What Should You Consider Before Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You would wonder what a personal injury lawyer does and you will be surprised to know that these lawyers are among the highest paid in the legal fraternity. Personal injury lawyers take on cases where one individual alleges physical or mental damage due to another person or persons. These may include cases of defamation, wrongful death, pedestrian accidents, brain injuries, motorcycle or bicycle accidents or even slip and fall accidents.
Do I need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Say for instance, you’ve had an accident and would like to claim your insurance. It is best that you engage a personal injury lawyer to ensure you get your rightful compensation. Insurance claims are like minefields and you wouldn’t want to step out alone without experts by your side. Here are a few reasons why it is important that you hire a personal injury lawyer instead of taking your case lightly and pursuing it all alone:
1. Negotiations with Insurance Companies
One of the steps in the procedure of recovering your insurance claim is having a discussion with your insurance companies. Having an expert by your side ensures that you are not duped of your rightful amount and the compensation towards your medical bills and towards the damage sustained on yourself or your vehicle is paid on time by the company. It will be difficult and time consuming for you to pursue and achieve this on your own and this is where personal injury lawyers can help.
2. Advice on Statutory Limitations
There are several statutory limitations, in case of insurance claims, which you may not be aware of. For instance, in case of a medical malpractice, it is essential that a doctor is consulted within a specific time period. A personal injury lawyer can advise you on such things and help you tackle these legal hurdles in time.
Also in case of personal injuries, it is important that you consult the right physician. Having a personal injury lawyer will help you get the right advice on which doctor to consult, the right medical reports to be made. Your lawyer can direct you to the right physician who can give you the required documents and also serve as a witness in case of a trial.
3. Prepare Legally
Insurance companies have their teams of legal experts to deal with different cases. To get a level playing field for insurance claims with these companies, it is important that you hire a personal injury lawyer to present your case. A lawyer will be better acquainted with the laws that apply to your case and can prepare your case in a manner that will help you get the rightful insurance amount.
Also, a lot of personal injury lawyers have their own staff that can evaluate your damage, police and medical reports and tell you the compensation amount you are eligible for. All these factors add up to the fact that personal injury lawyers can help you build a stronger case for yourself as compared to doing it alone.
How to Find a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Most people are hardly aware that there are lawyers who specialise in personal injuries and related damages. If you are someone who is looking for a lawyer who can help you with a personal injury case, here are some ways you can find a lawyer near you:
- Check Yellow Pages or Local Directory: You can look up the listings in the Yellow Pages or local directory and find bar associations or independent practicing lawyers near you.
- Ask for Referrals: Ask around for contacts from friends, colleagues and family who have been in a similar situation. Referral works very well as you have genuine feedback and you can take inputs from your contact on how to work with the said lawyer.
- Check Online: Look up the internet for personal injury lawyers near you. You will find several options on the internet, but it is important that you keep in mind factors such as location, fees and reviews in mind before shortlisting the lawyer of your choice.
Look for someone who is based close to your residence or work place so that you do not waste time in commuting back and forth and instead invest the time in necessary discussions with your lawyer. Also do remember read the reviews from his past clients on the internet. This will give you a fair idea of how efficient the lawyer is and how much he can help you with your case.
Are There Cases Where a Lawyer Will Not Take My Case?
While accident and personal injury cases are usually genuine and do get the attention of lawyers, there are certain situations in which a lawyer may refuse to take up your case. So, before you reach out to a lawyer it is important that you evaluate the following points in your mind.
- Whose Fault is It?
You may have been in an accident and you may have sustained injuries, but whose fault was it. In case of an accident where you are at fault because of rash driving, drunk driving or similar situation where you can prove the other person’s fault, a lawyer may refuse to take up your case.
- Severity of Injury
The severity of the injury is an important factor that lawyers will take into consideration while deciding on your case. If the injuries are severe, the compensation will be a sizeable amount which decides the fees of the lawyer. In case of minor injuries, the compensation will be minor too and hence there might not be much interest among lawyers.
It is important to understand that personal injury lawyers pick up cases on a contingency basis and hence the decisions they take regarding the acceptance of any case is purely business driven. A lawyer has to invest time and energy into each case and hence will look at an equivalent remuneration for his efforts.
There are several cases which are not economically viable and hence they are turned down by lawyers.
So if you wish to hire a lawyer for a case you are in, keep these pointers in mind and then reach out to a lawyer near to you to seek legal help.