When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
There are many situations in which you might need to hire a personal injury attorney. Whenever you have been injured in a automobile accident—whether you were driving a car, riding a bicycle, riding a motorcycle, or walking as a pedestrian—due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. This may also be the case if you were injured due to someone’s neglect of property or merchandise. So how can you determine whether or not it’s time to hire a personal injury attorney? There are several questions you should ask yourself before you decide to hire a lawyer.
How major is your injury?
Not every injury will warrant the use of an attorney. If you have a minor injury, you may be able to handle the legal and insurance claims on your own. For any injury that causes pain lasting more than a few days or requires medical care, you may want to consider a lawyer. You will definitely want to obtain one if you have been hospitalized or if you have required surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, cosmetic surgery, or chiropractic work. In most of these cases, you will have medical expenses that may increase your need for legal representation.
Was your injury caused by someone else’s neglect?
This is the most important question you can ask yourself. For example, if you were a pedestrian hit by a driver who was texting and not paying attention, you may have a case against them. Also, if a loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, you may want to hire a personal injury attorney. If you believe someone else’s neglect caused the injury or death in question, the sooner you speak to a personal attorney, the better.
Is a representative from an insurance company contacting you?
So that they can reduce their losses, insurance companies employ claims representatives and adjusters. They can reduce their losses as these individuals help them to minimize the amount the insurance company will pay out in an injury claim. If an insurance company representative contacts you wanting a statement, medical records, or any information, you should tell them you are speaking with an attorney. Insurance adjusters often attempt to get you to make statements that hurt your claim, and you shouldn’t sign any releases without the review of a lawyer. Insurance companies often send you releases that are blanket authorizations for them to sort through your entire medical records so they can blame your injury on a previous condition.
Another reason an adjuster may contact you is that the insurance company believes your claim is legitimate, and they want to avoid paying you as much as possible. Even if you are dealing with your own insurance company in a case that involves an uninsured motorist, this can also be the case.
Is the insurance company offering you a very low amount or refusing to pay at all?
Often, insurance companies use dirty tactics to avoid paying you the compensation you are entitled to. You need an attorney to fight for you in this situation because a personal injury lawyer will understand all of these tactics.
Are you comfortable with the process of settling or with the law?
You will need to have a comprehensive understanding of the law and the ins and outs of your case if you want to handle things yourself. You may even have to negotiate and have knowledge of case law and statutory laws, and certain injury cases can get rather complex.
These are some questions you need to ask yourself if you are wondering whether or not to hire a personal injury attorney. Consider the pros and cons and do your due diligence to find the best personal injury lawyer for you.
Sara Crawford is an author and blogger from Atlanta, Georgia. She occasionally writes for Hagen Rosskopf. She has written novels, produced her own plays, and performed as a singer/songwriter. She is passionate about the act of creation, and she adores the written word.
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