Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you were injured in a fall at your favorite restaurant or you suffered an injury in a car accident, you may not feel as though you need to hire a personal attorney. That restaurant or driver’s insurance company will cover all your bills, right? No matter how much you love that restaurant – or felt a rapport with the driver of the other car when you were exchanging insurance information – it’s important to understand that insurance companies are in the business of making money, no matter if they are health insurers, personal injury insurers or auto insurers.
An attorney is your most important tool after an accident because your insurance company has a team of lawyers in place which is determining how little they can pay you to compensate for your injuries. In many cases, it won’t be enough, and you will be left with the bills that come after the insurance company has satisfactorily closed its case.
When do you need to hire a personal injury attorney?
If you are injured due to the negligence of others, including an individual (a bite from their dog, for example) or a corporation (such as a fall in a restaurant, as mentioned above), you most definitely need to hire a personal injury attorney. In many cases, injuries can have long-lasting effects, even if everything seems to heal quickly in the initial aftermath of the injury.
In many cases, the plaintiff’s insurance company will offer a settlement, especially when people attempt to handle their own claims, but those offers are generally smaller than deserved, and may not cover the entire cost of your vehicle or your hospital bills.
Why is a personal injury attorney so important?
In most cases, plaintiffs who hire an attorney will receive a substantially higher settlement than those who don’t. Attorneys will fight for your rights and are better able to battle insurance companies on your behalf. If you attempt to fight your own battle with a defendant’s insurance company, they may offer a settlement, but that will usually be offered simply as a way to get you off their books. They understand that you have no real leverage, no matter your injuries, so they throw out a lowball number and hope that you’ll settle.
If you are swamped with bills, it may be tempting to accept, but understand that you may have future medical bills if you were seriously injured, and once an insurance company has sent a check and you’ve cashed it, you cannot go back for more. That will leave you holding the bag for medical bills that could potentially go on for years.
Even more importantly, your attorney will handle all the stressful aspects of working with a defendant’s insurance company, saving you the stress, which can be exacerbated by the recovery process associated with your injuries.
Think about it this way: A good attorney will get you a settlement that will be more than you could get on your own and will make sure that your claim is taken seriously.