If you have been injured in an accident, you may wonder whether you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. The answer to this question depends on your unique situation and the circumstances surrounding your case. Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers discuss when to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer for your case below.
Should You Hire an Attorney for Your Personal Injury Claim?
In general, if you have suffered serious injuries due to another person or entity’s negligence, you should strongly consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek damages from the responsible party and obtain fair compensation for your injuries.
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Uber accidents and Lyft accidents
- Dog bites
- Premises liability
- Slip and fall accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Wrongful death
If you are in one of these situations, you may be unsure whether you need a personal injury attorney. In some situations, hiring a personal injury attorney may not benefit you. For example, you will likely not need a lawyer if you sustain property damage in an auto accident without injury.
However, talking to a personal injury attorney about your legal options never hurts. Many injury attorneys like us provide a free consultation to discuss your unique situation. We can answer your legal questions, help you understand your best legal options, and determine whether we can help you.
Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
You may need to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer for your case for many reasons. A few examples of reasons include:
#1: You Suffered Injuries From the Accident
Accident injuries can lead to temporary or permanent disabilities and result in financial devastation for you and your family. Injuries can lead to extensive medical bills, future medical costs, and lost wages while missing work. In the event of permanent disability, you may need a lifetime of support.
Do you believe that your injuries resulted from another person or another entity’s negligence? You may be entitled to financial compensation from the responsible party. Compensation can help you pay for your medical expenses and future rehabilitation and support costs.
#2: Accident Liability Is Unclear
Who is responsible for the accident and resulting damages? If the accident liability is unclear or you believe you are receiving unfair blame in the case, then it is essential to discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible.
California is a comparative fault state, meaning two or more parties may share liability for an accident. Comparative fault means you may be found partially responsible for the accident, which can affect how much compensation you can recover for your damages. It is common for insurance companies to try to pin an unfair percentage of blame on the plaintiff to minimize their payouts.
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You can count on an insurance company to investigate the accident and attempt to minimize its payout by pointing blame at you or offering a low settlement if it is able to do so. The insurance companies have lawyers on their side, and you should have one too. An attorney can initiate an independent and thorough investigation of the accident and gather the necessary evidence to determine accident liability.
Examples of evidence may include medical records, police reports, witness statements, and expert testimony. Your personal injury attorney can work to ensure you are not wrongfully blamed for the accident and get the fair compensation you need and deserve after an accident.
#3: There Are Multiple Parties Involved in the Accident
When more parties are involved in an accident, the more complex the case gets. More parties can make it more challenging to determine accident liability, and more parties mean multiple insurance companies are involved too. What insurance company do you file a claim with, and who pays for your damages?
More than one party may be responsible for your damages. For example, who is responsible if you get in a car accident with a commercial truck driver? Do you file a claim against the driver, the trucking company, or the truck maintenance company?
Are other parties involved? Your Los Angeles personal injury attorney can determine the responsible parties in the accident, find all avenues of potential compensation, and handle the insurance companies on your behalf.
#4: You Do Not Know How Much Your Claim Is Worth
It is common for insurance companies to offer you a settlement before you have the chance to understand the extent of your damages or discuss the offer with a lawyer. They want you to agree to a settlement that is less than your case is worth. And you may be more likely to take it if you do not know how much you need for your recovery.
After an accident, you may think you only need compensation for your medical costs and any property damages. However, personal injuries generally result in extensive costs and consequences to you.
There are three types of damages in personal injury cases: economic, noneconomic, and occasionally punitive. Economic damages are monetary or quantifiable. They include a variety of costs, including, but not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Long-term care costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate, but they compensate you for the pain and suffering you incurred from the accident. Examples may include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages are not very common but may be awarded if egregious behavior causes your injuries. An example of egregious behavior may include drunk driving.
A personal injury attorney can help you determine the potential worth of your injury claim and determine whether the insurance company is offering you a fair settlement. Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf to recover the compensation you need and deserve.
#5: The Insurance Company Denied Your Claim or You Need Help Negotiating
Hopefully, this is your first time suffering from a personal injury. If you are focused on recovery and do not have any legal experience, it can be difficult to defend yourself and fight for what you deserve.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not on your side. They may offer you a lowball settlement worth less than what you deserve and need for recovery. In some cases, they may try to blame you for the accident or even deny your claim outright.
A trusted personal injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Your attorney will ensure you do not take a lowball settlement offer and will fight for fair and maximum compensation.
#6: Your Case Is Going to Trial
Many personal injury cases settle outside of court. However, some cases go to trial. Your case could go to trial if the insurance company denies your claim or refuses to pay you fair compensation for your damages.
We do not recommend representing yourself in court. Representing yourself in court can damage your chances of recovery and poses many risks of getting your case dismissed. An effective lawsuit requires extensive legal knowledge and resources. You need an experienced lawyer dedicated to your case so you can focus on what matters – your recovery.
Our Los Angeles personal injury law firm knows California laws and procedures, your legal rights, and the court systems. We have extensive negotiation and trial experience and have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients in awards and settlements, just look at our case results.
Are you still unsure whether or not you should hire a lawyer for your personal injury case? We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our Los Angeles injury lawyers to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Pros of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case
There are many benefits to working with an experienced and dedicated attorney. A few benefits of legal representation include the following:
#1: Your Case Stands a Better Chance of Success
As experienced attorneys, we have seen insurance companies use many tactics to minimize or avoid payouts. For example, they may offer you a low settlement, place accident fault on you, and downplay your injuries. If you have never seen these tactics before, it is easy to fall victim to them. We can ensure you will not.
In addition, personal injury law can be complicated. There are strict legal procedures and regulations to follow. If you are not a licensed personal injury attorney, you may not know how insurance negotiations, the legal process, or the court system work. You can easily hurt your chance to recover compensation for your damages or get your case dismissed.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and guide you through the legal process at every step. Your attorney will handle the paperwork, discovery, and negotiations on your behalf.
#2: You Will Know How Much to Claim
Understanding the types of damages you can claim in your personal injury case and how much you can claim is important. Knowing your claim worth will ensure you do not agree to a settlement that will not cover your past and future expenses. Additionally, it will ensure that you take advantage of potential compensation for damages you may not know to claim without an attorney.
California has no cap on how much you can recover from a successful personal injury claim unless the case involves medical malpractice. Your case’s worth depends upon the specific circumstances surrounding it. A few factors your attorney may analyze and assess to determine your claim’s worth include, but are not limited to:
- Extent of your injuries
- Impact of our injuries on your ability to work and your future needs
- Incurred pain and suffering
- Accident fault
- Applicable insurance policies
#3: You Will Save Time
Without an attorney, it is your responsibility to handle your claim from start to finish. Handling a claim is time-consuming, especially if you need to learn the proper legal procedures. For example, a claim requires a lot of paperwork, meeting deadlines, finding and gathering evidence, and communication with multiple parties.
If you have a law firm on your side, your attorney will handle the claim on your behalf. Additionally, your attorney can push for a swift resolution of your case.
#4: Reduce the Stress Associated With Your Injury
Personal injuries can result in substantial financial costs, missed paychecks from time away from work, and difficult recovery. You may already be facing significant stress after a personal injury. Handling your injury claim may worsen your stress and recovery.
A lawyer can help you deal with the stress and anxiety of being injured by handling the legal side of your recovery. Your attorney can pursue your claim on your behalf, guiding you throughout the process, so you can focus on moving on with your life.
#5: There Is No Cost to You if You Do Not Win Your Case
Pursuing personal injury claims or lawsuits takes extensive resources and money. When you work with a reputable law firm, your attorney should upfront these costs and dedicate its resources to your case.
At Steers & Associates, you have nothing to lose by pursuing compensation for your damages. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Working on contingency means you do not pay any fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Why You Should Not Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case
Not every situation requires hiring a personal injury attorney. For example, if you did not sustain injuries in a car accident, you likely will not need legal representation. You can count on us to be honest about whether we can help you with your claim. We will tell you if we do not believe we can get you a better outcome for your case.
Another con of hiring legal representation may include the cost. Some attorneys may require upfront fees and an hourly pay model. However, many injury attorneys, including us, work on a contingency fee basis.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney From Our Firm About Your Situation
Have you suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence? You may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. We encourage you to reach out to our attorneys for a free consultation to determine whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer. During an initial consultation, we can answer your legal questions and help you to understand your best legal options. We can also determine whether we can form an attorney-client relationship with you.
Our Los Angeles injury lawyers help victims of many types of personal injuries seek compensation. We may be able to help you too. Call us at (800) 824-5416 or fill out our online contact form to request a consultation to discuss your situation.
Allen Vaysberg practices personal injury law and works tirelessly to defeat the tactics of insurance companies and large corporations who try to deny justice and fair compensation to injured people.