Not all motor vehicle accidents will require hiring a personal injury attorney to handle the case. Generally, a personal injury attorney can help with automobile accident claims. However, in certain instances spending the money on an attorney will not be necessary. First, there are two different fee arrangements you can make with an attorney to handle your claim.
First, you can hire an attorney on an hourly rate. Second, an attorney may be willing to work on a contingency fee. When an attorney works on an hourly rate they will usually require a retainer. Once paid, the attorney will bill you based upon an hourly rate and subtract the bills from the prepaid retainer. Once the retainer is exhausted, the attorney will require you to replenish the retainer.
When an attorney works on a contingency basis, the attorney will not charge a fee upfront. Upon resolution of your claim, your attorney will be compensated by receiving a percentage of your recovery. Thirty-three and 1/3 percent is the standard contingency fee. However, there are a few instances where that amount may be different.
Where you have not suffered a serious injury, an attorney will not likely accept the case on a contingency fee. In those situations, you will either have to pay the attorney an hourly fee or handle the case by yourself. If you find that dealing with the insurance companies is too difficult or time-consuming you might hire an attorney to complete the necessary claims paperwork to ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to. Also, if you feel that the insurance company is not treating you fairly or just so disorganized that you are getting nowhere with your claim, you may want to get an attorney involved.
If you have suffered an injury, you may want to hire an attorney and depending on the seriousness of the injury, the attorney may work on a contingency basis. If your injuries are serious, such as fractures, brain injuries, disfiguring injuries or other types of serious injuries, it is always advisable to consult with and hire a personal injury lawyer.
A lawyer working on a contingency basis will almost always result in you recovering more money than if you go it alone. Attorneys have the experience and resources to evaluate and pursue a personal injury claim for you. You may not even understand the full extent of your injuries and the financial implications of such injuries and may be underestimating what would be fair compensation.
Ultimately, hiring a personal injury attorney is a personal decision you will face should you be involved in an accident. I would just remind you that an insurance company has one goal in dealing with your claim: to save money. Therefore, they will use every means at their disposal to limit the benefits they pay you. An attorney knows all the issues that will come up during your claim and is familiar with the tricks that insurance companies use to save money on your claim. Further, most attorneys offer free consultations to discuss your claim. So, you have nothing to lose by consulting with an attorney except about an hour of your time.