Each year Americans make 97.9 million visits to the emergency department for unintentional injuries. When these injuries happen, you are focused on getting necessary medical care. However, what happens after that?
You may decide that you want to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages against the person who caused your injuries. The next logical question is, do I need a lawyer?
This guide will help you determine if hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you in your personal injury claim is the right decision.
Handling Your Own Case
The legal process is complicated, with countless laws governing everything from how and when you can submit documents to how the court handles your lawsuit. Representing yourself will only add stress and chaos to your case as you try to learn the law enough to effectively argue your claim.
The risk of making a mistake is high, and you can easily unintentionally sabotage your case. You could also miss out on a larger recovery because you don’t know what’s available to you.
Trying to hire a personal injury attorney later will only complicate matters. The attorney will have to step into the process midway through, which only hinders their ability to represent you.
There is an art to effective negotiations. If you don’t have this skill or the experience necessary, you can easily be at a disadvantage. Hiring an experienced law firm to represent you can level the playing field and possibly increase your recovery amount.
Always ask some questions when meeting with potential lawyers for a consultation. Find out what their recovery rate is and if they have experience negotiating with insurance companies.
Your Injuries Are Extensive
The more extensive and serious your injuries are, the more you should consider hiring an attorney. Your attorney will argue for you to recover a greater amount to ensure a lifetime of coverage. This will cover future medical treatments and future loss of income.
Consider also that minor injuries today can turn into serious ones later. If your injuries turn out to be worse than you initially thought, you could bar yourself from further recovery by accepting a settlement too quickly.
When to Manage Your Own Case
If the insurance company offered you the maximum possible per the insurance coverage of the at-fault party, then it may not be useful to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit. Any award the court gives you over the coverage amount must get collected from the defendant, and this may not be possible.
Similarly, if you live in a no-fault state, you cannot sue if your injuries don’t reach a certain level. You are also limited to recover from your own personal injury protection coverage. Hiring a lawyer doesn’t make sense in this situation because of the limits put in place by the law.
Do I Need a Lawyer? Yes, You Do
As you can see, you technically don’t have to hire a lawyer to represent you. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire one. So the answer to do I need a lawyer should be a solid yes.
Read our other legal-themed articles for more helpful advice on what to do when you suffer a personal injury claim.