You should hire an injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Personal injury lawyers help you obtain financial compensation for your injuries and protect you from huge corporations and insurance companies who don’t want to pay you fairly for your injuries.
This article will provide you with information that will help you decide whether you need to hire a personal injury lawyer or not if you’re unsure about it.
You don’t need a lawyer for some personal injury cases, but it can still be useful to have someone with experience handling legal injury claims review your case. A lawyer can explain your legal rights to you and tell you if you can benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney.
Every personal injury case is different, and you may need to hire a personal injury attorney in certain situations.
There is no specific amount of time after you’ve been injured in an accident, especially after being in a car accident injury, when you have to hire a personal injury lawyer. However, it is extremely important to hire a personal injury attorney shortly after any accident. It is inadvisable to go through any part of the legal process without counsel, and most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you are not charged a fee until and unless they win your case.
Situations You Need To Hire A Personal Injury Lawyer In
There are many situations which can arise after you’ve been injured in an accident where you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer:
Accident Liability Is Being Disputed
You will need to hire a personal injury lawyer if the at-fault party in the accident is disputing that they were at fault.
Accident injury victims, in order to receive compensation for their injuries, must prove that their injuries were caused by another party’s negligence. Negligence is failing to be reasonably careful to prevent harm. For example, you can’t recover financial compensation for your injuries if you can’t prove that another driver caused your car accident.
A personal injury lawyer can thoroughly investigate your accident to find out how you were injured and who caused your injury. Your attorney will collect evidence and develop an effective legal strategy to prove that someone else was at fault for your injuries.
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Your Injuries Are Serious
You won’t need a lawyer for all injuries. It is possible to settle your own claim if you have minor injuries and the time to work on insurance and legal claims yourself.
However, you should hire an injury lawyer if your injury causes pain for more than a few days and necessitates medical treatment. You should have your case evaluated by an injury attorney if your injuries require hospitalization, physical therapy, surgery, chiropractic work, rehabilitation, orthopedics or cosmetic surgery. Claims that involve large medical bills can see their value increased significantly when you are represented by a lawyer.
There Were Numerous Parties Involved In Your Accident
Cases involving multiple parties can be very complex so you’ll need to hire a personal injury attorney if multiple parties are involved in your case. Examples of cases which often involve numerous parties include construction accidents, medical malpractice claims, product liability claims and multi-vehicle accidents.
A personal injury lawyer will have the necessary experience to handle the complex issues which arise in cases with multiple defendants. Multiple parties may argue over who caused your injuries, and your attorney will develop a case to protect you when this occurs.
Multiple parties being involved may mean you end up with more money in the end, but it can also mean a much more complex case, so it’s best that you’re represented by an attorney in this case.
You’re Uncomfortable With The Settlement And Legal Process
You will require a solid understanding of the settlement process and the legal issues relating to your claim if you want to handle your own case. You will need solid negotiation skills and knowledge of case and statutory law to receive a fair settlement.
Personal injury cases can be extremely complex. You may need to hire experts to unearth evidence to prove your claim, such as accident reconstruction experts in a car accident case. You may also need to obtain witness interviews and have a solid understanding of physics in a car accident case. You will need to be able to properly read and evaluate your own medical records to give an accurate value to your claim.
You need to hire a personal injury lawyer if you’re uncomfortable with any of the above. An experienced personal injury attorney will be better suited to putting a value on your claim. The value of your case will include all of your economic and non-economic losses. Insurance companies will typically not offer to pay for non-economic losses such as loss of consortium or pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer will negotiate for both your economic and non-economic losses.
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You’re Being Partly Blamed For Your Own Injuries
California is a comparative negligence state. This means that if you are found 30 percent at fault for your injuries, the amount of money you can recover for your injuries in a personal injury case will be reduced by 30 percent.
The amount of money you can recover for your injuries can be greatly reduced if it’s found you were partially at fault for your own injuries, so you need a personal injury lawyer to fight against unfounded claims of your own fault if you’re being blamed for your own injuries.
For example, you may have been injured in a motorcycle accident, and the other driver’s insurance company might be claiming you were riding your motorcycle at too high of a speed when your accident occurred. In this case, the insurance company is arguing you were partly at fault for your own accident, even though the true cause of your accident was another driver turning in front of you because they didn’t see you.
Insurance companies often claim that you are partly at fault for your injuries so they don’t have to pay you as much money. A personal injury lawyer will be experienced at fighting claims such as this so you can recover the most money possible for your injuries.
An Insurance Company Is Acting In Bad Faith
Insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. They have their own profit margins in mind. They don’t want to pay you for your injuries. They would prefer to pay you nothing. Because of this, insurance companies sometimes act in bad faith when dealing with injury victims.
Insurance companies often act in bad faith in many different ways, including:
- Trying to delay your claim until the statute of limitations expires and you can no longer sue them
- Asking you to do too much paperwork to file your claim
- Refusing to investigate your claiming
- Falsely claiming you were partly or wholly responsible for your own injuries
- Refusing to pay out on a valid claim
- Intentionally misleading you about your legal rights
- Lying about the insurance policy terms
While there are many ways an insurance company can act in bad faith, personal injury attorneys are familiar with these games they play and understand the laws that apply to them. For this reason, insurance companies are much less likely to act in bad faith with an accident victim who is represented by a lawyer.
Your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit if an insurance company is acting in bad faith with you, and in many cases just the threat of a lawsuit is enough to convince an insurance company to stop acting in bad faith and offer you a fair settlement for your injuries.
Your Injury Was Traumatic Or Permanently Disabling
If your accident involved permanently disability or traumatic injury, your case will involve issues that are uncommon in other personal injury cases. You may need ongoing medical care in the future if you’ve been permanently disabled, and you may be left unable to work for the remainder of your life.
You will sustain future damages that you’re entitled to compensation for if you’ve been impaired or disabled.
Future damages stemming from disability or impairment can reach tens of millions of dollars depending on how old you are, your disability and more. A personal injury lawyer can hire economic, financial and medical experts to accurately determine how much your future damages are worth to make sure you receive the most possible compensation for your injuries.
Cases involving traumatic injuries often involve very large settlements, and insurance companies will aggressively fight these cases in order to avoid paying out a ton of money. Experienced personal injury lawyers who know how to maximize the value of your damages, pain and suffering will improve your odds of obtaining full, fair compensation for your injuries.
A Government Agency Is Involved In Your Claim
While there are exceptoins, government agencies are often protected from liability, so these claims are more complex than an average personal injury claim. If you’ve been hurt in a subway accident, bus accident or train accident, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations regarding claims involving government agencies is much shorter than the normal personal injury statute of limitations. It is best that you have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side in any claim involving a governmental agency.
California Personal Injury Statute Of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a legal deadline by which you must file a lawsuit in order to obtain a recovery for your injuries. Failure to file a lawsuit before this deadline bars you from recovering financial compensation for your injuries.
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in California is two years from the injury, or, if an injury isn’t discovered immediately, one year from the date an injury was discovered, whichever comes later.
However, the statute of limitations for claims involving government agencies is shorter: it is six months in California. You have six months from the date of the accident to file a claim against a government agency in California.
Many personal injury claims can be settled out of court before a lawsuit needs to be filed. However, the settlement process can take a long time. Thus, it is imperative that you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your injuries to ensure that they have enough time to go through the settlement process and, if necessary, file a lawsuit on your behalf.
You Need A Lawyer To Deal With Insurance Companies For You
If you’ve been injured in an accident and your injuries consist of anything more than minor cuts and bruises, you need a personal injury lawyer if you want to recover the money you’re legally entitled to under California law for your injuries.
First off, insurance companies won’t respect you if you don’t have a lawyer, and if they don’t respect you they won’t offer you what you deserve for your injuries. They’ll refuse to pay you what you’re entitled to and dare you to sue them in court over it, knowing you can’t beat their corporate lawyers in court if you don’t have a lawyer of your own. However, most personal injury cases where a plaintiff is represented by a lawyer are settled out of court. Insurance companies, when they see you’re represented by a lawyer, will usually settle out of court with you to avoid paying expensive legal fees.
Second, insurance adjusters are trained to trick you into admitting fault for your own accident or saying things that imply your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim. They’re trained to do these things so they can pay you less money or nothing at all. They are very good at this and it is very easy to unwittingly fall for these tricks of theirs. Thus, you need a personal injury lawyer to handle all correspondence with the insurance companies for you while you focus on recovering from your injuries.