Personal Injury Attorney – Do I Have to Hire One?
Personal injury attorneys are optional when it comes to personal injury claims. However, it is generally not a good idea to attempt to represent yourself. If you have been injured in an accident and believe that your case shows enough evidence that the defendant was in fact at fault, then you should at the very least consult a personal injury attorney.
Personal injury law can be very tricky and there are a lot of complicated hurdles one must jump over to be appropriately compensated for injuries that they sustained at the fault of another party. Insurance companies know how to play the game, they are experts when it comes to slithering their and their client’s way out of sticky situations. That being said, odds are if you are not properly represented they will likely take advantage of your vulnerability and you could be shorting yourself thousands upon thousands of dollars.
Be it a dog bite, medical malpractice, or a car accident if you have been injured in an accident, then you are entitled to the right to attempt to collect damages from the at-fault party. When you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance where you have been hurt due to someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence, then one of the most important decisions you will have to make is whether or not to represent yourself or hire a personal injury attorney.
Can I Handle It On My Own?
Though it is never recommended to pursue a personal injury claim on your own without proper representation (for your own good), there are a couple of scenarios where you might be able to handle your claims on your own:
- You have been offered the maximum payout by the insurance company. Insurance companies will not pay out damages that exceed the insureds policy maximum. So, if you have already been offered a settlement of $150,000 and the defendant’s policy maximum is $150,000, then it might be in your best interest to accept. This is especially true if the defendant does not have any assets, as you are unlikely to collect much more from the party. That being said, if the defendant does have assets you might reconsider accepting the settlement and think about hiring a personal injury attorney to help you collect the compensation you deserve.
- You are a resident of a no-fault state. If you live in a no-fault state, then you are not allowed to pursue claims in which your injuries do not meet a certain extent. Meaning, if your injuries are not serious enough to deem you eligible for compensatory damages, then it is not worth hiring an attorney over. However, regardless of whether or not you are in a no-fault state if you believe your injuries are serious enough and they meet the limit, then it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to help with recovering the maximum damages.
What If My Injuries Are Not Severe?
You may feel as though the injuries you sustained are not serious enough to deem you eligible for compensation worth your time and effort. This is especially true if your injuries are seemingly minor and the at-fault’s insurance company offered to pay your medical bills and give you a couple extra thousand dollars on top of that. Though this is tempting, beware. There are a couple of reasons why you might rethink the notion to not contact a personal injury attorney.
- You may miss out on “pain and suffering” damages. If your case is settled outside of the courtroom or without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney, then you might not be offered “pain and suffering” damages, which you are entitled to. For this reason, assuming that your injuries are too minor to hire an attorney and accepting a small settlement, may not be in your best interest. You may be entitled to a more complete settlement that includes pain and suffering damages.
- Minor injuries can turn major. It is not uncommon for seemingly minor injuries that result from an accident to eventually become major. If you accept a settlement offer only to later find out that your injuries were more severe than what your doctor and you originally expected, it will be out of your power to recover additional compensation. Consulting with an experienced attorney, you will be coached to wait until the full extent of your injuries is obvious, without expiring your state’s statute of limitations.
Allen Schulman and Associates Can Help You Make All the Right Decisions
Personal injury cases can be very complicated. There are many decisions that must be made, negotiations to be had and evidence to be collected. An experienced personal injury attorney like those of Allen Schulman and Associates can help you be certain that you do not miss any steps along the way.
From meeting with insurance companies to filing the paperwork when you have a trusted lawyer to represent you rest assured you will be making the right decisions and will recover the compensation you deserve.