When should a personal injury lawyer be used?
You may not need a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Before you decide how to proceed with your case, you should consult an accident attorney.
Initially, your claim will be assessed by a personal injury attorney who will explain your legal rights, answer your questions, and provide information that will help you decide what steps to take.
Based on what you learn during your initial consultation, you might decide to proceed without an attorney, or you might find that hiring a personal injury lawyer is in your best interest.
Managing Your Own Case
Trying to handle a claim on your own only to hire a lawyer later may complicate the process, so it’s essential to understand what you’re capable of and what’s at stake if you make mistakes. To help decide whether a lawyer is cost-effective after a personal injury, you may contact an attorney immediately after your injury for a consultation.
If You Were In A Car Accident With No (Or Minimal) Injuries
Auto accidents are one of the most common types of cases. Your vehicle might suffer minor damage if someone rear-ends you at a low speed. It could result in a few doctor’s visits if you or your passengers are hurt. In most cases, a claim with your insurance or the other party’s insurance will cover the cost of repairs to your car and medical expenses. As long as you are satisfied with the coverage and service you receive from your insurance claim, you may not need to seek legal advice from an automobile accident attorney.
There Is A No Fault System In Your State
In most states, no-fault rules restrict the right to sue unless the injuries are severe enough (determined by the nature and cost of the injuries, according to where you live). Since no-fault insurance policies limit your recovery to personal injury protection coverage, you may not need to hire a lawyer for minor injuries. There is the chance that your injuries might qualify you for stepping outside of the no-fault system, in which case hiring a lawyer becomes wise.
You Have Already Received The Maximum Amount Available
The insurance company will only pay out up to the policy limits. Consequently, if the defendant who injured you has a $100,000 maximum insurance policy and you’ve been offered a $100,000 settlement, you may not benefit by obtaining a larger verdict. Any extra dollars over what the insurer offers would have to be collected directly from the defendant. It may be worth collecting additional damages if you believe you are entitled to them if the defendant has assets or money. If the defendant has few assets, accepting the settlement is probably the best option.
You Have Confidence You Can Negotiate Effectively With An Adjuster
A lawyer may not be necessary if you feel comfortable and confident enough to negotiate a settlement amount on your own with your insurance agent. You can represent yourself in Small Claims Court if you feel confident in your evidence and understand the legal process in your situation.
You Are Comfortable Researching The Law & The Settlement Process
You should become knowledgeable about the most critical issues, such as fault and liability, state laws that apply to your case, and compensation available for different types of damages.
Understanding the specifics of law can be a time-consuming process. There are many people who lack the energy to conduct such research, and some professionals already have this training and are intimately familiar with the law. You may be better off consulting a legal professional if you find yourself spending more time than it’s worth and getting frustrated by the details.
When should a personal injury lawyer be used?
What Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Do For You?
You can benefit from having a personal injury lawyer on your side in many different ways. Here are a few ways that your accident attorney can help you include:
- Describe your legal rights and options for recovering money for your injury claim
- Defend you from bad faith insurance tactics
- Help you avoid mistakes that could harm your claim
- Gather evidence to prove fault and liability in your accident case
- Find out who is responsible for your injuries
- Handle all communications with the insurance company and file insurance claims
- Engage experts to assist in the case
- Assist you in determining how much damage has occurred
- Calculate the maximum value of your personal injury claim
- Obtain a fair settlement for your injury claim
- Negotiate with medical providers and health insurance companies to lower medical liens and subrogation claims
- If necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit
Talk with a lawyer from Montgomery & Hart if you are still unsure whether you need a personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Before making any decisions, make sure you have all the facts.
Here Are Five Reasons Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
In addition to the reasons listed above for hiring an accident lawyer, here are five situations that strongly suggest you need to seek legal help before filing your personal injury claim.
1. You Were Severly Injured
Spinal cord injuries, amputations, and brain injuries can result in permanent disabilities. An attorney’s job is to fight for compensation for permanent impairments and disabilities, including future damages caused by these conditions. The ability to prove permanent impairments and calculate future damages might require expert witnesses.
2. The Insurance Company Acts In Bad Faith
To resolve a personal injury claim, the at-fault party’s insurance company should act in good faith. Nevertheless, some insurance companies conduct bad faith insurance practices to avoid liability for claims.
The following are examples of bad faith insurance practices:
- Investigating a claim insufficiently
- Creating unnecessary delays
- Inaccurate information
- Documentation that is unnecessary and cumbersome
- Refusing to pay a valid claim
- Changing the policy terms
- Overly aggressive tactics to force victims to accept an unfair settlement offer
If the insurance company acts in bad faith, you may have an additional claim against it separate from the personal injury claim. An attorney is usually the best person to speak with before discussing the accident or your injury with an insurance company.
3. An Insurance Company or Another Party Claims That You Contributed To The Cause Of The Accident
An insurance company or defense lawyer may also blame the victim for causing the accident. Your insurance company might claim that you were texting while walking contributed to your pedestrian accident. As a result of your inattention, you share some of the responsibility for the cause of your injuries.
If a jury finds you 30 percent at fault for the pedestrian accident, then you’re responsible for 30 percent of the damages. As a result, the insurance company only needs to pay 70 percent of that award.
If you believe your actions contributed to your injury, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Talk to a lawyer before discussing the claim with anyone. You could use your statements and comments to convince the jury that you were partially responsible in a trial.
4. You Do Not Know How Much Your Personal Injury Claim Is Worth
If another party’s wrongdoing or negligence injures you, you may be able to receive compensation. In addition to financial losses and pain, you may also suffer emotional distress. If you are not familiar with personal injury laws, it may be difficult to calculate a claim value.
The economic damages are the financial losses resulting from the accident and your injuries. The following are examples of losses from financial transactions:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Travel expenses
- Help with household chores
- Personal care
- In-home health care
All bills and losses are included in the value of economic damages. The insurance company may argue that some of the expenses were not reasonable or necessary. Some expenses may be denied as not related to the accident.
The difficulty of valuing pain and suffering is much greater. Can you put a price on someone’s physical, emotional, and mental suffering? Can you quantify the loss of quality of life or the impact of permanent impairment?
The value of pain and suffering damages depends on several factors. It is also possible to calculate the value of pain and suffering damages in several different ways. A personal injury lawyer knows how to use the facts of the case to maximize the damages for pain and suffering.
5. The Case Involves Complex Legal Issues
Personal injury cases often involve complex legal issues. A variety of parties and government agencies might be involved in a case.
Injury cases of this type benefit from the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
A product liability claim, for instance, requires expert testimony to prove that the product was defective, who is responsible for the defect, and the defect caused your injuries. Numerous parties may be involved, as well as complicated liability laws.
A case involving a government entity is another example. Different laws and rules apply to these cases. Taking legal action against the government is a huge undertaking that requires an accident lawyer who knows the intricacies of suing the government.
Multi-party cases, such as commercial vehicle accidents, can also present challenges.
Multiple experts and investigators may be needed to determine each party’s liability, and months may be required to complete an investigation.
How Can Montgomery & Hart Help?
You must consult a personal injury attorney about your case as soon as possible. A personal injury lawsuit must be filed within the statute of limitations. In the event of a deadline miss, you are no longer eligible for a judicial remedy.
Getting in touch with an injury lawyer right away is the best thing you can do. We offer a free consultation, so it doesn’t hurt to give us a call. A lawyer can be beneficial in most cases. If you are going through a child custody case and need a reliable lawyer on your side, please don’t hesitate to call 888-928-0748 or contact one of our personal injury lawyers today.