You might wonder if you need a personal injury attorney after an accident or injury. If another party caused you harm, meeting with an attorney for a free consultation is in your best interest. A personal injury attorney will review your case, explain your legal rights, and discuss compensation you could receive for your damages.
Deciding whether to hire a personal injury lawyer can be difficult. Is this something you can handle, or do you need legal representation? While some personal injury cases might not require a lawyer’s help, eight situations that indicate you need a lawyer include:
1. Personal Injury Cases Involving Severe Injuries
Any time that damages are high, insurance companies scrutinize the case closely. The insurance adjuster will search for reasons to deny or undervalue the claim to reduce the company’s payout. Having a personal injury lawyer to handle your case allows you to focus on your recovery and protects you from aggressive and underhanded insurance tactics.
2. You Are Being Blamed for Causing the Accident
Most states use comparative fault statutes to apportion damages in a personal injury case. According to the law, a victim who shares responsibility for causing their injuries is not entitled to full compensation for all damages. They share liability for a portion of their damages relative to their percentage of fault for causing the accident.
Insurance companies often use contributory fault to undervalue a personal injury claim. Insurance adjusters try to get victims to make statements that could be twisted to imply fault. Therefore, allowing a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim is best.
3. Personal Injury Cases Involving Permanent Disabilities or Impairments
Many injuries can lead to permanent disabilities and impairments. You could be entitled to future damages if you sustain an impairment or disabling condition. Future damages could include ongoing medical treatments, long-term personal/nursing care, diminished quality of life, and reduced earning capacity.
However, calculating the value of future damages is difficult. An personal injury attorney may consult financial professionals, medical specialists, economists, vocational rehabilitation experts, and other expert witnesses. Expert opinions can help strengthen the evidence to fight objections by insurance providers to the value of future damages.
4. Multiple Parties Could Share Liability for Your Damages
Several parties could be responsible for your damages. The parties may blame each other to avoid liability. Therefore, you are caught in the middle of the dispute and must fight multiple parties to get compensation for your damages.
An personal injury attorney can identify the factors that led to your injury or accident. They’ll sort out which party is responsible for each factor to determine fault and liability.
5. A Government Entity Could Be Responsible for Your Damages
Personal injury cases involving government entities are subject to special rules. For example, you may be required to provide written notice to the government entity within months of your injury to preserve your right to file a claim.
In addition, you are going up against the full resources of a government agency. Therefore, you need the resources and experience of a personal injury lawyer to sue the government for a personal injury or accident.
6. An Insurance Company Denied Your Personal Injury Claim
Liability insurance compensates injured parties when an insured party is responsible for causing an accident or injury. The insurance company investigates your personal injury claim to determine if their insured is liable for your damages.
The company may deny your insurance claim for several reasons. Common reasons for denying insurance claims include:
- The policy does not cover the at-fault party
- The insurance policy expired
- The policy does not cover the specific incident that caused the injury
- You did not provide the requested information for the claim
- Lack of proof of injuries and/or damages
The insurance company does not have the final say on whether the at-fault party is liable for damages. However, there are time limits on how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit.
A personal injury lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. If not, they can file a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages from the at-fault party.
7. The Party Who Caused Your Injury Is Out-of-State
Even though a party is out-of-state, they can be liable for damages in a personal injury claim. However, out-of-state defendants can complicate your case. Hiring a personal injury lawyer simplifies the process for you because your attorney handles any issues that arise when dealing with out-of-state parties.
8. Cases Involving Complex Personal Injury Matters
Some types of personal injury cases are more complicated than others. Complex areas of personal injury law include but are not limited to medical malpractice, product liability, government torts, premises liability, aviation accidents, and wrongful death.
However, you can have a complex car accident case. For example, commercial truck accidents tend to be more complicated to pursue than accidents involving two passenger vehicles. Experienced personal injury lawyers understand the issues involved in complex cases and how to address them.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney To Determine If You Need Representation
Taking advantage of a free consultation is the best way to learn if your situation requires a personal injury lawyer. If you are unsure, meet with several attorneys for advice. However, when you are ready to hire a personal injury attorney, hire one with experience handling cases similar to yours.