If you’ve suffered severe or long-term injuries while on public or work property or you believe your injury was the fault of someone else, it could be a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Personal injury cases are complicated and trying to handle a claim yourself could wind up getting you an extremely low pay-out as a nuisance claim paid by an insurance company just to make you go away.
Only 4-5% of personal injury claims go to trial. The rest are settled out of court. Of the cases that do go to court, 90% lose. A good personal injury lawyer can help you avoid going to trial and get you maximum compensation for your claim.
Keep reading for times it’s necessary to hire a personal injury lawyer and find out why it is advised over trying to represent yourself.
1. If an Injury Has Affected Your Ability to Work
If you’ve suffered a long-term injury that has caused you to miss work, and you believe someone else is at fault, the expertise of a personal injury lawyer will help to calculate the total amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Unless you have a law background yourself, you won’t be equipped to fully understand the implications of the injury and how it affects your income long-term.
You might end up missing out on available compensation without professional legal representation.
2. If You Believe Your Injury Was Someone Else’s Fault
The most common types of personal injury cases are motor vehicle accidents, work-related injuries, medical malpractice, and negligence.
If you believe you have been injured under any of these circumstances, and you have proof, it’s very likely you are entitled to compensation.
However, no personal injury case is as simple as it seems. Most insurance companies will do whatever they can do to deny a claim. This is where the expertise of a lawyer comes in.
3. If You May Have Been Partially At Fault
Especially in messy motor vehicle accidents where there is more than one injured party, you could be partially at fault for your own injuries, as well as the injuries of other involved parties.
In these cases, it is especially helpful to hire a personal injury lawyer, as they have the experience and expertise to protect you against counter-claims. They also understand how to preserve and present evidence.
4. If You’re Worried About Money
Trying to represent yourself could end up costing you more. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they only collect fees if they win your case. There is usually no fee required up front.
If you try to handle your own case, not only is there a higher chance of losing, it can also end up costing you more time and money than it’s worth. Especially if there are counter-claims involved.
5. If Your Injuries Are Severe
Insurance companies assess injury cases based on the type of injury sustained, the amount paid in medical bills and total recovery time. In some cases, severe injuries can exceed the limits of the at-fault person’s insurance policy.
A personal injury lawyer knows how to navigate through the red tape of insurance policies and will work on your behalf to ensure you receive the total amount of compensation for costs incurred, even if it exceeds the policy.
6. If You Are Not Comfortable with The Legal Process
Most people have very little understanding of how the law actually works. While it might be tempting to try to avoid the costs of a lawyer when dealing with a personal injury claim, your lack of expertise could end up costing you much more.
A personal injury lawyer will bring years of experience to the table and will know how to negotiate and handle complex situations that almost definitely will arise during the claim process.
7. If an Insurance Company Has Agreed to Pay You a Low Amount
Often times when unrepresented people file a claim, the at-fault party’s insurance company will view the claim as unworthy of their time.
This is because they are assuming (often correctly) that a person without legal representation has little or no understanding of the law and won’t have the knowledge or resources to fight back.
These small claim payments are referred to as nuisance payments. It’s when an insurance company offers a ridiculously low amount as a pay-off to make the claim ‘go away’.
Hiring a lawyer will eliminate this risk altogether. Insurance companies respond a lot better to professional lawyers as they know a lawyer has the means to win.
8. If You’re Being Wrongfully Sued
If someone has filed a claim against you and you want to dispute it, a personal injury lawyer can save you a huge amount of time, headache and possibly money.
Disputing a case yourself, especially against someone who is represented by legal counsel will not end well.
Even if you know you are not at fault, disputing a claim is a long and arduous process and is best handled by a professional.
9. If an Insurance Company Refuses to Pay
If you’ve tried to handle a case yourself and the at-fault party’s insurance company refuses to pay, this is the time to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Insurance companies will refuse to pay for any reason they can. If they are denying their client’s liability, you will have to enter into a complex appeal process that could end up in court.
A lawyer will know what evidence to provide and how to present it in a way that can protect you.
Other Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
They have experience that you do not. They know how to negotiate, investigate and present information in a way that will maximize the chances of winning your case.
You have nothing to lose by hiring a lawyer. Since most personal injury lawyers don’t take payment until the settlement is won, you won’t have to pay a penny if your case doesn’t win.
Do your research and choose a lawyer with experience in the specific area of your personal injury claim. Choose one who you can be open and honest with, and who has a track record of success.
If you don’t know where to start, visit these lawyers who have a proven high success rate for personal injury cases and work on a contingency basis.
20 to 50 Americans per year get severely injured in motor vehicle accidents alone. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can be the difference between getting properly compensated and being left to deal with the aftermath of an injury yourself.
We hope this article cleared up any confusion around hiring a lawyer versus trying to handle a personal injury claim yourself. Visit our business blog for more information on how to find a good lawyer.