When to Hire a Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Claim and What Questions to Ask Them
Did you trip and fall recently? Maybe your injury is more severe.
Either way, you're not the only person getting hurt. In fact, 39.5 million physician office visits in a single year were due to unintentional injuries. Meanwhile, 29.2 million of these cases resulted in emergency department visits.
If you suffered an injury as the result of an accident, you might benefit from filing a personal injury lawsuit.
However, you shouldn't go down this route without an experienced lawyer.
Asking yourself, "Do I need a personal injury lawyer?" Keep reading to learn when to hire a lawyer and what questions to ask before you do.
Choosing the right personal injury lawyer can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. With their skill, training, and experience, you can recover without stressing over your losses.
Learn how to find the right personal injury claim lawyer with these tips.
When to Hire a Lawyer
"Do I need a personal injury lawyer?" Usually, this question pops up after you realize the severity of your injuries. However, waiting too long could hurt your case.
The legal rules surrounding a personal injury claim are complex. Meanwhile, some insurance companies refuse to settle or provide you with adequate compensation. You don't want to handle the case on your own.
If you were injured, hiring a personal injury lawyer is in your best interest. Here are a few reasons you should consider hiring a lawyer to pursue your claim.
1. You're Suffering Long-Term or Permanent Injuries
Did you sustain serious injuries after the accident? Do you now require long-term care? Maybe the accident left you with a permanent disability.
Either way, the injury you've sustained could indicate it's time to call a personal injury lawyer.
An experienced lawyer will know how to calculate how much your injuries are worth.
They'll also determine how your injuries will impact your earning capacity over time. Calculating this value could feel difficult if you don't have experience. A lawyer's hands-on case experience can provide you with the knowledge you need.
In order to get the most out of your claim or lawsuit, you need an attorney who understands personal injury law.
They can then pursue the available forms of compensation, so your injuries and losses are covered.
2. You've Sustained Severe Injuries
The severity of your injuries can also help you determine if it's time to contact a personal injury claim lawyer.
Insurance companies will measure the severity of your injuries based on the:
Type of injury
Total on your medical bills
Length of your recovery time
You're more likely to reach the policy limit for the at-fault party's insurance policy as the amount of your potential compensation increases. If this happens, the insurance company might only pay you a fraction of what you deserve.
You can avoid this situation by hiring a personal injury lawyer.
They'll make sure you receive the total amount of compensation you deserve to cover your injuries.
3. Liability Isn't Clear
Were you in an accident that involved multiple parties? These cases can get complicated, especially when the insurance companies step in.
When several people are injured, there's sometimes not even settlement money to go around.
You might also become the subject of another party's insurance claim. This could cause your settlement total to drop because you were partially at fault for the accident.
"Do I need a personal injury lawyer when the liability isn't clear?" Yes! Your personal injury attorney can protect you from counter- and cross-claims from other parties.
4. The Insurance Company Refuses to Pay
In some cases, the insurance company can refuse to make a fair settlement. You might fail to secure a fair settlement offer or end up in lengthy negotiations with the insurance company. If this happens, make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer.
Their experience with litigating bad faith insurance claims can help.
Questions to Ask
There are over 129,834 personal injury lawyers in the country. If you've asked yourself, "Do I need a personal injury lawyer" and decided you do, it's important to find the right attorney. Otherwise, you'll fail to receive the compensation you deserve.
Finding the right personal injury lawyer can ensure you maximize your claim.
However, you want to find someone who is experienced and qualified. With so many lawyers to choose from, it can feel like a tedious search. By asking the right questions, you can narrow down the options with ease.
Here are a few questions to ask a personal injury lawyer before they take your case.
1. What Are Your Fees?
Some lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you won't have to pay a fee unless you recover money from the lawsuit.
Make sure to understand the attorney's fees before you hire them.
2. What If I Lose?
Some attorneys charge for any case-related costs, or out-of-pocket costs.
Ask your lawyer who will cover these costs if your personal injury lawsuit fails.
3. Have You Tried Cases Similar to Mine?
Don't assume the attorney has experience with your specific type of case. For example, you might need a personal injury lawyer with slip-and-fall accident experience over car accident cases.
Make sure to understand their experience so you're represented by someone who understands your case.
4. How Much Time Can You Dedicate to My Case?
Some lawyers take on too many cases and clients at once. Make sure to find a personal injury lawyer who has time to dedicate to your cases. Otherwise, their busy schedule could cause you to miss an opportunity.
5. What's Your Success Rate at Trial
A personal injury lawyer should expect to go to trial and know how to prepare for one. Make sure to choose an attorney who has won cases before a jury in the past.
For example, the attorneys at Sweet Lawyers have a 98% success rate. They also won't require fees unless they win your case.
6. Who Will Handle My Case?
If you've contacted a firm, make sure you know which attorney will take your case. If a less experienced associate is meant to handle your lawsuit, ask who will supervise them.
7. Can I Speak to a Previous Client?
In order to get a better idea of an attorney's capabilities, ask around. See if you can speak with a previous client and ask about their experience.
Don't rely on website testimonials alone; firms usually cherry-pick those reviews.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?: How to Tell & What to Ask
Don't ask yourself, "Do I need a personal injury lawyer?" Instead, speak with an attorney today and ask them about your case. Their evaluation could help as you make the decision.
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