Personal injury attorneys are not necessary in every case. However, if you have been moderately to severely injured in an accident, you will want to consult the help of a professional personal injury attorney to help you to get the compensation that you deserve.
From car accident cases to medical malpractice, to intentional torts and even dog bites, you can rest assured that whenever you have been injured due to someone else’s wrongful doing, careless actions or neglect that you have a right to fair compensation. Compensation that you are able to recover can come by way of a settlement outside of the courtroom, or by way of a formal trial by jury lawsuit. If you have been moderately to severely injured in an accident one of the most important decisions that you will be faced with is whether or not to hire a personal injury attorney. Either way, whether you decide to hire a lawyer or not, the choice is yours.
What Kinds of Cases Do Not Require Representation?
There are many different kinds of personal injury cases and the circumstances surrounding each case is very unique. For this reason, some cases are able to be handled without the help of personal injury attorney. For example:
You reside in a No-Fault State. No-fault rules do not allow for parties to sue unless injuries rise to a certain degree (for instance, the cost of treating them exceeds a certain amount, or the nature of the injury is allowable by regulation). Because damages recovered from your own personal injury protection in a no-fault claim are limited, hiring an attorney when injuries are minor therefore generally does not make sense. However, if you suspect that your injuries may be severe enough to enable you to step outside of the no-fault system, then it is generally a good idea to consult a personal injury attorney to help in determining your qualifications.
You are receiving the maximum amount allowable. Insurance companies are strict in that they will only pay out within the scope of their policy limits. So, for example, if the defendant’s insurance company who was responsible for your injuries has $100,000 maximum insurance policy coverage and you have already been offered a settlement of $100,000, going after them for more is not necessary as they will not be able to pay out in excess of the 100K. If you are looking to collect more than the $100,000 you would therefore have to collect from the liable party directly. If you know that the defendant has assets and you believe that you deserve further compensation, then it may be a good idea to consult a personal injury attorney to help you pave the right route to collecting the damages you deserve. However, if the defendant does not have money or assets that you know of, it is generally a good idea to simply accept the settlement.
Should You Hire a Personal Injury Attorney If Your Injuries Are Minor?
Many individuals who have been a victim in an accident are reluctant to hire a personal injury attorney for injuries that they believe are minor. Take for instance a car accident that you were in, in which you bumped your head on the steering wheel and had only a minor bruise – you may not feel as though such an incident is worthwhile in hiring a personal injury attorney. To sweeten the deal the liable party’s insurance company took care of your medical bills and gave you a couple hundred extra dollars for the headache (quite literally). Then you probably think it is really not necessary to seek representation from a personal injury attorney. But, there are a couple of reasons why you should still consider making a short phone call to a lawyer or even scheduling an initial consultation – regardless of how seemingly minor your injuries are.
Your minor injuries could turn major. First and foremost, there is always the risk that injuries that you assumed to be minor turn out to be major. When injuries turn out to be worse than you and your doctor thought, but you have already outlived the statute of limitations on your potential accident case, guess who is to be made responsible for future medical bills? You guessed it, yours truly. Even if you accepted a settlement offer from the liable party, there still will be no avenue for you to take to collect further compensation, as part of the settlement process involves giving up your right to all future claims with regards to the accident. A good personal injury attorney will advise you to take time in deciding on how to act after the accident, where they will likely recommend that you wait until you know the full scope of your injuries. Not only that, but a personal injury attorney will be able to provide you useful information about statutes of limitations surrounding your case and can therefore advise you of the right time to accept an offer – should that be their recommendation.
You may be entitled to “Pain and Suffering” Damages. In order to be considered for pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress damages you would need to go before a jury in court. A settlement offered to you that does not include this type of damages might very well be an incomplete settlement, where you might actually be entitled to much more. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to explain to you damages that you might be entitled to and will advocate for you to be sure that you receive a satisfactory compensation.