When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You should hire a personal injury lawyer whenever you are injured in an accident or through negligence or wrongdoing.
A personal injury lawyer helps you seek compensation for your injuries.
A lawyer also protects your best interests against aggressive insurance companies and large corporations who want to avoid paying fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
If you are unsure whether you need to hire a personal injury attorney, this article gives you information to help you decide.
Some personal injury cases do not require an attorney’s assistance. However, it can be helpful to have someone with legal knowledge and experience handling injury claims review your case. An attorney explains your legal rights and tells you whether you could benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer.
No two personal injury cases are alike. However, some situations indicate you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Below are five situations that indicate you need to talk with a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.
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Six Situations That Indicate You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Six questions to ask yourself if you are unsure whether to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your claim:
1. Is Liability for the Accident Disputed?
Accident victims must prove that the other party’s negligence, errors, or wrongdoing caused the victim’s injuries. For example, if you cannot prove that the other driver caused your car accident or pedestrian accident, you cannot recover compensation for your injuries. If the other party disputes liability, contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
The attorney conducts a thorough investigation to determine how your injury occurred and who is responsible. Your lawyer gathers evidence and develops a legal strategy for proving liability.
2. Are You Being Blamed for Contributing to the Cause of Your Injury?
The other party’s insurance company might accept liability, but it could claim that you contributed to the cause of your accident. For instance, the insurance company might claim that you were speeding at the time of your motorcycle accident. Therefore, you are partially at fault for the cause of the crash, even though the other driver failed to yield the right of way.
New York’s contributory negligence laws state that your compensation for an injury claim can be reduced by the proportion of your conduct that contributed to the accident.
In other words, if you are judged to be 50 percent at fault for the cause of your bicycle accident, the money you receive for your claim is reduced by one-half.
Insurance companies often use contributory negligence allegations to lower the amount they must pay to resolve a claim. An attorney understands how to fight these unfounded allegations.
3. Are Multiple Parties Involved?
When multiple parties are involved in a personal injury case, you can benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer. Medical malpractice claims, construction accidents, multi-vehicle accidents, and product liability claims are examples of cases generally involving multiple parties.
Attorneys have the experience necessary to deal with the additional issues raised in cases involving multiple defendants. As the parties argue about who is responsible for causing your injuries, your lawyer develops a case that protects you.
Having multiple parties involved can mean more money for you.
However, it can also mean a more prolonged, more complicated, and challenging fight.
4. Did You Sustain a Traumatic Injury or Permanent Disability?
Personal injury cases involving traumatic injuries and permanent disabilities have issues that are not common in other cases. For example, if you sustain a disabling condition because of a defective product, you could require ongoing medical care. You might be unable to work for the rest of your life.
Because of your disability or impairment, you will incur future damages.
Future damages could total millions of dollars over your lifetime, depending on your age, disability, and other factors. An attorney can retain medical, financial, and economic experts to assist in placing a value on your future damages to ensure you receive the maximum value for your injury claim.
Traumatic injury cases often involve high-dollar settlements.
Insurance companies aggressively fight to lower the value of these claims to avoid losses. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands how to document damages and maximize the value of pain and suffering damages improves your chance of recovering the compensation you deserve after an injury.
5. Is the Insurance Company Acting in Bad Faith?
The insurance company for the other party is not interested in compensating you for your injuries and damages. If possible, the company would like to get out of paying you anything for your claim. Therefore, some insurance companies act in bad faith when dealing with individuals.
For example, the company may try to drag out your claim so that the statute of limitations expires and you lose your right to file a personal injury lawsuit. Other ways that an insurance company might act in bad faith include:
- Failing to investigate a claim
- Requiring unnecessary and burdensome paperwork to process a claim
- Refusing to pay a valid claim
- Raising false allegations of contributory negligence
- Misrepresenting the terms of the insurance policy
- Intentionally misleading a victim about the victim’s legal rights
There are many ways that an insurance company could act in bad faith. Personal injury lawyers are familiar with various insurance tactics, and they understand the laws related to personal injury claims.
Insurance companies are less likely to act in bad faith when a lawyer is representing an accident victim.
If an insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement for your accident claim, your lawyer can proceed with a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, the mere threat of a lawsuit is sufficient to encourage the insurance company and the other parties involved in the claim to agree to a fair and reasonable settlement.
6. Does the Claim Involve a Government Entity?
Suing the government for a personal injury claim is much more complicated than the average injury claim. Governments are protected from liability in many cases. However, there are exceptions.
If you are injured in a train accident, bus accident, subway accident, call a lawyer immediately. The time to file a claim against the government is shorter than the deadline for filing other claims. Whenever an injury claim involves a government entity, it is best to have an experienced lawyer handling the claim.
One Last Thing to Consider When Hiring a Lawyer
The at-fault party’s insurance company has a huge team of professionals working for it to protect it from liability. None of these parties are on your side. The claims adjusters, investigators, and lawyers working for the insurance company are working against your best interests.
It is not a fair game. You need to even the playing field by hiring a legal team to fight for just and fair compensation for your personal injury claim. You deserve to have someone who is only concerned about your best interest on your side.