With an increasing number of accidents and constant insurance ads flashing on the screen, it’s not only sensible to have an insurance policy, but it’s also the law. Advertisements sometimes also lead people to seek a personal injury attorney as soon as someone’s in an accident. There are many reasons why hiring a personal injury attorney might not suit you.
While it may be a daunting task to go through a trial, sometimes there’s no need for a personal injury lawyer in the first place. You may have been in an accident that wasn’t your fault and suffered minor injuries, for example, or you may be able to handle negotiations with the insurance adjuster on your own. There are many scenarios where it’s best to go alone after a motor accident.
To help you determine whether hiring an attorney is the right choice for your situation, let’s cover some of the signs that indicate you don’t need an additional advocate on your side. Of course, please keep in mind that these situations don’t apply to everyone, so if you’re still unsure or have questions about your case, don’t hesitate to call a personal injury law firm. They can offer a free strategy session to learn more about your case and advise you on the next steps!
Injuries Are Minor and Don’t Require Much Medical Care.
If you have only minor injuries, it’s not worth hiring personal injury lawyers. In general, if the injuries are relatively minor and you do not require much medical care (or any at all), it may be easier to handle the claim independently.
Suppose your injury or illness is minor enough that it does not significantly impact your daily life and routine. In that case, it may be best for you to try handling the claim yourself first before hiring an attorney. If this is something that sounds feasible for you—or if this approach has worked well for other similar situations in the past—then, by all means, go ahead with it!
In contrast, an injury is considered significant and can be claimed with the help of a personal injury lawyer, if:
- There’s been a loss of a companion
- The accident has left a psychological impact on you as a survivor
- You or your companion have suffered catastrophic brain or spine injuries
- The accident has caused the amputation
Handling the claims process on your own in such cases where you’re physically or emotionally unwell to handle the situation on your own seems daunting or impossible without legal guidance from someone who knows what they’re doing.
Only Property Damage Was Involved
If you were only involved in property damage and no one was injured, your case is generally not worth hiring a lawyer. This can be confusing because it seems like you should need help if you’re involved in an accident with someone else’s car. However, most state laws have something called “no-fault” insurance that covers property damage due to accidents. For example, suppose someone rear-ends your vehicle or scratches it while parking next to you at the grocery store. In that case, their insurance company will pay for the repairs without regard for who caused the incident (for example, who stopped too quickly).
The Other Party Is Clearly at Fault
If the other party is clearly at fault, you may not need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Suppose there’s no question about who’s at fault for your injuries and what caused them. In that case, it will be much easier for you to get compensation from the insurance company or responsible party directly.
The reason is that when the opposite party is at fault, they will try their best to arrange settlement negotiations out of the court, as trials can be expensive. Depending on your case, an insurance company might pay you more in court than through court negotiations.
In this case, contacting an attorney can still be worthwhile because they can assist you in filing claims or negotiating with insurance companies. But if you’re already confident that your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence (or outright recklessness), then hiring a lawyer may not help your case as much as simply seeking out compensation yourself—and cutting out the middleman.
The Accident Was Your Fault
If you were at fault for the accident, you might not be able to file a claim. If this is the case, your insurer will pay for all medical expenses and repairs on your behalf. Your own insurance company can also recover any out-of-pocket expenses from the other party’s insurance company through subrogation (which means they’ll get back whatever they paid).
Suppose you are found to be partially or wholly responsible for causing an accident. In that case, there’s no guarantee that your personal injury lawyer will be able to recover damages for you. Even if he does succeed in getting some money back from the other driver’s insurance company, it could turn out that he’s paid more than he was due because of his fees and additional costs related to bringing suit against them on your behalf.
You Can Handle Negotiations With the Insurance Adjuster
Insurance adjusters are trained to negotiate with injured people and their lawyers. They’re good at it, too—they want to settle your claim for a quick buck, and they know how to get you to accept less than what you deserve. If your injury claim is worth $100K, but the adjuster offers $50K, they will take the lower offer if they feel that is all they can get out of you.
Many insurance firms don’t indulge in such habits of pressuring clients for low settlements. Suppose you think that your insurance adjuster is fair with the price they offer you. In that case, it’s best to take it instead of rushing to a personal injury law firm. Once a personal injury lawsuit begins, there might be a possibility that the tables may turn, and you don’t get what you were initially being offered. Such a scenario depends upon your case but is possible.
You Know What Fair Compensation Looks Like
Suppose you know precisely how much time you’ll need to recover from your injuries and understand what fair compensation is. In that case, it’s probably not a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer. If this sounds like you, then there are a few things that can happen:
- You might decide that the lawyer is taking too much money out of your settlement for their fees. They’re just getting paid the same way doctors get paid—by billing insurance companies.
- You might think they are charging you too much for expenses like office rent or advertising costs when in reality, those costs were already covered by premiums collected from insurance companies (and since personal injury lawyers work on contingency fee agreements with their clients, every dime they earn goes straight into their pockets).
A personal injury attorney charges 33% of the claim that they help you recover. It might be too expensive, especially when your settlement negotiations fail to offer you a larger settlement to cover the contingency fee.
Your Injury Attorney Is Inattentive
While hiring the first attorney you talk to may be tempting, that can be a mistake. Just like doctors, lawyers have different personalities and styles of working. Some are more aggressive than others, and some will spend more time getting to know your case and goals before they take it on.
It’s essential for an injury lawyer who will represent you in court or in negotiations with insurance companies to understand your family, work-life and personal life. Hence, they know how best to navigate this process with them in mind. They should also understand your financial situation to advise whether it’s worth going forward with litigation or settling out of court.
Suppose that’s not the attention and time you’re receiving from your personal injury attorney. In that case, it’s better to go on your own. You can look for other attorneys if you’re still not confident in your abilities to claim. Still, you most certainly don’t need an absent attorney by your side to get you through such a challenging experience.
Your Injury Attorney Is Inexperienced in Handling Cases Similar to Yours
You may have been in a situation where you were injured and had to find personal injury lawyers. You might have found one online, or maybe you heard about them through friends and family. Either way, here are some things that you should be aware of when choosing your lawyer:
- How long has the lawyer been practicing? If they’ve only been doing this for two years and haven’t had any experience working with clients who have been hurt through no fault of their own yet, then there’s a good chance that they’ll be more harmful than helpful. Trial experience matters with cases as intricate as a personal injury lawsuit.
- What kind of experience do they have working with cases like yours? Lawyers will sometimes talk about how many cases similar to yours they’ve handled—but those numbers can often mean very little if the attorney cannot prove how effective those past cases were. Also, keep in mind that some lawyers are better at certain types of law than others (i.e., medical malpractice versus car accidents). Hence, you need not be the only factor in the kind of case you’re dealing with but also who would handle it best!
You Don’t Need a Personal Injury Attorney, but Consultation Can Be Helpful.
You should consult with a lawyer before making decisions about your personal injury claim. There are some reasons for this:
- You don’t want to lose money if you’re injured in an accident. If you don’t get legal advice, the insurance company may offer a too low settlement and leave out important information about how much money you should be paid for your injuries. Your lawyer can help ensure that you don’t accept an unfair deal from the insurance company.
- You want to avoid going through litigation unnecessarily or being forced into it by the insurance company when it would have been better to settle out of court. In many cases, lawyers can negotiate settlements outside of court where both parties agree on compensation for their claim without going through legal proceedings! But if litigation does occur, having an experienced attorney on your side will make sure things go smoothly and keep one side from taking advantage of another during negotiations or trial proceedings.
There are times when hiring a personal injury lawyer doesn’t make sense. You can do it yourself.
If you have the time and resources, negotiating with the other driver or their insurance company is another option. This process can be time-consuming, but it may also be effective if you want fair compensation without going to court.
You could try to get a lawyer on contingency (if there’s no recovery, they won’t collect anything). If you decide to go this route, make sure that your case has enough merit before starting legal proceedings. You don’t waste anyone’s time or money pursuing an unrealistic goal — especially since contingent fees can mean an attorney may be more careful in accepting your case.
Finally, some cases are too small for most firms’ minimum fees; if yours falls into that category and doesn’t involve significant injuries or property damage (or both), then it might be best not to hire one!
So, should you hire personal injury lawyers for your accident or injury? We recommend that you talk to a personal injury attorney in San Francisco about the details of your case. An experienced attorney will evaluate your situation and help you understand the next steps you can take.