If you or a loved one is injured, one of the first questions that you need to answer is do we need to get a personal injury attorney?
After practicing personal injury law for years, my answer is in most cases, yes. Here are the reasons:
1. Dealing with Insurance Companies
After any injury, car accident, slip and file dog bite, etc., the responsible party’s insurance company usually has one mission and that is to settle your claim for the least money they can possibly pay you. Insurance companies try to settle injury claims quickly to avoid paying you the full value of your case. Insurance adjusters will usually try to entice you with a few hundred dollars. If you refuse, or tell them that you are still in pain and need to get more medical treatment, they will usually take a harsh stance and insinuate that you are faking.
In fact, dealing with an insurance company on your own is like bringing knife to a gun fight. Insurance adjusters are well trained to take steps to devalue your case. Usually the first step is to get a recorded statement. In California, an insurance adjuster cannot record your statement without your permission. So the adjuster will tell you that to resolve your claim they need a statement and they need to tape it. Once you say yes, they turn the recorder on and start pelting you with questions.
Insurance adjusters will in many instances tell you not to get an attorney. They will try to scare you by telling you that attorneys will take all your settlement money and that they will make your case take longer. They tell you those things because they know that once you hire an attorney, their ability to take advantage of you is over.
2. Getting the Medical Treatment You Need
Injuries can happen to anyone, the medically insured as well as those that are not fortunate enough to have health insurance. Let’s say that you or a loved one do not have health insurance, or that even if you do, your deductible is so high that it prevents you from getting the care that you need. What are you to do?
A personal injury attorney can help. We have access to medical providers that will give you the treatment you need to get better. From chiropractic care to surgery and everything in between, we can make sure that your injuries are addressed.
3. Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
As experienced personal injury lawyers, we know how to build your case, how to negotiate your case with an insurance company, and, if necessary, how to take your case to trial. While it is possible to negotiate your claim with an insurance company yourself, insurance companies will typically do everything they can to take advantage of you and to effect the lowest possible settlement, while attempting to elicit statements from you that will damage your case.
If you’re injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, and you don’t hire an attorney, there is no guarantee your medical bills will be paid or that you will be justly compensated. Insurance companies and their legal teams are well versed on how to minimize settlements claims in bodily injury cases, putting you at a decided disadvantage if you attempt to challenge them on your own.
Personal injury laws and the court system is complex. Unless you are a law student or an attorney, you are likely unfamiliar with all the laws pertaining to personal injury claims. In other words, you probably do not know what you are legally entitled to, and could therefore be taken advantage of by an insurance adjuster.
You also need to be cognizant of the fact that many companies will automatically offer a lower settlement to persons not working with a personal injury attorney. For this reason, it is important to hire personal injury lawyers even before you have been offered a settlement.
If you still are not sure if you need a personal injury lawyer, or if you need more information, the best thing you can do for yourself is call today for a free consultation.