Most people know that when it comes to complicated auto accident injury claims, hiring experienced personal injury lawyers can make a big difference. This is because lawyers can help to gather the most relevant evidence, prove substantial injury, and represent the client in either settlement talks or court. But there are cases in which hiring a lawyer isn’t the best move. So when, exactly, is it time to find a personal injury lawyer? Here are some tips on when you need to hire a lawyer and when you might be able to handle things on your own.
Do Find a Personal Injury Lawyer If:
- The Other Party Was NegligentTo prove that the other driver is liable for your injuries, you’ll need to show evidence of two things. First, you’ll need to show that he or she was negligent in driving duties. This might be something as serious as driving dunk (a crime for which 1.4 million people are arrested each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), or something as common as speeding (which actually leads to 40% of all auto-related fatalities in the U.S.). Second, you’ll have to demonstrate that this behavior actually caused your injuries. You’ll want to work with auto accident injury attorneys who know exactly what kind of evidence you’ll need.
- Insurance Is Balking
Some people assume that you only need to hire a lawyer if the other party caused the accident. But lawyers can also help you if your own insurance company is balking at paying out a reasonable claim. Lawyers can often expedite the claims process as well, so you might consider this move if you can’t afford to wait for reimbursement.
- You Think You’re Entitled to Damages
Sometimes, personal injury actions cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. These generally won’t be included in your standard claim, and can be difficult to put a dollar amount on if you don’t have legal backup.
Don’t Find a Personal Injury Lawyer If:
- Your Injuries Are MinorIf your injuries are relatively minor, you probably won’t be able to increase your claim by much, even if you hire a lawyer. It’s important to remember, however, that an initial lack of pain doesn’t indicate a lack of serious injuries. That’s why you should always get checked out by a doctor after a car accident.
- You’re Been Offered the Maximum SettlementCar accident settlements are generally limited by a person’s insurance policy. If you’ve been offered 100% of what’s allowed by the other driver’s policy and your expenses still haven’t been covered, your only option is to hire a lawyer and go after personal assets. But if the other party doesn’t have those assets and the gap between the settlement and your real costs is small, it’s probably best to just accept the settlement and move on.
- You’re Not Willing to WaitPersonal injury actions take time. You shouldn’t hire a lawyer if you’re not willing to go through a potentially lengthy legal process.
Can you offer more tips on when it’s worth hiring a lawyer after a car accident? Join the discussion in the comments.