What You Need to Know About Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Personal injury cases may seem straightforward, but they can be much more complicated than one thinks. Here is everything you need to know about whether or not you should hire a personal injury attorney.

Personal injury claims cover a wide variety of situations and different types of accidents, from slipping on someone else’s property, to a car accident, to being bitten by a neighbor’s dog. All these things are considered personal injuries, and the level of the injury can make a big difference in processing a claim.

In some situations, an individual may be capable of handling a claim by themselves through insurance or Small Claims Court against the other party. Other times, the individual may want to seek the advice and assistance of a qualified legal professional. The degree of legal assistance needed depends on the severity of your injuries and the legal elements of the accident.

Dealing With Personal Injury Cases Without a Lawyer

Attempting to handle a claim by one’s self only to hire a lawyer later on may complicate the claim process, so it’s important for individuals to understand what they are capable of and what is at stake if they mishandle their case. If they are unsure about what to do or how to handle a claim, they may consider contacting an attorney immediately after the injury for a consultation to find out if a lawyer is worth the cost.

Here are a few examples of cases that someone may be able to handle without an attorney:

  • The injured party was in a car accident with very minor injuries,
  • The injured party live in a no-fault state,
  • The injured party is already receiving the maximum amount of damages possible,
  • The injured party is confident that they can effectively negotiate with an adjuster, or
  • The injured party is comfortable researching the law and settlement process.

If any of the above examples hold true for an individual, there is a good chance that they will be able to handle the case themselves. However, if one can afford it, it is always the safer option to hire an attorney to ensure that the case comes out to the best result it possibly can.

Why Someone Might Consider Hiring an Attorney for Their Personal Injury Case

The insurance company an individual will make the claim against will have attorneys representing and fighting for them. Lawyers are professionals who spend years and countless hours studying the particulars of the law and gathering knowledge to represent their clients to the best of their abilities. If the insurance company or the party they are taking to Small Claims Court has legal representation, it may be something for the injured party to consider as well.

Injuries may not be as minor as one originally thinks. For one, minor injuries can turn into major ones. If injuries turn out to be worse than both the individual and their doctor thought, and they have already accepted a settlement offer, there will be nothing they can do about it since they must give up any and all future claims arising out of the accident when one settles. A good lawyer will advise them to wait until you know the full extent of their injuries, and would help them to determine the right time to accept an offer.

Additionally, people are entitled to pain and suffering damages. Pain and suffering and emotional distress damages would be considered by a jury if a case went to court, and so a settlement that doesn’t include these types of damages might not be a complete one. A lawyer can explain all damages one may be entitled to, even for injuries that seem minor, and will advocate on their client’s behalf to make sure they receive a satisfactory settlement.

Related: Benefits of Settling a Personal Injury Case

Additionally, represented plaintiffs tend to receive larger settlements. According to a 1999 study by the Insurance Research Council, the average person receives a settlement 3 ½ times larger with legal assistance than without it. In a personal injury settlement, this can make a huge difference. Any time an individual is injured and is directly dealing with an insurance company or another private party for their claim, they have the right to consult an attorney and have one represent them if they choose.

Related: How to Find a Good Personal Injury Attorney In California

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If you are considering whether or not you should hire a personal injury attorney, contact us. We’ll get you in touch with the most qualified attorney for your legal issue. Get your free consultation with one of our California Personal Injury Attorneys today!