Do you require the services of a personal injury lawyer? While many people handle minor injury cases on their own to save money on legal bills, difficult situations frequently benefit from a lawyer's experience and expertise.
Personal injury claims can be made in a wide variety of circumstances and for various types of accidents. You might be hurt in a road accident, fell on somebody's property, or were attacked by a neighbor's dog. All of these are considered personal injuries, and the severity of your injury can significantly impact the way your claim is processed.
In some instances, you may be able to handle a claim against the other party on your own Small Claims Court or through insurance. On other occasions, you may wish to consult with and retain the services of a trained legal practitioner. It is entirely dependent on the extent of the legal circumstances surrounding the accident and your injuries.
Trying to settle a claim on your own and then hiring a lawyer may complicate the process, so it is critical to understand your capabilities and the consequences of mishandling your case. Suppose you are unsure how to handle a claim; in that case, you may wish to call an attorney immediately after the incident for a consultation to determine whether the expense of a lawyer is justified.
Here are some instances in which you might be able to manage a matter without the assistance of a personal injury lawyer:
You got involved in a car accident but suffered only minor or no injuries.
The most commonly encountered types of cases concern injuries sustained in car accidents. Filing a claim of your own or the other party's insurance company will frequently result in efficient and sufficient reimbursement to cover the expenses of your car repair and any medical expenditures incurred as a result of the collision. If this is the case and you are content with the insurance claim's coverage and service, there may be no need to contact an attorney or seek additional legal guidance.
You are living in a “no-fault” state.
The no-fault rule precludes you from suing unless your injuries reach a particular threshold (the cost of treating them or determined either by the nature of the injuries, depending on where you live). Due to the fact that you can only claim costs through your own personal injury protection coverage in a no-fault claim, engaging a lawyer for minor injuries may be unnecessary.
You have already obtained the maximum allowable amount.
Insurance providers will only pay claims up to the insurance limitations specified in the policy. This means that if the person who injured you does have a $100,000 coverage with a $100,000 maximum payout and you have been granted a $100,000 settlement, even obtaining a greater verdict may be ineffective.
You are confident in your ability to be able to negotiate with an adjuster effectively.
You may not need to see a lawyer if you are comfortable and confident enough to deal with an insurance provider on your own to get a settlement figure that you believe is reasonable.
When Should You Engage the Service of a Personal Injury Lawyer?
The insurance company that you are filing a claim with may have lawyers representing and defending them.
Lawyers are experts who devote years and innumerable hours to learning the nuances of the law and acquiring expertise in order to defend their clients best. If the insurance provider or the entity you are suing has legal representation, you may also want to consider it.
You have serious injuries.
Some individuals are hesitant to retain the services of an attorney for injuries that appear to be minor. For instance, if you are involved in a car accident and get a bruised arm and a few scratches, you may decide that it is not necessary to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer. And when the opposing driver's insurance company offers to shoulder your medical bills and provides you with a few hundred dollars in additional compensation, it may not be worth the bother of locating legal representation.
However, there are several reasons why you should consider calling or having a consultation with an attorney, even if your injuries appear to be minor.
Minor injuries can become serious.
Suppose your injuries prove to be more severe than you and your physician anticipated, and you just made a settlement deal; in that case, there is nothing you can do because you must waive all future claims originating from the accident once you agree. A skilled lawyer would advise you to delay accepting an offer until you have determined the full amount of your injuries and will assist you in determining the appropriate time to accept offers.
You are entitled to damages for "pain and suffering."
If your case goes to trial, a jury will consider suffering, pain, and emotional distress damages, and hence a settlement that excludes these types of damages may not be complete. Your attorney can explain all possible losses, even for seemingly minor injuries, and can argue in your favor to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Cases of Minor Injuries vs. Serious Injuries
Whenever you have significant injuries, you should retain the services of an attorney. The reasons for this are the following:
- A lawyer will be able to help you in obtaining the full amount of damages to which you are entitled.
- Attorneys are skilled negotiators who could maximize your recovery.
- When you are represented by an attorney, insurers, and defendants will consider your claim more seriously.
You have a conflict of interest with your insurance company.
Many people do not hire their own lawyer because they have insurance or that the opposing party does. You may assume that insurance providers are looking out for your best interests. However, in many instances, an insurance company's interests conflict with yours:
- Your primary objective is to obtain the highest potential damage award to console you for your ordeal.
- Insurance companies' principal objective is to pay out as little as possible in order to maximize their earnings.