When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Do you need to hire a personal injury lawyer after an accident? The short answer is that it depends.
If you’ve sustained any kind of injury or sustained damages due to someone else’s negligence, you might be at a loss of what to do next. Typically, you’ll be dealing with the other party’s insurance company, but initiating and following through on a claim can be complex, especially if you’re focused on healing from an injury.
Trying to navigate that ordeal on your own without legal assistance can be incredibly difficult. It can also result in you getting less money than your claim is worth or having your claim dismissed entirely. As a general rule, if you’ve been injured and it wasn’t your fault, talking to an attorney to determine your next steps should be a priority.
Incidents Where Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help
Personal injury encompasses a range of civil tort claims, including the following:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Products liability
- Wrongful death
4 Signs You Should Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Working with a personal injury attorney can ease the burden of dealing with insurance companies. If you need to have your case argued in court, already having a personal injury attorney on your side can help streamline that process.
This difference is due to a variety of factors, such as being able to avoid mistakes that could compromise your claim and identifying when an insurance company is acting in bad faith. Personal injury lawyers may also lean on expert testimony to help strengthen your case with the aim of maximizing compensation.
Wondering if you should pick up the phone and call an attorney? Here are five signs that point to yes.
1. You’ve Sustained a Serious Injury
Your health is arguably your greatest asset, and it can be difficult to assign a dollar amount to your injury. An insurance company is likely to downplay the severity while failing to consider other types of compensation that you may be legally entitled to.
A personal injury lawyer will have experience in valuing your claim fairly. They take into account not only the cost and impact of your immediate injuries, but also how much future treatment will cost and how your quality of life will be affected.
They can also help you get the proper medical care by recommending doctors and health professionals familiar with personal injury claims.
2. The Insurance Company Is Not Cooperating
Insurance companies are a business, and they’re driven by profit. It is their goal to pay you as little as possible for their insured’s negligence. They may even try to pay you nothing at all!
Personal injury lawyers have experience working with insurance companies. They handle all the communication, paperwork, and negotiations on your behalf. Also, Insurance companies have entire teams of lawyers, so it’s only fair that you have representation, too.
Even if the insurance company is communicative and responsive, it can be extremely helpful to have an attorney handle all the documentation, investigation, calculations, and negotiation. While you focus on healing physically and emotionally, your attorney will handle all the nitty-gritty details.
3. You’re Not Sure What Your Injury Is Worth
Putting a value on an injury considers a multitude of factors, especially if an injury causes permanent damage, involves a child, or the negligence that caused the harm was particularly egregious. When (and if) an insurance company offers you a settlement, how can you know if the amount on the table is fair?
A personal injury lawyer will take all relevant factors into consideration when valuing your claim.
4. You Want to Receive Adequate Compensation
Insurance companies have teams of lawyers whose sole aim is to pay claimants as little as possible. If they can pay nothing for your injury, that’s even better (for them) because it results in more money staying in their pockets. By having a personal injury lawyer on your side, you can level the playing field.
5. The Insurance Company Says You Contributed to the Accident
Being partially at fault for an accident or incident can reduce the amount of money you can recover. It can potentially bar recovery altogether.
Because Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state, the amount that a plaintiff can receive in damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault. If the insurance company determines that you share more than 50% of the blame, you won’t be able to recover anything.
Attributing fault is subjective, so it can require the experience of an attorney to fairly assign fault and minimize or eliminate your potential liability.
Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Picking up the phone and speaking with a personal injury attorney about your situation is free. Not only that, but most Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This term means that you don’t pay anything upfront or rack up legal fees. Instead, your attorney will receive a percentage of your settlement after you’ve won your case.
To find out more and discuss how much your claim is worth, contact Hal Waldman and Associates at (412) 850-3172.