Sometimes we can handle straightforward injury claims to avoid hefty legal fees. But for serious cases, we would benefit more from the expertise of an experienced attorney. So, when should we hire a lawyer or settle a personal injury claim on our own? Here are a few factors to look into.
The Circumstances Surrounding the Personal Injury
There is a broad array of situations under which personal injuries occur. Some damages happen at the workplace, while others are caused by car accidents. Even a neighbour’s dog can bite our loved ones, and we would still consider this to be a personal injury case. The severity of the injury matters a lot when demanding compensation. In minor issues, we can handle the insurance claim on our own. We can also seek help from a solicitor to deal with the defendant on our behalf. Most of the time, it is good to get legal assistance from personal injury lawyers. So, it comes down to the legal elements surrounding the case and the extent of the damage.
Some of the cases we can tackle without a lawyer include:
Minor or No Injuries From a Car Accident
Auto accidents are the most common causes of personal injuries. In a low-speed rear-end collision, minor damages to the bumper may occur. We might also need to see a doctor or some of our passengers will. In this case, we can engage the insurance company and the other driver to cover the repair cost and any medical expenses. If we are satisfied with what the insurance offers, there is no need to call a personal injury lawyer to pursue the claim in court. However, depending on the severity of the collision and who’s at fault, there will likely be a police report on the incident. If the report deems one party in the crash negligent, perhaps they’ve run a stop sign or failed to stop at a red light, that party may incur points on their license. Now, if you’re wondering how long do points on your license last, the answer varies. If there are already points on a license, and if the new points exceed the maximum 12 points, a license will be suspended for a minimum of 6 months. If the total number of points is less than 12, they will just stay on a license unless a remedial awareness course is taken. If a driver has points on their license and is involved in a collision that requires a personal injury lawyer, those points can demonstrate that the driver may be at fault, making them liable for the claim, so it’s always best to avoid getting points otherwise they could fault you later on in life.
No-Fault State Law
If the accident happens in a no-fault state, we cannot claim compensation for personal injury in a court of law unless it has reached a particular level. This level may be determined by the cost of treatment and the nature of the injury. Hiring an attorney doesn’t make sense in this case because our personal injury insurance will cover the damages of a no-fault claim. If the accident is severe, the no-fault system doesn’t apply, in which case we can work with a lawyer.
Maximum Policy Limit on Issue
An insurance company pays up to the policy limit. If they offer the maximum amount possible, then we don’t need to pursue the case further. Suppose the other party has a maximum policy of $100,000, and we are offered the same amount in a lump sum. Finding an attorney may not be useful in this case. We can demand the extra amount we need for medical expenses from the defendant. It is important to collect additional damage from the defendant in the form of money or assets if we truly deserve it.
Confidence in Negotiating With an Adjuster
If we are confident enough to wrangle with an insurance adjuster, we won’t seek an attorney’s intervention. We need strong negotiation skills to reach a fair settlement. Plus, when we gather enough legal knowledge, we can represent ourselves in the small-claims court. Otherwise, we should get a lawyer to handle the situation on our behalf.
Our Knowledge of Legal Matters
Researching the law and succeeding in the settlement process is not an easy feat. When we encounter challenges, we can always rely on car accidents and personal injury guides. The most important aspects include the state laws affecting our case, compensation for different damages, fault, and legal liability. It takes time and energy to research and comprehend the details. Since lawyers have gone through legal training, they possess intimate knowledge of the law. We can count on them if we feel lost. A legal suit can be frustrating and so hiring a professional is always a great option.
Claiming on Our Own
Trying to handle a personal injury claim by ourselves might complicate the case later. First, we need to know our capability and the risk of mishandling the claim process. We must consult a lawyer whenever we are unsure of the right step to take. It is essential to make consultations as soon as possible, immediately after an injury. Ultimately, we should also assess whether the lawyer is competent enough to handle our case.