10 Reasons You Need an Attorney to Oversee Your Personal Injury Claim
August 18, 2016 in Personal Injury Claim
Serving as your own attorney while pursuing a personal injury claim might seem like a fine idea at first, but many people come to realize that the task is much more demanding than they care to manage. It’s also quite possible that you could severely damage your case by not hiring an attorney.
Consulting an attorney is undeniably more convenient than trying to handle your claim on your own. However, there’s much more to it than that. Here are 10 areas in which an attorney can alleviate a great deal of your stress during a personal injury claim, not to mention help you maximize the value of your case.
Time Commitment and Duration
The sheer time that a personal injury claim takes from lawsuit to settlement or verdict can be draining, especially for someone with an already busy life. Are you prepared to carry the extra burden for several months or years? Even if you’re off to a fast start and making headway, hiring an attorney sooner rather than later is usually the more sustainable solution.
Full Extent of Damages
When you’re seeking damages, it’s easy to become focused only on the past medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. An attorney’s job is to help ensure you are compensated not just for past and present damages, but also for any future hardships or expenses you may endure.
Attorneys are well versed in the insurance world, from identifying which types of insurance may provide coverage to communicating with insurance companies and navigating their tactics. For example, most people carry liability insurance on their automobile, but after an accident, only an attorney would know to investigate uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. And remember, insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart!
Gathering evidence in your case is crucial and process begins as soon as possible after the injury occurs. An attorney ensures that surveillance footage, witness statements, photos, and other key pieces of evidence are obtained and preserved.
Statute of Limitations
Most personal injury cases have a two-year statute of limitations, meaning you have two years to file a lawsuit or resolve your claim. However, there are numerous exceptions to the norm. A medical malpractice case, for instance, generally has a one-year statute of limitations. Meanwhile, a suit against a government entity has a 6-month claim period. An attorney is the best person to interpret and exercise your rights.
A personal injury lawyer will be objective about your case, whereas the tendency for the injured is to become emotionally involved. Very few people know how to determine the true value of their own case. You might be surprised to learn that while overvaluing a personal injury claim is certainly common, many people actually underestimate—all the more reason to hire an attorney.
Put simply, the insurance company will take you more seriously when you have an attorney by your side. Without one, you are subject to a low-ball settlement offer or, worse, a mishap that hurts your case.
Speaking of settlement offer, an attorney will advise you not to discuss a settlement too early, as doing so can land you in a bidding war against yourself. Instead, they will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf, and identify a settlement worth taking vs. one that should be rejected.
Let’s face it: legal jargon can run circles around just about anyone who is not a lawyer. Why spend hours interpreting and Googling when an attorney who has spent years studying and litigating can do the translation for you?
Lastly, hiring an attorney is a low-risk, high-reward proposition. The common misconception about personal injury attorneys is that they’re out to charge you an exorbitant hourly fee and bill you for as many hours as possible. The truth is that most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they get paid a percentage of the case outcome. You only pay them if you win your claim!
If you have been involved in an accident and wish to file a personal injury lawsuit, Belgum, Fry & Van Allen can save you the time, energy, and heartache of managing your claim. Click here to get a free case evaluation from our personal injury experts.