Should I use a personal injury lawyer?
If you’ve been injured in an accident that you believe was someone else’s fault, you probably have a lot of questions running through your head. Like most people, one of the first questions you are thinking about revolves around whether you are going to need an attorney or whether you can handle your claim on your own. This article is designed for exactly that: to help you decide when you need to hire a personal injury attorney.
Not all situations require an attorney, but most situations in which there is a serious injury probably will require the specialized skills and knowledge of someone who knows the legal system. Your insurance company, and the other party’s insurance company, will most definitely have a team of lawyers working for them. It is not a fair game and they are not on your side.
With that being said, there are some ways to know if your situation will require an attorney or not. No two accidents or injuries are the same, and the scenarios surrounding them are almost always unique to the client, so read on to learn more about when to hire an injury lawyer.
Here are 4 scenarios that will help you get started:
1. You Suffered a Serious Injury or Permanent Disability
If you were seriously injured in an accident or acquired a serious illness, you definitely need a lawyer. There is no room for chance when a lifetime of pain, suffering, and bills are on the line. At the very least, consulting with an injury attorney, which is free, is highly recommended. Furthermore, if you sustained an injury that is going to require long-term care or caused you a permanent disability, hiring a personal injury lawyer could be the only way to prevent serious, lifelong financial stress for you and your family.
2. You Aren’t Sure Who is At Fault
If you were involved in an accident and it is unclear who was at fault, you should definitely consult with an attorney. In situations like this, the other party’s insurance company will definitely try to blame you for damages. Talking to an attorney can help you protect your rights and defend you from counterclaims and cross-claims.
3. There Are Multiple Parties Involved
If you were injured in an accident that involved multiple parties, consulting with a personal injury lawyer will give you the best chance at not being stuck with the bill. Attorneys have the experience necessary to deal with multiple insurance companies at once and to help build a case that protects their client.
In the case of multiple parties being at fault for your injury, a lawyer will also have the skills necessary to ensure that you get all the compensation you deserve without leaving money on the table.
4. The Insurance Company Denied or is Delaying Your Claim
Insurance companies know that 99% of people do not understand all the complicated laws and procedures that take place in a personal injury claim. Because of this, they will often use their advantage to flat out deny a person’s legitimate injury claim because they know you can do nothing about it.
Get Legal Help with an Accident or Injury
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured?
Anyone who has been through an accident or injury knows that it can be a traumatic experience. No matter what kind of injury has affected you or a loved one, you have the right to take legal action against any person, company, or entity that is legally at fault for what happened — including private citizens, stores, manufacturers, insurance companies, large corporations, and government agencies.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you have suffered an injury because of someone else’s carelessness, you may want to get legal help from an experienced personal injury attorney who will evaluate your case with you, to ensure that your legal rights are fully assessed and protected. An attorney can explain what you can expect at every step of your personal injury case, and will take action on your behalf — researching the law, interviewing witnesses, collecting records, reviewing the evidence, conferring with expert consultants, planning legal strategy, and negotiating with insurers and opposing counsel — all with an eye toward strengthening your position and ensuring your fair recovery.
Knowledge of Accident and Injury Laws
Personal injury laws vary by state, and individual situation. Unless you are a law student or personal injury professional, you are likely unfamiliar with all the laws pertaining to personal injury claims. In other words, you probably do not know what you are legally entitled to, and could therefore be at a disadvantage compared to an insurance adjuster.
Reasons why injury victims should hire a personal injury lawyer instead of a lawyer
In earlier blogs. I have pointed out that your personal injury lawyer wants to maximize the compensation you can expect to receive for your injuries. Why? Because your injury lawyer’s interests align with yours. A higher compensation package for you means a higher compensation fee for your injury lawyer.
Today I want to address the question of whether it makes a difference if you hire a personal injury lawyer instead of a general practice lawyer—even if you know a lawyer or have had one recommended to you. The answer is “Yes”.
I believe there are a reasons why hiring a personal injury lawyer is your best choice to maximize the compensation from your personal injury.
A personal injury lawyer understands your situation
You are injured. You think you have a legitimate claim for compensation for damages. You also probably are used to feeling in control and now suddenly feel vulnerable.
- You likely have questions about the legal process, how long it will take and what compensation you can you expect?
- You may be worried about whether you will be able to work while you are healing or even afterwards.
- You may think you need the help of medical experts to prove your claim.
There is too much at risk to take a chance. A lawyer will empathize and offer help. A personal injury lawyer will understand and know what to do to help.
For instance, I’ve dealt with thousands of injury cases, from minor injuries to serious injuries and fatalities, and from compensation in the thousands to millions of dollars. When I sit down to meet with you, you can be confident I will understand your situation and know how I can help you. That is the advantage you get with a personal injury lawyer, someone who understands how you feel, the questions you have, your concerns, and your needs—and what to do to help you.
A personal injury lawyer has experience dealing with insurance companies and their lawyers
The at-fault party’s insurance company and its lawyers are not your friends. Their job is to minimize your compensation. Your personal injury lawyer’s job is to maximize your compensation. A lawyer will probably have dealt with insurance companies and their lawyers before. A personal injury lawyer will have experience dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance company and its lawyers.
For example, I have dealt with
- all auto accident insurers
- adjusters with junior and very senior levels of experience
- the lawyers and law firms they retain to defend claims.
- Remember, when you hire an injury lawyer, you are also hiring that lawyer’s experience with—and knowledge of—insurance companies and their lawyers.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Has The Experience And Knowledge To Weigh The Evidence In Your Case
What does the evidence from an accident tell a lawyer? Any lawyer will turn a critical eye to the evidence from an injury accident. A personal injury lawyer will know how to examine that evidence, what to look for, and whether injury experts need to be used to prove damages.
My injury lawyer business depends on my ability to weigh evidence in an injury claim case. I have studied the evidence from thousands of injury cases. As an experienced injury lawyer, I also know whether proving damages requires the use of qualified injury experts, such as:
- an accident investigator to obtain witness statements to help determine liability or fault
- an accident reconstruction engineer to obtain and preserve “black box” data following a vehicle accident to show evidence such as vehicle speed, and braking before impact.
Examples of when to hire an accident and injury attorney
Here are some circumstances in which you should consider hiring personal injury lawyers to protect your rights:
- If the other party’s lawyer contacts you to offer a settlement agreement.
- If you have to deal with an insurance company. Not everything involving insurance is as cut and dried as it may appear on the surface. A personal injury lawyer, knowing the law, can negotiate with the insurance company so you don’t have to.
- If you have injuries that may require surgery or long-term treatment or some permanent impairment, such as a brain or head injury.
- If your injuries have caused you to miss significant time from work or school.
- If you are unable to walk, dress yourself, feed yourself, or handle other personal activities.