Fighting for the monetary compensation you deserve after you are injured in a car accident is a daunting process, especially when you are coping with personal injuries and struggling to support your family. One of the common questions people have after an accident with injuries, “Do I need to hire an injury attorney?”
Consider the following when determining whether you should hire an injury lawyer for your car accident injury claim.
Are you willing to study laws and procedural rules?
One advantage of hiring a car accident injury lawyer to represent you is he or she is a professional and knowledgeable in the applicable laws and procedural rules that affect your case. An attorney can help you understand the statutes of limitations for your case, how to file your lawsuit, and how to mitigate any defenses the defendant may raise. Your lawyer can also help you prepare your case for trial. The threat of a drawn-out and expensive lawsuit is usually a powerful tool when negotiating with an insurance company.
Are you willing to devote the time to do the legal legwork?
There is a great deal of time and effort that goes into negotiating a fair settlement with an insurance carrier. If you have been hurt in an accident, the prospect of taking on this work may be too much for you. An injury attorney has years of experience with the legwork of handling injury claims and even dealing with specific insurance companies. This experience can make it easier to gather evidence, prepare demand letters, and pull apart the insurance company’s arguments.
Are you comfortable negotiating with the insurance adjuster?
To obtain a fair settlement offer from an insurance company often requires lengthy negotiations with an insurance adjuster who will give you a low initial settlement offer. You may not need an attorney if you are confident and comfortable negotiating with the insurance adjuster yourself.
When to Hire an Injury Attorney
There are certainly benefits to hiring a lawyer to handle your case, provided your damages will be sufficient to make up for attorney’s fees, and your case is not simple enough to handle on your own. Plaintiffs who are represented by an injury lawyer tend to receive larger settlements — or 3.5x larger than someone without legal representation — according to a 1999 Insurance Research Council study. An attorney will also serve as your advocate to guide you through the process and seek a resolution that is in your best interests.
There are many cases in which it definitely makes more sense to hire an experienced personal injury attorney rather than attempting to handle your own case:
- You have long-term or disabling injuries. If your case involves long-term or very serious injuries that have left you disabled, it’s vital to hire an experienced attorney to get maximum compensation for your claim. Insurance companies rarely offer fair settlements in these high-value cases that take into account long-term future medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.
- You have serious injuries. The more serious your injuries, the more your case is likely worth. As the amount of potential compensation goes up, so does the range within which your compensation can fall. In these cases, it’s worth the cost to hire an experienced injury attorney to handle your claim.
- You are being unfairly treated by an insurance company. It’s usually best to hire a lawyer if you have not yet talked with the insurance company. However, if the insurance company is attempting to deny or devalue your claim, speak to an attorney right away.
- You have non-economic damages. If you believe your case qualifies you to damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, mental anguish, and other non-economic damages, it’s probably best to hire an attorney as insurance settlement offers rarely consider these damages.
For your free, no-obligation accident injury case review, call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or contact us online as soon as possible to protect your claim.
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