After an accident, you are probably not thinking about legal matters like filing injury claims or lawsuits. You are probably shaken up from the accident and just want to focus on tending to your injuries and safely continuing your day. Once you have your doctor’s appointment, however, your next step should be finding out whether you need a personal injury lawyer.
In this article we discuss:
- When a personal injury lawyer may be unnecessary.
- When a personal injury lawyer may be necessary.
- How a personal injury lawyer can help you.
“I am not someone who sues other people.”
This is a common sentiment among people who were injured and are unsure what to do. For many of our clients, this is their first injury case and they have never gone through the claims process. But in order to recover the damages someone else caused you, you will need to look into filing a personal injury case.
One thing you should know right off the bat is that in almost every injury case, it is the insurance company that will be paying your settlement, not the individual you file against. So if you are worried about filing a lawsuit against someone you may know or just worried about filing a lawsuit in general, remember that the defendant will almost never pay your settlement or judgment out of his or her own pocket – the insurance company will.
If you have case-specific questions, you can call Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-642-2335 and schedule a consultation.
When is a personal injury lawyer unnecessary?
Some accidents only involve property damage or perhaps only minor injuries. In these types of smaller cases, it may not be necessary or advantageous for you to hire a personal injury lawyer. Fender benders and minor incidents do not necessitate a lawyer. It is likely that you can simply file a claim with the applicable insurer to recover your expenses.
If the following is applies to your situation, you can probably handle the claim on your own.
- You only sustained property damage.
- You were not harmed.
- Your injuries are minimal, e.g., scrapes and bruises.
If you are not sure of whether or not you need legal help, you can just run your case by a personal injury attorney. Most firms offer an initial consultation free of charge, our firm included. You are welcomed to set up a free meeting with one our attorneys where you can address all of your questions. We can discuss some of the particulars of your accident, assess your damages, and let you know if it is something that you can do easily on your own or if you would benefit from securing counsel.
In the meantime, you can start educating yourself about the insurance claims process. Auto insurance companies sometimes try to take advantage of accident victims who are inexperienced. They might try to give you a lower settlement that is less than what you deserve or get you to settle too quickly before the full extent of your injuries is clear.
When do you need an attorney?
While relatively minor incidents may not require an attorney, more serious cases certainly do. If any of the following apply to your case, we strongly suggest getting legal counsel.
- Substantial damages – When your claim has a high value, you will undoubtedly want an attorney overseeing the case and ensuring you are fully compensated. If you suffered major injuries, cannot return to work for some time, sustained a disability, or became disfigured, there will be a lot of money on the line. A lawyer who knows the ins and outs of personal injury law and how to negotiate, litigate, and maximize claims can help you secure a fair settlement.
- Highly contentious cases – If the insurer is disputing fault, minimizing or discrediting your injuries, or if the other side has hired an attorney, you will want to consult a lawyer straightaway. Battling with insurers or attorneys is not something we recommend for accident victims, particularly when you are occupied with recuperating. An attorney will be able to gather evidence, build a strong case, and fight for the best outcome for you.
- Complicated cases – There are certain types of situations for which you will always want to hire an attorney.
- Your injuries are complex or difficult to prove (e.g., whiplash or significant emotional damages)
- You have a medical malpractice case
- You were injured by a commercial truck driver
- Your accident involves a large company
- Your loved one died and you need to file wrongful death claim, you will need an attorney’s assistance
These are all very complex types of cases that require aptitude in specialized areas of the law.
How does a personal injury lawyer help?
Personal injury lawyers are an excellent asset because they are 100 percent client-focused. Their goal is to help you resolve your case successfully, and they have the education and know-how to get it done. Below are just a few of the advantages to having a personal injury lawyer representing you.
- He handles the nitty-gritty. Filing an injury claim can be detailed and require a ton of legwork. In addition to helping you get the necessary paperwork together, an attorney can help gather evidence to prepare your case, speak with experts to help substantiate your claim, and handle all of the legal minutia you that do not have the time or inclination to deal with.
- He will deal with insurers. Insurance adjusters may not have your best interests in mind. An attorney can handle correspondence with them, negotiate for higher settlements, and defend against any criticisms or denials they make on your claim.
- He ensures your claim is thorough. An attorney will conduct a complete investigation of your accident, take the time to fully understand your injuries, and ensure the entirety of your damages is accounted for. Without an attorney, you are much more apt to make mistakes or miss out on damages you are entitled to. They will also make sure to have your claim filed within the statute of limitations.
Where will I find a reputable lawyer to help with my case?
When you begin looking for a lawyer to help with your case, you will want to find one who handles your specific type of case and that has a long track record of successful cases. You can ask family and friends or check with your state’s bar association for referrals.
If you reside in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, consider Cordisco & Saile LLC as your go-to firm. You will find many resources on our site to assist you. You can even download a free copy of our accident guidebook, Don’t Crash Again! A Car Accident Victim’s Guide to Maximizing Recovery.
We handle all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases, and would be happy to review your case. Contact us today at 215-642-2335 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.