12 Big Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer After an Accident
There are over 135,000 personal injury lawyers employed across America. At first thought, you may not understand why so many people go into personal injury Lawyer. When you look at the numbers of accidents or injuries, however, it becomes evident.
There are around six million car accidents each year. In these accidents, about three million people are injured. Approximately two million experience a permanent disability.
More than four million people are bit by dogs each year. Around one in five of those bites go on to become infected. The rate of dog bites has continued to increase dramatically since the early 1990s.
These aren’t all the cases that might be handled by a personal injury attorney, and not every case requires legal representation. Most personal injury cases would benefit from professional assistance, however. Why?
Continue reading to learn twelve big benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer. Also, learn valuable information on how to find the best legal representation in your area.
1. Provide Guidance
After you’ve been in a car accident, were injured at work, or got bit by a dog, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Most people feel uncertain about what they’re supposed to do next. How are you going to pay for quality medical care or damages done to your property?
Working with a personal injury lawyer means you get guidance on every step of the process. These are professionals who deal with these situations day in and day out. They’ll guide you on everything, from how to file a claim with the other person’s insurance company to where you can find quality medical attention.
2. Handles Paperwork
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in personal injury claims. Not only is this paperwork time-consuming, but it can also be confusing. It can be challenging to ensure each new batch of paperwork gets filled out and filed in a timely fashion while dealing with everything else in your life.
An attorney can handle all paperwork involved in your personal injury case. They can help you fill it out appropriately and file it on time. This can save you many headaches and allow you to focus on other things in your life.
3. Can Help You Understand the Compensation To Expect
Sure, there are online calculators to help you figure out how much compensation you’re likely entitled to. But these are only references and aren’t always accurate. A personal injury lawyer can look at the details of your exact case to help you understand what compensations you may be entitled to.
Many factors come into how much compensation you should get. Primary considerations include the costs of medical bills and the extent of property damage. Work missed as a direct result of the car accident, or future medical treatment costs may also be considered in some cases.
Understanding how much compensation to expect before the negotiation process is essential. Without this information, you may be tempted to take a settlement offer significantly lower than you should. Or you may open negotiations up with an amount much too high.
4. Provide Assistance if a Lawsuit Needs Filing
Not every personal injury case requires a lawsuit to be filed. Many cases settle outside of court with the assistance of your lawyer. Unfortunately, there are some situations where a lawsuit is necessary.
Your lawyer can help you understand if and when litigation needs to begin. They can also represent you in court when the time comes. Throughout the litigation process, your lawyer can explain legal terms or processes you aren’t familiar with.
5. Offer Valuable Experience
Personal injury attorneys have experience that could prove valuable to your case. Since they deal with personal injury cases regularly, they’ve probably seen situations similar to yours. The experience gained in those similar cases can be applied to yours.
When hiring a personal injury attorney, be sure to ask how many cases like yours they’ve handled. There are various types of personal injury cases, so you want to ensure you find a lawyer who has dealt with those like yours specifically.
A few of the most common types of personal injury cases include car accidents, dog bites, and work-related accidents. Other examples include medical malpractice and nursing home neglect. Of course, this isn’t an all-inclusive list, and other types of personal injury cases do exist.
6. Grant You Peace of Mind
The entire personal injury process can feel overwhelming or even frightening. First, you’re injured through no fault or your own and may have extensive property damage besides. Then, you need to file a claim (and sometimes a lawsuit) in a process that feels lengthy and confusing.
There’s no reason to go through this alone. Working with a reliable attorney can help grant you peace of mind. It lets you know you have help, are doing everything the right way, and that your claim will be processed in a timely fashion.
7. Can Help You Negotiate
Insurance claims don’t want to pay you any more than they have to. If they can get away with not paying you, they will. It’s their job and how insurance company’s business models operate.
When the insurance company gives you an offer, even if it’s low, you may be tempted to take it. This is normal because personal injury cases often lead to some level of financial difficulties. With medical bills piling up, household things to take care of, and potentially missing work, it’s easy to feel like any settlement is better than nothing.
A personal injury knows how to navigate low claim offers better. They can provide evidence that proves you’re entitled to a higher claim. Plus, they aren’t hesitant to tell the insurance company (or other parties in a lawsuit) that the claim amount isn’t enough.
8. Work off Contingency-Based Fees
Many people worry about how they’ll pay for a personal injury lawyer. As already mentioned, most people involved in personal injury disputes are already suffering financially to some extent. The good news is, you don’t need to pay an attorney up front in most situations.
Most personal injury lawyers work off contingency-based fees. This means that they earn a percentage of your total claim amount versus getting a flat payment. This works out in your best interest for a few different reasons.
First and foremost, it means you can get the assistance of an attorney even if you have no funds for it right now. The fees vary from one lawyer to the next, but they’re not exorbitant. Most lawyers will charge a slightly higher percentage when a case needs to go to court versus when it’s settled out of court.
Another significant benefit is that you know your personal injury lawyer will do everything they can to get you fair compensation. These professionals won’t get paid unless you do. To put it simply, your attorney’s payday will depend entirely on you getting yours.
9. Level the Playing Field
The other side will have legal representation, which can leave you very outmatched if you don’t. All car insurance companies especially for young adults have a team of lawyers to help them fight claims or get representation in court. You don’t want to try fighting a professional if there isn’t one on your side, too.
10. Handle Communications
Personal injury cases can involve a lot of back and forth. There are phone calls from the insurance company and to the doctor. You need medical records from hospitals or doctors and the police report from the accident if applicable.
This is likely only the beginning of communications that involve your claim.
Your attorney can handle most, if not all, communications about your case. This frees up your time for more important things. You can focus on recovery and your everyday life while knowing your case is still being handled.
11. Can Fight Claim Stalls and Denials
Insurance claims are meant to be handled in a steady, time-efficient manner. The claim should move from one stage in the process to the next with no major disruptions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work this way.
Sometimes, claims will stall. There are several reasons this might happen, including:
- You didn’t file paperwork or other necessary documentation in time
- The insurance agent is trying to stall
- The insurance agent isn’t giving your claim the appropriate attention
- There was a communication error
This isn’t an all-inclusive list. There may be other times where a claim stalls. When this happens (and it isn’t your fault), your attorney can apply pressure to the insurance agent to speed things up.
But what about claim denials? There are few reasons for legitimate claim denials, but the insurance company may try to get away with it anyway. As mentioned before, these companies don’t want to pay you if they don’t have to.
Without legal representation, you may feel like a claim denial is the final step of the process. With an attorney, you’ll understand you can (in most cases) file an appeal. Your lawyer can handle the appeal process for you, too.
12. Allows You To Focus On Your Recovery
When you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, your recovery is the most important thing. Some people will spend significant time in the hospital, and others will have ongoing physical therapy. As a result, doctor appointments can end up taking a lot of your time.
Hiring an attorney allows you to focus on your recovery, pure and simple. You can put effort into feeling better while knowing your lawyer is working on getting you the best settlement amount possible.
How To Find a Reliable Personal Injury Attorney
You know the biggest benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney, but now all lawyers are created equally. How can you be sure to hire your best option?
Start with an online search for “personal injury lawyers near me.” This should bring up a list of attorneys practicing in your area.
Go to each attorney’s website to verify they do practice personal injury law. Then, ensure they practice in your area. Not all attorneys can practice in any location.
Create a list of lawyers who meet these two basic requirements. Then, you’ll want to read some online reviews. The experience previous clients had is an excellent indicator of how your experience will be.
Any attorneys with primarily negative reviews should be stricken from your list. If your list is still long, consider crossing off attorneys with less than ten (or twenty) reviews. Few reviews could mean limited experience.
Next, check the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed. If complaints were filed, you should also be able to see if they were settled. Any attorneys with multiple complaints filed should be crossed from your list.
Of the remaining options, compare contingency fee rates. When you believe you find the right lawyer, be sure to check them out over the phone or in person. It’s crucial to receive a thorough consultation before signing a retainer agreement.
It’s also important to note that the number of options can vary significantly based on your location. Some people may have only two or three lawyers representing their area. Others could have as many as a couple dozen.
More Questions About Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Numerous people file personal injury claims each year. For these people, hiring a reliable attorney to assist them with the process is highly beneficial. The twelve big benefits listed above are only a few prime examples.
Do you have more questions about hiring a personal injury lawyer?
Check out our other blogs. You’ll find articles on personal injury law, insurance claims, and related topics to help you learn more on the subject.
Biswajit Rakshit is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write on various topics.