, the interests of the insurance company are often at odds with yours:
- To compensate you for all you’ve gone through, you want as large a damage award as possible.
- Insurance companies aim to pay out as little as possible to maximize profits.
How to Afford a Lawyer: Legal Fee Agreements
The fear of paying legal fees prevents people from hiring a lawyer. In most cases, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. You will not pay your personal injury lawyer any money unless you win or settle your case outside of court.
Contingency fee agreements allow lawyers to collect a percentage of your compensation from settlements or damage awards.
Settlements Tend to Be Larger for Represented Plaintiffs
According to a study by the Insurance Research Council, people who receive legal aid receive settlements that are 3.5 times larger than those who do not. This can make a huge difference in your financial future.
It’s hard to understand the specifics of the law in your situation.
- Is it possible to get compensation for a car accident if the person who caused it does not have insurance?
- What if a dog bite leaves you seriously ill with an infection and costs you thousands of dollars?
These questions show how easy it can be for personal injury claims to become complicated. A lawyer can represent you in any situation where you deal directly with an insurance company or another party for your claim.
What Is the Best Way to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?
To find the top personal injury lawyer, consider several factors.
Do the Lawyers or Law Firms Represent Plaintiffs?
A good injury law firm should have a history of handling personal injury cases and related matters, such as wrongful death, car accident, and defective product claims. Make sure they represent plaintiffs (injured people) and not insurance companies. This aligns your interests with your attorney’s.
Is the Firm Well-Reviewed?
Referrals from past and current clients can contribute significantly to your search for the right injury lawyer. A former client’s review can provide injury victims with valuable information about their case’s lawyer and their level of satisfaction.
What Is the Reputation of the Firm Among Other Attorneys in the Community?
Do other lawyers use the law firm to assist in the litigation process? Is the law firm financially capable of competing with any size corporation or insurance company?
Do Their Peers Recognize the Firm or Lawyer’s Efforts?
Research whether the firm has been recognized and evaluated by peers. Premier attorney listing services are also a way to find many lawyers. You can narrow your search by looking for lawyers whose peers have recognized their success.
How Much Time Does the Attorney Have for You?
Most cities in the country have attorneys who use their image to market their firms. Clients might never meet or work with the lawyers on billboards or television. You want to ensure that the lawyer handling your case will not simply pass everything on to junior attorneys and support staff.
Does the Lawyer Settle All of Their Cases or Will They Go to Trial?
While many personal injury lawyers boast about the number of clients they have successfully compensated, there is a distinction between getting a client a settlement and getting them the full compensation they deserve.
An attorney’s hard work can often result in an out-of-court settlement where a client receives maximum compensation. Insurance companies often put up a greater fight in high-value personal injury cases and in cases where the fault is hard to prove.
Sometimes, settlement negotiations fail and the only options are to accept an inadequate settlement or go to trial. Rather than fight for maximum compensation at trial, many attorneys prefer to take an easy settlement. A “settlement mill” typically employs this strategy.
Attorneys who do this want to get as many clients as they can in and out with little effort. They may lack the resources to conduct a trial or simply cannot handle your case in court. Pick a lawyer with trial experience who is prepared and willing to battle in the courtroom for the maximum value of your case.
It Is Impossible to Replace Experience
You can make a huge difference in your injury claim by knowing when to hire a personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses focused on making a profit. As a result, if they can deny or offer you a low sum of money, they will – and they are good at it.
An experienced attorney can effectively negotiate an insurance settlement. In addition to helping you negotiate coverage of medical bills, they can fight for compensation for your intangible losses.
Most personal injury attorneys do not charge their clients any upfront fees or costs, nor do they charge by the hour. They use a contingency fee, so the client only pays the attorney if the lawyer recovers money for them.
Contact a personal injury lawyer for a free consultation and more information. The right injury attorney will protect your rights and stand up to insurance companies for you.