If you’ve just been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence you may be asking yourself, what steps should I take next? The fact is that after an accident you may be faced with some difficult issues to parse through. First, you may be facing serious medical bills. An emergency room visit alone can cost several thousand dollars. Next, you may be missing time from work. Finally, your everyday enjoyment of life may be impacted due to your injuries. The good news is there are often solutions to these problems. In fact, in most cases, there is one or more insurance companies responsible for compensating you after an injury.
However, navigating the world of insurance claims can be like navigating a minefield. One wrong move can damage your ability to receive compensation for your losses. There are professionals that can help you with the process. Personal injury lawyers are experts in dealing with insurance companies and can guide you through the claims process. But you may be asking is it worth it to hire a personal injury lawyer? Here are five good reasons why you should consider hiring one after an injury.
The claims process is incredibly complicated. There are so many forms to complete and often there are deadlines that must be met for your claim to be considered. This is no accident. Insurance companies purposefully make the claims process complicated hoping you will get frustrated and give up. That’s where a personal injury lawyer can help. They are familiar with the claims process and can cut through all that red tape making sure your claims are filed properly and in a timely manner. However, you should make sure your attorney doesn’t charge extra for filing insurance claim forms on your behalf and that it’s included in their overall service.
They will do this under the guise of conducting a “fair investigation” into your accident. They will ask you to give statements about your accident and supply medical records documenting your injuries. While you think your claim is being evaluated fairly, they are pouring through those records looking for any reason to deny the claim. A personal injury attorney knows how to present your claim in a way that is most supportive of your position eliminating the opportunity for an insurance company to deny the claim.
With years of experience, a personal injury lawyer has usually dealt with similar cases and is in a good position to know how much money you’re entitled to receive for your claim and can fight to get you that amount of money. Studies have shown that on average a personal injury lawyer receives three times the amount of compensation for their clients than an individual that represents themselves.
The biggest concern an injured individual has when hiring an attorney is the cost. Not only are you dealing with medical bills and lost wages, but now you’re expected to come up with the money to hire a lawyer? The good news is that most lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means that the lawyer does not earn a fee unless they win your case. Further, they get paid out of the insurance proceeds. So, you never have to worry about coming out of your own pocket to hire an attorney. The fee an attorney eventually charges varies depending on the type of case. However, the most common amount of money that a lawyer charges is 1/3 of the recovery. For example, if a lawyer recovers $100,0000 dollars for you, their fee will be $33,000.
Not all insurance claims go smoothly, especially if there is a large amount of money at stake. It’s not uncommon for an insurance company to make a lowball offer or deny your claim outright. If this happens you may be left in the cold with your only chance of recovery being a lawsuit. This is definitely something the average person is not equipped to take on. The litigation process is complicated. It takes years to learn how to pursue a case in court. This is something that only an experienced personal lawyer should take on. By hiring a personal injury lawyer from the beginning, you will reduce the risk of your claim being denied because it will be filed properly and the insurance company also knows that denying the claim will likely lead to a long and expensive court battle. But if the insurance company refuses to accept responsibility for your accident, your lawyer will be there for you fighting in court to protect your rights and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Being injured in an accident is never expected and rarely something you are prepared to handle on your own. It’s never a bad idea to consult with a qualified personal injury attorney to see what your rights are and learn if you have a case where you are entitled to compensation. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. So, you have nothing to lose by speaking to one.
Steven Palermo is the managing partner for Palermo Law, Long Island’s Personal Injury Law Firm. He has been helping people receive compensation for their injuries for over 21 years. He focuses on cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents, and slip-and-fall injuries.
His book The Ultimate Guide to Handling New York Car Accident Claims details the ins and outs of a car accident claim in a simple, easy-to-read manner.