If you’re wondering if you need a personal injury lawyer, read on. We’ll explain when to seek counsel as well as the benefits of doing so.
In the event you suffer injury, you may need to hire a lawyer to represent you for a claim. Injury to a person can include a wide variety of injuries, including bodily, mental, and emotional injuries.
A personal injury claim is a legal action that an injured person brings against the person or persons who are believed to have caused some form of harm. By legal definition, “personal injury” is an injury that happens to a person as opposed to property.
These claims are often filed after a civil wrong unfairly leads to loss or harm to an individual. Pursuant to these laws, called “tort” laws, the injured person can claim compensation for past and anticipated costs, such as medical bills, medical disability, and otherwise diminished quality of life, among many other things. By definition, personal injury claims cannot include a claim for harm to personal or commercial property.
Examples of personal injury
Injury involving motor vehicles often means the driver or passenger is entitled to compensation from the responsible person or entity, particularly for injuries that result in expenses such as medical and therapy bills or loss of income from the accident. Personal injury claims can also include pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorized vehicles.
Accidents that occur during work hours that result in physical harm often result in the employer paying medical expenses. Consulting a legal professional is critical to help ensure that your rights will be protected and you will receive compensation.
In instances where a medical practitioner has been negligent or careless, resulting in injury to a patient, their actions may give rise to a medical malpractice personal injury claim. There are different types of medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis, improper treatment, errors during surgery, and mistakes with medication.
Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
With the complexity of personal injury claims in mind, it is extremely important to have legal guidance from a personal injury lawyer. It is not uncommon to need expert assistance, especially if your life has been altered significantly due to personal injury. A personal injury lawyer will represent your interests as they relate to settlement decisions with the at-fault individual and/or their insurance company.
Furthermore, it is important to initiate a personal injury claim sooner rather than later as there may be statutory requirements and deadlines associated with giving notice to the at-fault parties, and filing a claim in court. Seeking legal counsel as soon as possible also ensures your lawyer will have enough lead time to properly investigate and research the plaintiff case.
If you are still unsure whether you should consult a personal injury lawyer, the following considerations may help answer whether you should seek their counsel.
You experience severe injury and injuries
Insurance companies often consider the severity of your injury, the cost of medical bills, and the overall length of recovery to assess the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Thus, the amount of compensation you receive will depend in large part on the severity of your injury or injuries, and the length of recovery.
The insurance company will be limited in the amount of compensation it can offer, based on the applicable policy limits. Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help in the pursuit of adequate compensation that is proportional to the impact of the injury.
Insurance companies often employ experts to support their decisions, and they can be formidable. It is not uncommon for them to pull out all the stops to save insurance company money.
You suffered long-term or permanently disabling injury
If you require long-term care or have a disability as a result of a serious incident, a personal injury lawyer can help you calculate the value of the [case given] the legal limitations, include how the injuries may impact your earning capacity over time. A lawyer can assist with pursuing many forms of compensation for your personal injuries.
Multiple parties are or were involved
If multiple parties are potentially liable for your injuries, consulting a lawyer can help navigate complex issues involving who was most at fault, as well as determining application of numerous insurance coverages. If others were also injured and are likely pursuing personal injury claims, there may be less compensation to address all injured parties’ claims.
Insurance company denials
In some cases, insurance companies will decline to make a settlement offer, and if an offer is made, it may be unfair given the level of injuries. If communications with the at-fault party’s insurance company break down, contacting a personal injury lawyer can help ensure that the injured party achieves a just resolution.
Insurance companies often employ experts to support their decisions, and they can be formidable. It is not uncommon for them to pull out all the stops to save insurance company money. Having legal representation of your own can somewhat level the playing field in pursuing your best interest and compensation for your injury.
There is a wide array of injury scenarios and types of injury. Thus, the process of investigating, filing, and pursuing a personal injury claim can be too complex to handle on your own. If you are experiencing difficulty, or have questions regarding pursuit of a personal injury claim in the wake of your injury, seeking the counsel of a legal professional can alleviate the burden of the process and increase your chance of achieving compensation. Additionally, making the claim as early as possible gives your lawyer time to spend on your case and ensure the at-fault party is held accountable.
Remember, the level of compensation you receive will depend, in part, on the severity of your injury. Having an attorney represent you in negotiation, during litigation, and at trial is important to ensure your claim receives fair consideration, and ultimately that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
James Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.
If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.