Suffering an injury in an accident can turn your whole world upside down. Between doctor appointments, insurance claims, lost wages, and more, it can feel like too much to handle alone. You may wonder, at what point should I hire a personal injury lawyer to help me?
While you can technically file an injury claim yourself, doing so is extremely difficult without a lawyer’s expertise. There are teams of adjusters and lawyers working against your best interests at insurance companies. You can be sure that your lawyer fully and fairly compensates you.
Below, we discuss the most critical times to hire a personal injury lawyer to take on your case. If any of these factors apply to you, having an attorney at your side is vital.
Your Injuries Are Severe and Disabling
The more serious your injuries, the more beneficial it is to have an experienced personal injury lawyer helping you. Severe trauma, such as broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, and burns, often lead to high medical bills and extended recovery periods. These types of injuries may also cause partial or total disability, preventing you from returning to work.
Let’s compare a minor soft tissue injury to a more major injury. A sprained ankle or whiplash may heal within weeks. You can likely handle small claims like these alone. However, a traumatic brain injury or spinal fracture requires extensive treatment and rehabilitation. Permanent disabilities also result in loss of future income.
An attorney can pursue maximum compensation for severe, life-altering injuries and disabilities. They know how to calculate and document both economic and non-economic damages accurately. An experienced lawyer can make all the difference in getting you the settlement you deserve.
The Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
Seeking compensation for your injuries starts with filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, insurance providers are for-profit businesses. Their goal is to minimize payouts whenever possible.
As such, it is common for insurance adjusters to deny claims altogether. They may say injuries were preexisting or that their insured driver was not liable. Whatever their reasoning, a denial often indicates the need to hire legal help to appeal.
The insurance companies’ tactic is known to the personal injury lawyer. They can analyze the merits of your claim and the reasons for denial. If your attorney believes their rejection is unjustified, they fight the decision through the appeals process.
Multiple Parties May Be Liable
In some accident cases, multiple parties may share in the fault that caused your injuries. Identifying all negligent parties is crucial, as victims have the right to seek damages from each entity. However, without an attorney, holding all at-fault parties fully accountable can prove challenging.
Examples of Multiple Defendant Cases
Car accidents often involve multiple liable parties beyond just the drivers. Vehicle manufacturers, mechanics, government entities responsible for road conditions, and more could share fault. An attorney can build a strong case against all defendants.
With medical malpractice, more than one healthcare provider might be responsible for complications that cause further injury.
The Settlement Offer Seems Unfair
After investigating your claim, the insurance company will likely make you a settlement offer. However, do not assume their offer represents full and fair compensation. Offers tend to be lower than the claim’s actual value.
Without legal expertise, it is difficult to know if a settlement offer is reasonable. Personal injury lawyers carefully calculate case value based on factors like medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. They use their experience to determine if the insurer’s offer aligns with your losses.
If their offer comes up short, your lawyer begins negotiating for a higher settlement. They can highlight evidence warranting greater compensation under the law and fight tirelessly until reaching a fair settlement for your situation.
Navigating Legal Complexity
Personal injury laws can be complex. A Hermiston personal injury attorney well-versed in local regulations can explain how the law pertains to your unique case. They keep current on laws that impact injury victims so that they can maximize compensation based on your particular situation.
Meeting Filing Deadlines
For instance, Oregon has a two-year statute of limitations for filing personal injury lawsuits. This means victims have two years from the date of their accident to take legal action or lose the right to sue. An attorney can ensure you meet filing deadlines.
Contingency Fee Agreements
Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that, as the client, you pay nothing upfront. They only collect if they secure compensation in your case, taking a percentage of those winnings as payment. This system makes legal help accessible, even if you lack the funds to pay hourly legal fees.
When Legal Counsel Makes Sense for Accident Victims
As your case progresses, certain scenarios clearly indicate that legal help is needed. If you suffered severe, disabling injuries, if your claim was denied, or if multiple parties may be liable, speaking with an attorney benefits you. Navigating legal intricacies surrounding personal injury also favors working with a lawyer well-versed in these complexities.
The personal injury lawyers at Hess Law Office have years of combined experience strictly focused on helping injured victims in Oregon.
If any of the above resonates with your situation, schedule a free consultation. With an attorney guiding you, you can take the burden off yourself to focus on recovery.