Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
UPDATED: February 4, 2020
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If you have been injured in an accident and need to recover insurance or monetary damages from the responsible party, you can hire a personal injury attorney to review your case, value your claim, negotiate a settlement, or pursue legal action to recover the compensation you are owed. While hiring a lawyer will cost money, working with one will give you a better chance to get a higher settlement that gives you the money you deserve.
NOTE: If you are seriously injured and require substantial or ongoing medical treatment, consulting an attorney early in the process can make a significant difference in your ability to recover money you need.
Attorneys for Minor Injuries
If you have a minor injury and the fault for the accident is not in dispute, you can try to work with the insurance carrier directly to resolve it quickly. The insurance carrier will ask you for a statement regarding the facts of the accident, and for information regarding your injuries. Then you can either make a demand for a certain amount of money, or wait for the adjuster to make you an offer.
Should your insurance adjuster be unwilling to work with you to reach a satisfactory settlement, you can consult an attorney even in minor injury cases. An experienced lawyer can look over the case and help you determine the value of your injury, and whether or not you should pursue legal action. Even if a consultation with an attorney convinces you that your case is worth less than you thought, speaking with a professional can help you reach an insurance settlement in the event talks with your adjuster stall.
If your injury is more than just minor, or liability (fault) is unclear or in dispute, take your case to an attorney and discuss it. Be up front; ask the lawyer if it is worth his or her time or should you try to settle it on your own. If they say settle on your own, they are usually happy to give you recommendations on what you can do to maximize the settlement.
An attorney is trained to investigate and evaluate the facts of the accident, and to put an appropriate value on your claim based on years of experience. An attorney will be able to tell you what your claim is worth, and lead you through the legal process without leaving you wondering what to do next. A good lawyer is not going to try to talk you into suing anyone or making a claim for damages to which you are not entitled.
Keep in mind if you do deal directly with the insurance company, the adjuster owes you no duty to see that you are fairly compensated. From the insurance company’s standpoint, settling the claim is strictly a business transaction. They are just looking at their bottom line.
Furthermore, as with all injury cases you want to negotiate from a position of strength. That means being able to back up a fair and reasonable settlement demand with a lawsuit if the insurer does not respond with a fair response. A lawyer will give you clout.