Do you need a personal injury attorney?

People who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or other wrongful conduct, often ask whether or not they really need a lawyer to represent them.

The following information is important to understand in deciding whether to “go it alone.”

Insurance adjusters many times will go to great lengths to keep an injured victim from hiring an attorney to represent them.

Columbia Personal Injury AttorneyHowever, where a more serious and/or permanent injury has been sustained, an individual who does not have the training and experience in personal injury law, is not on an even playing field with the claims representative. Claim representatives are professionals who have specialized training, experience, and must operate within strict insurance company guidelines.  Insurance adjusters many times will go to great lengths to keep an injured victim from hiring a personal injury attorney to represent them.

The insurance company is motivated to do only one thing, which is to settle your claim as cheaply as possible.

Insurance adjusters have been known to “advise” injured persons (claimants) that they do not need a lawyer, that a lawyer will only cost them more money that the insurance company would gladly otherwise pay to them, and that they, the insurance claims person, will take care of the claimant and see to it that they receive every penny of compensation that they are legally entitled to.  This is the case even though the insurance companies’ own studies show that claimants represented by an attorney receive more in settlement than those who did not have attorneys, even after attorneys’ fees and expenses.  Various insurance companies are currently being sued in several states across the country for using such tactics as part of their claims process. Suffice it to say that the relationship between an injured victim and the wrongdoer’s insurance company is an adverse relationship.  The insurance company is motivated to do only one thing, which is to settle your claim as cheaply as possible, preferably with you coming away believing that the adverse insurance company took good care of you.

Personal injury cases can be a lot more complicated than they may appear on the surface.

In today’s environment of much negative publicity about phony injury claims, insurance companies and defendants generally fight cases and do not make quick, easy settlements, except in very small cases.  While this may not have always been the case, it is certainly common in the current state of affairs.  As is also often the case, free advice from family and friends on a personal injury claim is easy to come by. However, as is true with most things in life, personal injury cases can be a lot more complicated than they may appear on the surface.

For example, it is critical to sort out and identify all potentially liable parties at an early stage in a case. There is an applicable Statute of Limitations that applies to all personal injury claims. This means that if the case is not filed in Court within a specific period of time, the claimant will be barred forever from pursuing the claim or from ever recovering for the injuries sustained in the accident.  Cases require a lot of work prior to being ready to actually file in Court and personal injury attorneys are often not willing to get into a case late in the game or after a person has tried to handle their claim on their own with bad results.

Each case is unique, and there is no magic number or formula to determine how much a particular claim is worth.  Only an experienced professional can help in determining the value of your case and what a fair settlement would be prior to litigation.

An insurance company will find every way imaginable to avoid responsibility for the full extent of a victim’s injuries.

Although insurance companies in some cases do admit fault, they always very hotly contest the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by the injury victim.  An insurance company will find every way imaginable to avoid responsibility for the full extent of a victim’s injuries. For example, insurance companies often claim that an injury was a result of some pre-existing condition, or caused by a previous or subsequent trauma, or that the injuries are otherwise not related to the accident involved, or (of course) that the claimant is grossly exaggerating his injuries in hopes of getting a “windfall.”  Experience is required to develop the evidence necessary to prove the full extent of a victim’s injuries.

Experience in the personal injury field is important.

For example, just identifying all available automobile insurance coverages in a motor vehicle case is sometimes not a simple matter.  In the case of an uninsured or underinsured driver, a number of different policies from other drivers involved in the accident and their relatives may provide coverage. Notice provisions under various insurance policies and what is necessary in order to coordinate presentation of claims under various types of insurance coverages is a very tricky area of the law and can have devastating consequences if not handled properly. Experience in the personal injury field is important in accurately identifying potential policies that may provide coverage as well as determining how the various policies properly interrelate. Subrogation claims from health insurance carriers must also be investigated to determine their validity, as well as any “liens” or claims against the claim from employers, the government, or others.

An injured victim has nothing to lose and much to gain by contacting us for a free legal consultation concerning an injury claim.

In summary, an injured victim has nothing to lose and much to gain by contacting us for a free legal consultation concerning an injury claim.

Please contact The Hines & Wilson Law Firm by calling us toll free at (877) 473-4500 for a free, no obligation consultation with a qualified personal injury attorney from our office.