Being involved in a serious accident can throw your entire world into chaos and leave you with a lot to consider, including whether taking legal action is appropriate. If you do decide to exercise your legal rights and pursue compensation for injuries sustained in an accident that was caused by another person's negligence, you may find yourself wondering if it's really necessary to hire an attorney to represent you. While the short and technical answer to that question is “no,” there are many instances where hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is not only wise, but offers you the best possible chance of achieving a successful outcome in your case.
When to Hire an Attorney
If the injuries and property damage caused by the accident aren't serious—and you have the time and inclination to research the legal claims process—you may be able to file a claim with the insurance company yourself. However, if your personal injury case is more complex than that, hiring an attorney may be in your best interest. Accident victims should consider obtaining legal representation when the following factors apply:
- Disputed fault or refusal to pay. An insurance company may try to reduce its liability by disputing fault, claiming that the policyholder wasn't at fault for the accident, or that there is a lack of evidence necessary to prove fault. The insurance company may also refuse to offer you a settlement or a fair settlement amount.
- Serious, long-term, or permanently disabling injuries. If the injuries you sustained in the accident were serious or resulted in a long-term or permanent disability, you may be facing a mountain of unexpected medical debt and a long, grueling road to recovery.
- Lost wages or loss of earning potential. If your injuries were serious enough that they caused you to miss work, you may desperately need compensation for the wages you lost during your recovery. Likewise, if your injuries forced you into a lower-paying position, you may need the difference in those wages to maintain your standard of living.
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
There are a number of clear benefits that come with hiring an attorney to represent you in your personal injury case. First and foremost, being represented by a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney who routinely handles accident and injury cases may be the best possible way to level the playing field when going head-to-head with an insurance company's corporate counsel. When you hire a reputable personal injury attorney, you're dealing with a professional who is well-versed in the laws and procedural rules that are relevant to your case, and has a commitment to seeing that justice is done.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can also save you a lot of time and effort. There's a lot of work that goes into seeing a personal injury claim from filing to completion. Unless you can set aside the necessary time to juggle things such as witness statements, police reports, medical documentation and the like, you might be better off having an attorney investigate, organize, and present the case on your behalf.
Finally—and perhaps most importantly—an attorney can advocate for you, helping you to navigate the complex and often frustrating world of insurance claims and settlements.
Were You Injured in an Accident?
There's a lot at stake when you file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for things such as medical bills, damaged property, lost wages, or pain and suffering. It would be unfortunate and all too easy for an accident victim's lack of familiarity with personal injury law to result in them receiving a settlement that's less than what they deserve if they choose to serve as their own representation.
Don't let yourself be short-changed—Morris James Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Contact our legal team today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation. You can also request a copy of our free informative eBook, Anatomy of a Personal Injury Claim.