Know Your Rights: When You Should
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Every year, millions of people are hurt in car accidents and hundreds of thousands of people are hurt in other types of accidents, like workplace accidents, slips and falls, dog bites, and defective product malfunctions.
These accidental injuries could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, missed work, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an accident that was no fault of yours, you should know your rights.
You have the right to file a personal injury claim so that you can be adequately compensated for your injuries by the responsible party. Read on to learn more about when you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
You Were Injured
Even if you think you only received minor injuries from the accident, you can still file a claim against the responsible driver. Further, sometimes what appear to be minor injuries develop into more severe injuries later.
If you sustained serious injuries, you may need a lifetime of medical care. Traumatic brain injuries, injuries resulting in permanent disability, and the loss of a limb will result in dramatic changes to your lifestyle and limit, or entirely prevent, your ability to work in the future.
When this is the case, you need a settlement that is sufficient to cover your lifetime of medical care as well as the loss of income over your lifetime. A lawyer will be able to help determine what your case is worth and help negotiate a settlement that will adequately compensate you.
Fault Is Unclear
In some cases, it might be unclear who was at fault, whether it's you, someone else, or a combination of both of you. Both insurance companies will typically try to blame the other party and declare their client not at fault.
If you live in a state that is considered no-fault, then this is not an issue, as who was at fault doesn't matter—your insurance company has to pay out. However, if you live in an at-fault state, there must be a determination on who is responsible for the accident.
This is why you need an attorney. You might not have much success trying to take on the insurance companies on your own to prove that you were not at fault for the accident. Your attorney can, however, because they have experience in determining who is at fault and negotiating with insurance companies.
There Are Multiple Parties Involved
Another complicated situation is when there are multiple parties involved and fault is shared. If there are several cars involved in an accident and two of them are at fault, then it must be determined what percentage of the accident each of them caused. Once this is determined, then you will need to file a claim with both insurance companies.
This can get overwhelming and hard to manage, especially if you are also trying to recover from your injuries. Let an attorney handle this. They can determine who was at fault, how much fault they have, and work with all insurance companies to get you the compensation you deserve.
You Are Being Blamed
Insurance companies are worried about their bottom line. They want to make money and pay out as little as they can, so they will often deny that their client was at fault and blame you for the accident.
If you are being blamed for causing the accident but you know that you are not at fault, you'll need the assistance of an attorney to demonstrate that you are not responsible and the party that you are suing is in fact at fault.
This can be tough, as you are going up against huge companies with tons of experience in accident settlements. They have almost unlimited resources to fight their case, while you likely do not. A personal injury attorney working on a contingency basis can help get you what you need.
You can learn more here about how personal injury attorneys typically charge for their legal services.
The Insurance Company Will Not Provide a Fair Settlement
Overall, accident victims who have legal representation get larger settlements. In many cases, insurance companies will offer you a lowball settlement shortly after the accident. They want you to settle as quickly as possible for as little money as possible.
When you refuse to settle and draw out the case, it costs them money, which is why they will likely contact you shortly after the accident to offer you a settlement that is much lower than what your case is actually worth.
If you accept this settlement, you are out of luck in the future if your injuries are worse than you thought. Once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot go back to the insurance company and ask for more money later.
Know Your Rights: Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer if You Were Hurt in an Accident
If you were hurt in an accident, it is important to know your rights. One of those rights is to seek compensation for the injuries and property damage you sustained as a result of the accident. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn if you have a strong case and how they can help you recover the damages you are entitled to.
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