If you’ve recently suffered injuries in a car accident, work accident, or some other event, you might be wondering if you should hire a personal injury lawyer. Some people struggle with the idea of suing another party for their injuries. After all, their health insurance policy or workers’ compensation covers everything right?
Unfortunately, this is not the case and you shouldn’t have to deal with the financial consequences of a severe injury that is no fault of your own. So, if you’re asking yourself the question “should I hire a personal injury lawyer?” The answer is: Yes, most of the time.
It is virtually always a good idea to at least consult with a personal injury attorney about the accident or incident that injured you. Here’s why.
When You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are unsure whether to hire a lawyer, we suggest erring on the side of caution and taking the time to consult with an attorney about your case. Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and offer free initial consultations. During this consultation, they can give you a preliminary idea of whether you have a viable legal claim for damages.
Some situations, however, essentially always call for the legal expertise of a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney. They include:
- If you’ve suffered a serious injury or permanent disability
- When multiple parties were involved in the event leading to your injury
- If the liability for your injuries is unclear
- If the insurance company has denied your claim or is acting in bad faith
Let’s take a closer look at each of these situations.
You’ve Suffered Serious Injuries or Permanent Disability
Any injury that causes you to miss work for days, weeks, or longer typically falls under the umbrella of “serious.”
A good rule of thumb for those who don’t work outside the home, or for children who get hurt, is to seek legal advice for any injury that requires hospitalization or continued visits to the doctor after an initial diagnosis.
Medical bills will quickly add up and PIP payments and disability payments, if available, almost never cover all of the expenses and losses of a personal injury case.
You should also hire legal representation if your injuries caused a permanent health condition, such as a major disability or scarring and disfigurement.
Many permanent injuries prevent injured victims from returning to work at full capacity, if at all. A personal injury attorney fights for compensation for those injuries to replace the victim’s lost income in addition to covering medical expenses and seeking a fair settlement for their client’s pain and suffering.
Multiple Parties are Involved in the Event that Led to Your Injury
If you were in an auto accident that involved multiple vehicles or another event where multiple victims suffered injuries, or in which multiple parties may have legal liability for your injuries, the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries can quickly get complicated.
One particular complication can involve insurance companies battling with accident victims, at-fault parties, or each other, to avoid being the one who pays damages.
A skilled personal injury lawyer advocates for clients who run into this situation, fighting for the compensation and navigating through the crossfire when insurance companies start pointing fingers.
Liability for Your Injuries is Unclear
Sometimes when an injury occurs, liability seems obvious. Law enforcement, insurance adjusters, and other parties seem to have little difficulty determining who should bear legal and financial responsibility for victims’ damages.
But this is not always the case. In many more cases than you might think, determining and proving liability can be extremely challenging.
Sometimes, insurance companies and parties facing liability fight back, trying to muddy the waters. Even when liability seems obvious, a skilled lawyer can often dig into the facts and discover that other parties should also pay damages to a personal injury victim.
Do not trust that just because liability looks simple, that it actually is simple. With the help of a skilled lawyer, you can protect your rights by resisting attempts by the liable parties to avoid their obligations, and uncover other parties who may owe you money for your injuries.
The Insurance Company has Denied Your Claim or is Acting in Bad Faith
Dealing with insurance carriers is often the most unpleasant part of a personal injury claim aside from the actual pain of injuries.
Insurance adjusters and their employers go the extra mile to avoid making a payout for the full value of a claim, and prefer to not pay at all if they can get away with it.
Some carriers deny insurance claims for nonsensical reasons or technicalities, such as if you filled out the wrong form, submitted a claim at the wrong time, or submitted your claim to the wrong person.
Insurance carriers who push ethical boundaries when processing claims are acting in bad faith.
Injured victims should not have to deal with questionable denials and intentional delays with their claim. Some companies hope that claimants get frustrated and give up.
Instead of going it alone, victims should hire a personal injury attorney who can ensure insurance companies take action on their claim in a reasonable amount of time and don’t try to play games with paying compensation.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
Some people mistakenly assume personal injury attorneys simply file paperwork, talk to insurance companies, and collect settlement money for their clients. The reality is far different.
Lawyers help their clients in multiple ways, guiding them through important decisions, leveling the playing field between the victim and the at-fault parties, and getting their clients the compensation they deserve for the medical care they need.
But some of the ways an attorney can a potential client help may not have crossed your mind.
First and foremost, a lawyer is the one person who is always in the client’s corner, duty-bound to act in the client’s best interests, which can give clients peace of mind while they recover from serious injuries.
In addition, your attorney can do the following:
Personal Injury Lawyers Investigate Accidents and Injuries
If law enforcement was involved in the event that led to your injury, they likely completed an official police report. Any insurance providers, including your own insurance company, also conduct an investigation into injuries to determine who is financially responsible for damages.
But these are only two narratives about the event that led to your injuries. They do not necessarily include all the relevant facts and details.
Personal injury lawyers typically take the time to investigate a case. Sometimes they use an in-house investigator at their law firm or rely on an outside expert to help them.
A lawyer’s goal is to uncover the facts of a case to find evidence that supports a client’s claim and proves the other party’s actions led to the client’s injuries. This may include gathering relevant documents, medical records, eyewitness statements, photos, and videos, for example.
A personal injury attorney will also check current and past recalls to see if a defective product such as a tire or suspension component may have contributed to or caused your injuries.
Personal Injury Lawyers Call Upon their Network of Experts
Insurance companies may try to downplay a victim’s injuries, in order to shift blame away from their policyholder.
To fight this shifting of blame, attorneys will often work with expert witnesses with specialized knowledge who can give opinions that strengthen a victim’s claim. For example:
- A medical expert can provide an opinion with regard to the injured person’s chances of recovery when the other side disputes a doctor’s opinion.
- A life care planner can provide realistic future estimates of treatment costs and long-term care if a victim suffers from a permanent disability or condition.
- An accident reconstruction specialist can evaluate data related to a specific accident and scientifically explain how an accident occurred to help cement liability.
Hiring a personal injury attorney provides victims with access to a network of specialists and experts who, when appropriate, can support a case and give victims the best chance of receiving maximum compensation for their injuries.
Personal Injury Lawyers Negotiate Better Outcomes
When insurance carriers know their policyholder is at fault for an accident or event that led to another person’s injuries, they are often quick to settle.
They may, however, first try to make predatory, lowball settlement offers to accident victims to entice them to take quick money and sign away their right to future legal action.
Personal injury lawyers understand how insurance companies work and know how to handle negotiations to give their clients the best chance of a positive outcome for their case.
Similarly, when personal injury attorneys handle communications with insurance companies, they protect their clients from tactics commonly used to devalue claims.
By hiring an experienced attorney, victims do not have to worry about saying something that an insurance carrier might twist and use against them later.
Deciding to Hire Legal Assistance
Suffering a severe injury often leads to emotional and financial stress on top of the physical pain of injury. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is often the best thing a victim can do to avoid more headaches and to obtain some peace of mind.
The nationally-recognized legal team at Bryant Law Center has the knowledge, skills, and resources to guide clients through the process of securing compensation from the party or parties who caused them harm.
Contact The Bryant Law Center today online using the contact form below or at (270) 908-0995 for a free consultation and case evaluation to discuss the specific event or accident that led to your injuries, the impact your injuries have had on your life, and how we might help.