This is a reasonable question to ask and I get it all the time. Quite often, I tell potential clients who have called my firm that they will be just fine without a personal injury lawyer. Those instances are typically when a lawyer’s fees would not be outweighed by the difference the lawyer could make in negotiating with an insurance company, or when the claim is cut and dry as in the case of a property damages only claim for a vehicle.
There are times when hiring a personal injury lawyer makes more sense and can make a significant difference for individuals. Here are some factors to consider if you’re trying to decide whether to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Claims Get Complicated
Personal injury claims may start off simple, or at least seem that way. Once you start going back and forth with an insurance adjuster, you realize they are not hired to look out for your best interests. They may request years worth of medical records in an attempt to establish your injury existed prior to the incident giving rise to the claim.
You may also get overwhelmed by the valuation of the claim. How much is future pain and suffering worth? What is the likelihood you’ll need a future surgery, and what is that worth today? These and other questions start to add up to money left on the table, and the feeling that you may be about to settle your claim for far less than you deserve. A lawyer helps issue-spot your claim and can defend the amount being demanded.
Your Comfort Level
While some injuries leave you quite capable of dealing with an insurance company, others leave you in pain. You’ll spend considerable time just managing your doctors’ visits, let alone pushing a claim along through a reluctant insurance company adjuster. Your lawyer of course devotes their practice to staying in good communication with adjusters, developing a working relationship with them, and knowing what they are willing to be flexible on, when it comes to your demand.
Coverage Is Denied
There are times where insurance companies deny coverage. You present all the information requested, it’s obvious from your perspective that there are damages and that there is liability on their end, yet you get a letter saying they deny all liability and refuse to even negotiate the claim. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate, a lawsuit is the next step, and having professional legal help is all but necessary at that point, to insure a good result.
You Feel Your Being Treated Unfairly
The bottom line is, it’s hard to know if you’re being treated fairly. While some of that decision is personal to you, it is always helpful to have an experienced personal injury lawyer involved in helping you determine whether the offer from the insurance company is reasonable. If you’ve reached a stopping point in negotiation, your lawyer will also discuss the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit with you, vs. taking the amount being offered. These can be stressful decisions and having a professional assist you can be priceless.