After an accident, even one that causes significant injuries, many people question whether they need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Do you, for example, require a personal injury lawyer to help handle the aftermath of a car accident? Can a personal injury lawyer bring value to a slip and fall claim?
In general, you should contact a lawyer whenever you suffer injuries in an accident caused by another party’s negligence. Working with a personal injury lawyer can help you more clearly establish who caused your accident and what compensation you may deserve for those injuries.
Furthermore, a personal injury attorney can help maximize the compensation you can recover.
Some people may attempt to handle an injury claim on their own. Unfortunately, those people are far more likely to lose out on appropriate compensation.
So, when should you bring in the help of someone who understands the legal system and can bring knowledge and experience to your case? Well, always.
Signs You Must Seek Professional Legal Counsel
You may need to bring in an attorney if you notice these critical signs.
You receive a settlement offer from the insurance company
If your insurance company has reached out with a fast settlement, beware. An initial settlement offer rarely reflects the total compensation you can acquire for the injuries you may have sustained.
If you receive an offer from the insurance company, seek the help of an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can help you understand whether the offer reflects the compensation you may deserve for your injuries.
A lawyer can help look over the losses you suffered because of the accident, including the injuries you sustained and the medical costs you may have faced as a result, and give you a better idea of the compensation you should realistically expect for those injuries.
A lawyer can also help pull together evidence and write a compelling claim that will establish what compensation you deserve and why you deserve it.
The insurance company disputes its covered party’s liability for the accident.
In some personal injury claims, liability can grow into a contentious issue. Establishing who likely caused a serious accident, especially one that resulted in severe injuries, can determine who has to pay out compensation for those injuries and the losses sustained by the injured party.
In cases of disputed liability, the insurance company may attempt to claim:
- That a third party caused or contributed to the accident. (Meanwhile, the third party may attempt to establish that the other individual bears liability for the accident.)
- That you caused the accident.
- That you contributed a percentage of the liability to the accident.
Suppose the insurance company can establish that its covered party does not bear full liability for the accident. In that case, it can reduce the compensation the insurance company has to pay for the accident and your injuries. However, when the insurance company reduces its financial burden, you may receive less compensation than you deserve.
A lawyer can help build a case that will establish liability and help you pursue the full compensation you may deserve for your injuries. In many cases, a lawyer’s involvement can make a huge difference in your ability to streamline your claim and get the compensation you may deserve sooner.
The insurance company attempts to dispute the extent of your injuries.
Sometimes, the insurance company may acknowledge that the party it covers caused your accident. Still, it may refuse to accept or acknowledge that you sustained the injuries you claim in the accident. For example, suppose that you suffered multiple broken bones in the accident.
Even after healing, you may have substantial limitations related to those injuries, including ongoing physical pain. The insurance company may attempt to claim that your broken bones do not cause those limitations and that, since they healed fully, you should have no trouble going back to your former activities.
If your injuries cause ongoing challenges, you may have the right to compensation for the pain and suffering related to those injuries. Furthermore, you may have the right to compensation for further medical treatments, including ongoing physical therapy or additional procedures intended to help you improve your recovery related to those increased injuries. If the insurance company disputes the extent of your injuries, it could prevent you from receiving coverage for those treatments.
A lawyer can help work with expert medical witnesses to show the full extent of your injuries and, as a result, the compensation you should reasonably expect because of the limitations and expenses you have faced. A lawyer can also help clearly define the compensation you should expect from the insurance company, including when you should continue fighting for that vital compensation.
The insurance company denies that you need treatment to recover from your injuries.
In addition to trying to dispute the full extent of your injuries, the insurance company may try to claim that you did not need the treatment you received as a direct result of your accident and injuries. You and your doctor likely worked together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that would allow you to recover as fully and quickly as possible from your injuries. However, the insurance company may deny that you needed certain levels of care.
For example, the insurance company might claim that you have included too many physical therapy visits or that you had an optional surgical procedure when less-invasive methods might have worked in its place.
However, your doctor’s plan offers the best chance that you will make a full recovery. By following that plan, you may have avoided further suffering. A lawyer can help establish that you genuinely needed the treatment offered by your care provider and that those treatments served to advance your recovery.
You have trouble getting the insurance company to respond
Sometimes the insurance company (yours or the other party’s) is slow to respond. Things stall. You may have difficulty getting the insurance company to issue a settlement or follow-up. Your repair costs and medical expenses are rising.
If you have trouble getting the insurance company to respond, a lawyer can help. A lawyer’s oversight will often let the insurance company know that you plan to take the claim seriously as you pursue the full compensation you may deserve.
A lawyer can help improve the odds that the insurance company will get back to you. In addition, an attorney can help streamline the injury claim process, which may help get the compensation you deserve in your hands sooner.
You have questions about your personal injury claim.
Most people have little experience dealing with the challenges that come with serious injuries. You may know that you deserve compensation but have no idea how much or what you should do to recover as much of that compensation as possible. You don’t know how to handle your claim effectively or even what parties may bear liability for the accident.
A lawyer can guide you through the claims process and provide insight into your compensation and next steps. You should not trust the insurance company to provide accurate answers to your questions about your claim since the insurance company has every reason to act in its best interests rather than yours
Many personal injury lawyers start with a free consultation to help them get a better idea of your claim and answer some of your essential questions. During that free consultation, you can also learn more about a specific law firm and whether it fits your needs or if you might need to look elsewhere for the answers to your questions.
When Should You Call a Lawyer After an Accident?
After an accident, you should get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible. Of course, that does not necessarily mean that you should call a lawyer from the scene of the accident, even if you already know you will need a personal injury attorney. Rather, it means that once you have had a chance to have your injuries diagnosed and treated, you may want to start working with an attorney to gather evidence related to your claim and help you deal with the insurance company.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident Claim?
Yes! You do need a lawyer for a car accident claim. In fact, you need a lawyer to navigate any legal claim you plan to make. Navigating the ins and outs of the legal process is difficult. So difficult, in fact, that lawyers get multiple degrees and spend years in school just to grasp the complexities of the system.
Watching The Lincoln Lawyer or Law & Order are NOT sufficient prerequisites to understanding the law. You cannot successfully handle a personal injury claim because you have a penchant for legal dramas. Without the experience of someone whose life and livelihood are dedicated to the practice, you will walk away with less than you deserve, or nothing at all.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Lawyer?
The misguided individuals who try to manage their own claims typically do so for one reason: They fear they cannot afford a lawyer. Popular culture has painted lawyers as pricey and prone to taking more time than necessary while charging exorbitant hourly rates. This caricature of personal injury lawyers is simply unfounded.
Personal injury lawyers stand up for the injured victims whose lives were unjustly derailed. Almost all personal injury firms work on a contingent fee basis. The premise is simple: your lawyer does not get paid until you do.
You discuss and agree upon contingent fees upfront, and you as the client can read and approve that contract before your lawyer gets started on your behalf.
Contact a Lawyer for Help With Your Injury Claim
Dealing with serious injuries can leave you with many questions and challenges. Fortunately, you do not have to handle those challenges on your own. A personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complicated questions that may go along with your claim.
Contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible to learn more about how you can best manage your personal injury claim and maximize the compensation you can recover for your injuries.