Anyone who is hurt in an accident caused by another person may consider filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. If this has happened to you, it’s vital to understand common misconceptions about personal injury cases.
Before you hire an attorney, understand the information below to make the best decision for your needs. And remember that most personal injury law firms offer a complimentary consultation, so you can find out if your case has merit at no cost.
I Have Liability Insurance – Who Needs a Lawyer?
Remember that insurance companies make money by taking in premiums and paying out as little in claims as they can. If you get an offer from the insurance company, expect that they’ll offer you a fraction of what they think the case is worth. They want to check if you know your case’s value or if you’ll bite for a small amount.
Generally, it’s not recommended to negotiate with insurance companies without a lawyer. An attorney is skilled in the art of dealing with the insurance adjuster. These claims are complicated and tricky, so it’s usually best to have a lawyer take over settlement negotiations, no matter how much insurance you have.
I Can Hire A Lawyer Later
That’s true. But delaying the decision may lead to a damaged claim. You may say something to the insurance company that harms your case. For example, if you’re in a car crash and you tell the insurance company ‘I’m fine,’ that can be enough for the adjuster to argue you’re uninjured. That’s shady, but legally, it can hold water.
If you wait to hire your attorney, vital evidence proving liability could disappear. The sooner you retain an attorney after an accident, the better the chance of fair compensation.
Hiring a Lawyer Is Expensive
That’s a fair statement; skilled attorneys cost money. But almost all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis.
This means that you usually pay nothing upfront for the attorney’s services. If you win a verdict or settlement, the attorney receives approximately 33% of your settlement.
The attorney receives nothing if you don’t win. This makes the lawyer highly motivated to obtain as much compensation for you as possible.
Settling The Case Will Take Forever
Most personal injury cases settle out of court – up to 95% – because both sides should avoid an expensive lawsuit. You probably need money for your medical treatment and lost earnings, and the insurance company wants to prevent the risk of presenting the case to a jury.
Most personal injury claims can be resolved in a few months. The case only goes to trial if the insurance company digs in and won’t offer a reasonable settlement.
I Need To Settle The Case To Get Medical Treatment
Fortunately, this is untrue. You never need to wait to settle a claim to receive medical care. It’s crucial to get the medical care you need as soon as possible, so your injuries don’t worsen.
Many physicians will work with you to get you the treatment you need before the case settles. One of the critical services your attorney can perform is negotiating with medical providers to wait for payment until the matter is resolved. Some attorneys can even get the medical provider to take lower payments, but this varies by case.
I Can Handle The Case Myself
Some legal cases can be handled without a lawyer. But if you have severe injuries with damages of more than a few thousand dollars, you’re probably better off paying an attorney to negotiate for you.
If you remember these common misconceptions, you’re more likely to have better results with your injury claim. Remember to check with a skilled attorney to see if your case has merit.