5 Reasons You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney:
- If you have been in an accident, where you sustained injuries which have caused you to miss work or to endure pain beyond bruising, you may want to consider a suit.
- Most people end up with a better claim with the help of a qualified attorney (even after the attorney’s fees) than they would have been able to secure alone.
- Personal injury attorneys help you to get monetary compensation for what you have lost — time, comfort, and/or health.
- Personal injury cases usually have a great deal of “behind the scenes” work that makes them more difficult than many other types of legal cases. A good personal injury attorney knows the “ins-and-outs” to get this done for you.
- The insurance adjuster’s job is to make sure their company pays the least amount of money to any claimants. Your attorney’s job is to make sure that amount is as high as possible.
When NOT to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer:
There are certain times when hiring a personal injury attorney doesn’t make good financial sense. For example, if you’re in a car accident and your injuries are minor, hiring an attorney for a bruised knee cap or arm abrasions will not justify the legal costs.
However, if you’ve been injured in an auto accident for which you were not at fault, hiring a personal injury attorney may help you receive a fair settlement from your insurance company. Determining your need (or lack thereof) for legal representation is something you should discuss during the initial consultation with your lawyer.
What to Expect if You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
- Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. (Meaning that your attorney will charge based on the amount of the court settlement.)
- Depending on the case and the attorney, some contingency fees may be as high as 40%. (Before hiring a lawyer, discuss their contingency rate. Don’t be shy.)
- Aside from the lawyer’s fees, you may also be responsible for paying court related fees (like filing costs, copying expenses, etc.) Some lawyers offer a contingency rate that will cover these, some don’t. Ask.
- Don’t expect immediate results. Fast settlements seldom happen in the real world. Settling personal injury cases take time. Each case is different, but it is not unusual for a personal injury claim to take several years.
Why Does It Take So Long?
After the claim letter and the representation letter, you have to wait. There’s no point in trying to settle a case until you know the full extent of the time you will lose from work and the total of your medical bills. Once the initial filings are done, you should wait until you are healed up — so all your expenses can be included in your case.
In some cases, the statute of limitations arrives before a full recovery is made. A good personal injury attorney will keep track of your dates and file a lawsuit, if necessary, to preserve your claim beyond those limitations.
How to Select a Personal Injury Lawyer
- Knowledge of Personal Injury Laws
Personal injury laws vary by state and situation. You need someone who is (and stays) up-to-date on the laws in your area and for your situation to know what you may be legally entitled to from your insurance company. Having a good lawyer can prevent your insurance adjuster from taking advantage of you and/or your situation. You may be able to look up the laws for your area, but the ability to interpret and apply those laws to your particular case is why you need a lawyer who concentrates in personal injury law and has experience representing injured individuals.
- Fair Insurance Compensation and Negotiation
Since insurance companies profit from under-compensating on claims, some companies will automatically lower a settlement for an individual not working with a personal injury lawyer. Hiring representation before you have been offered a settlement may actually increase the amount of the first offer — and having a skilled negotiator on your team will help you end up with a better settlement.
- Representation in Court
Some individuals hire a personal injury attorney to dispute a settlement they consider to be unfair. If you feel that your settlement is less than it should reasonably be, you may want to hire a lawyer with the knowledge and courtroom experience you need to be successfully represented court.
Be Prompt, Be Prepared, Know What to Do
You can reduce the time it takes to receive compensation if you contact your car insurance company as soon as possible following the car accident. Be prepared to give your attorney copies of all correspondence between you and the insurance company.
Visit your personal physician in order to be thoroughly examined and have that information ready to submit to your lawyer. Let your physician know that you were involved in an accident. Ask for X-ray and MRI images of any potentially injured areas. Also request images from your doctor of any injuries or bodily damage you may have sustained PRIOR to the personal injury case incident. Secure a copy of the physican’s report and all related medical bills (including ongoing treatments and therapies).
When you meet with a personal injury attorney for the first time, be prepared to present all related documentation, such as the official police report, documentation of time off work, and any related correspondence. Knowing what to submit to a personal injury attorney if you are involved in an auto accident can help to shorten the amount of time it takes to be reimbursed for your injuries.
How We Approach Your Case
McClure, McClure & Bailey will offer you a realistic perspective and we will tell you if your case is strong. We will also tell you if you would be better served to not pursue the case. Our firm brings an experienced approach to your case — in your area and in local courts. This is what we offer you:
- We will put together a demand packet that makes it easier for the insurance adjuster to review your case and realize it would be more time efficient for the company to settle your claim than to take it to court.
- The knowledge that the less time we have to spend in court, the better it is for you and your case. (In personal injury cases, you may choose to settle, in order to speed the process of financial recovery and resolution.)
- We will be honest with you, then you can determine if pursuing the case is worth your time. Many people make the mistake of believing that their case is worth more than it is. Some lawyers will encourage this false belief. We recommend that you don’t expect life-changing money, unless you have had a life-changing accident.
- Yes, it is possible to obtain a fair settlement without the help of a personal injury attorney, but you run the risk of being taken advantage of by an insurance company. We would like to help you avoid that situation.
- We will maintain contact with you as your case proceeds. We may travel with you to the scene of the accident and take some photos. Our attorneys may also interview and take statements from others who witnessed the accident or were involved in it.
If you would like to discuss your case and how we can help you proceed, please contact us. We would welcome the opportunity to help you make a difficult time a little easier.