Why hire a lawyer for your personal injury case? Sure, you can negotiate with insurance companies on your own. But a personal injury lawyer becomes your advocate throughout the process, making it easier so you can focus on getting better.
Hiring a lawyer shifts the workload from you to your legal expert. The payoff is a faster, easier settlement process that often ends with more money in your pocket.
Check out these seven reasons to hire a lawyer when you get hurt.
1. Expert Knowledge and Advice
Hiring a lawyer for your personal injury case gives you instant access to expert knowledge. Experienced injury lawyers understand the laws governing your specific injury type for your state.
They understand the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. They know what paperwork needs to be done, and they’re aware of deadlines for various steps in the case.
Experienced personal injury attorneys also know the tactics used by insurance companies and opposing lawyers to give you as little as possible. They have their own strategies to improve your odds of a successful outcome.
When it’s time to find a personal injury lawyer, look for one who handles lots of personal injury cases. That real-world experience can increase your chances of success.
2. Investigation and Evidence Gathering
When you hire a lawyer, the firm immediately begins investigating the case on your behalf. Firms often have investigative teams themselves or they work with local investigators to evaluate the injury fully. They look not only for evidence to support your side of things, but they also look at the evidence the other party has to ensure it doesn’t hurt your case.
3. Advocate With Insurance Companies
If you’re wondering, “Should I hire a lawyer,” keep in mind that the other side has lots of legal support. By hiring an attorney, you level the playing field and secure yourself an advocate who can go up against the legal team of the big insurance companies.
Insurance adjusters use lots of tactics to lowball your settlement and get you to say things that can hurt your case. They might talk you into signing legal documents agreeing to a much lower settlement than you deserve. It can be overwhelming and confusing to deal with adjusters on your own.
Your attorney knows what tactics to expect from insurance companies. Hiring a lawyer means you get an expert negotiator on your side to combat those tactics.
4. Increased Settlements
Personal injury lawyers know how to evaluate damages and advocate for a fair settlement. They look at all of your injuries to see how they impact your life.
The financial burden isn’t just the medical bills you have to pay. An injury can affect your income if you can’t work. You might also qualify for compensation for the mental impact of the injury.
Another advantage is that your attorney’s compensation depends on your settlement amount. That gives them the motivation to fight for larger settlements because it benefits them and you.
5. Multiple Settlement Options
Personal injury cases get settled in a number of ways. Your lawyer might be able to negotiate a satisfactory settlement directly with the insurance company, which takes the least amount of time.
Alternative dispute resolution methods are an option if the insurance company isn’t willing to work with you. Your lawyer can represent your interests to settle the case through mediation and arbitration.
While only a small number of personal injury cases go to trial, it’s a good idea to have a lawyer who’s prepared to go to court on your behalf if needed. Quality lawyers prepare every case as if it’s going to trial so they’re prepared if that’s the end result.
Your attorney can explain the settlement options to you at the beginning of your case. While no attorney can guarantee a certain outcome, an experienced personal injury lawyer can discuss which option is best and which one will most likely give you the desired outcome.
6. Less Stress and Work
When you handle your injury case yourself, you’re responsible for all of the research and investigation. You might spend hours just researching personal injury law in your state. Then, you might need to collect and review documents such as medical charts and police reports.
You’re also the one dealing with insurance adjusters, which can take hours on the phone. The stress of dealing with them can be harmful to your recovery.
Your personal injury lawyer handles all of the research and legwork, which frees up your time to focus on your recovery. When conflicts arise, your injury lawyers deal with the issues, which saves you time and reduces your stress.
7. Contingency Fee Structure
If you’re worried about the costs associated with hiring a lawyer, you’ll be happy to hear that most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means your lawyer only gets paid if you get a settlement.
Your attorney gets a percentage of your settlement amount as their fee. This eliminates the need for you to come up with a large retainer just to have a lawyer take on your case. Since your settlement amount is likely to be a lot larger with help from your lawyer, you’ll still often come out ahead financially even after your lawyer takes their percentage.
The percentage your lawyer gets varies but is often around one-third of the settlement. The percentage can vary depending on the complexity of the case and how far the case has to go to get settled. For example, a case that goes all the way to litigation might earn the lawyer a higher percentage because it’s a lot more work.
Your contract with your attorney should specify the percentage for the contingency fee. You might be responsible for certain fees or expenses outside of the contingency fee, such as court filing fees, regardless of the case outcome.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you automatically have an ally in your case. With the expertise and experience of a qualified personal injury attorney, you often see a much better outcome in your personal injury case.
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