In certain instances, those who file a personal injury claim can handle the case themselves. If the accident in question is relatively minor, and if the claimant possesses some knowledge of the negotiating process, they can wind up receiving a fair settlement without enlisting the services of a lawyer. However, in the vast majority of cases involving serious injury, having a seasoned attorney by the claimant’s side is not only recommended, it is mandatory. So how does a person know whether or not his or her case is serious enough to warrant enlisting the services of a personal injury lawyer? Here are a few criteria to help figure it out.
When injuries are severe
If the injuries caused by a particular accident are life changing and/or debilitating, then it is wise to hire a lawyer. Because if a physical injury is serious enough to affect a person’s physical capabilities for over a year or more, then it can be quite difficult calculating an appropriate settlement figure. Also, the type of injuries, as well as any medical bills incurred, plus recovery time, will play a role in the negotiation. Seasoned, serious personal injury attorneys have experience in making these calculations, so it’s best to utilize their skills.
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complex. That’s because there’s a lot of medical lingo, regulations and legalese that the average person simply isn’t familiar with. Dealing with a hospital or medical provider requires an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases, as they are the ones with the knowledge required to negotiate a fair settlement.
Exposure to toxins is a part of the modern world, and whether it’s contaminated groundwater or unsafe working conditions, many people are at risk. However, trying to bring a case against a company or industry requires the claimant arm him or herself thoroughly with all relevant scientific data. Again, this is a process most average people are not familiar with. Also, these cases are not easy to prove, and every last scrap of evidence must be uncovered. It is only by hiring a lawyer experienced in such cases that the claimant can have the best chance at winning an appropriate settlement.
Obstinate insurance companies
In many cases it’s possible for a person to file a claim on their own and draft a solid demand letter, but it’s equally possible the insurance company simply refuses to make a fair offer. Hiring a lawyer on contingency is a good way to maximize the chances of a fair settlement. The attorney in question will likely negotiate this settlement and then take a percentage of the monetary sum, usually between 20%-40%.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when considering hiring an attorney to handle a personal injury case. Those who do decide to go this route should ask for referrals from friends and acquaintances. Taking advantage of free consultations is also advised, as it gives a person a chance to gauge the potential attorney’s personality and skill level.