You’ve been hurt in an accident. The TV commercial says to call right away and get a lawyer. Is that necessary? It certainly could be, but not every injury requires a lawyer. There are several things to consider before deciding whether or not you need a lawyer. Don’t sign anything or accept any kind of payment until you know for sure. Once you’ve settled with an insurance company, hiring a lawyer may no longer be an option.
Here are some things to consider when deciding if you need a personal injury lawyer.
- Damages incurred. Minor injuries do not require a lawyer. Medical expenses easily covered by insurance settlements do not require a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer is needed in cases where injuries are severe or long-lasting. Did you have a hospital stay or surgery? Will there be long-term pain or suffering? Will this hinder your ability to work? Have you suffered emotional trauma? When it is not easy to pinpoint the exact cost of care or a timeline to full healing, a professional may better serve you with their experience.
- Case clarity. Insurance companies like to know exactly who is at fault. This isn’t always cut and dry. There isn’t always a citation issued to prove fault. When injuries are major and details of the accident are mucky, more information is needed. This is when a personal injury lawyer is needed. A lawyer has more access to accumulate evidence. Things that may be necessary but hard for you to get on your own could be eyewitness accounts or traffic or security camera footage.
- Multiple parties. Knowing who is at fault is key, but when it’s multiple parties things get complex. An accident could be a driver’s fault but also contributed to by a nearby business’s neglect. Maybe a corner business had overgrown bushes blocking the other driver’s view. Or perhaps a business inadvertently ran their sprinklers in below-freezing temperatures, creating unexpected ice on the road. The more people involved, the more complicated things get. A lawyer brings experience and knowledge that helps navigate the situation.
If you’re still not sure if you need a personal injury lawyer, consider a free consultation. Lawyers are happy to assess the situation and let you know if they could help your situation. It’s never a bad idea to at least seek advice before making a final decision.