Do I Need a Lawyer for My Personal Injury Claim?
January 26, 2012
If you have suffered an injury you may be asking yourself, “Do I really need a lawyer?” There are certainly times where you may be able to handle your auto accident claim by yourself; however, as personal injury cases become more complex the answer to this question is a resounding, “Yes.” The following are five reasons why we recommend that you strongly consider hiring an Atlanta injury attorney.
A lawyer will know the value of your case based upon experience and research
How can you negotiate with the insurance company when you do not know the value of the case? I have had people “brag” to me that they were able to settle their own case without the need for a lawyer. When I ask follow up questions about the claim and what it settled for, I almost always come to the conclusion that they got considerably less than the claim was worth. Why? First and foremost, the insurance company is not your friend. Their job is to settle the claim as cheaply as possible. This does not mean being fair. This means offering you the least amount of money that will get you to sign a release. Second and more importantly, how do you know value of your case if you do not know what other cases have settled for in the past. Attorneys have access to a variety of resources which help determine the value of a case. More importantly, an attorney has experience in handling these types of cases.
What you receive will be determined by what has to be paid out to others
Many times I am able to get a client more money, not by increasing the offer from the insurance company, but by getting others to take less money out of the settlement proceeds. When you are involved in a personal injury claim, you will incur medical bills. Even if your medical bills are paid by health insurance, there may be times where health insurance has a right to receive their money back. A good attorney will advise you how to pay back the minimum amount of money possible so that you receive more money for yourself.
The only thing that keeps the insurance company honest is litigation
A good trial lawyer knows how to try a case and win. If you are negotiating with the insurance company on your own, the insurance company knows that you have to accept the offer of settlement or file a lawsuit. If you do not have a lawyer then the insurance company knows that you are extremely unlikely to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies know which lawyers try cases and will offer more money to those clients with lawyers that have a history of trying cases.
A good lawyer knows that there may be other sources of insurance coverage
One of the most complicated areas of personal injury law is how to track down the right insurance policies. In most personal injury cases, a variety of insurance policies come into play. Strategically making sure that each policy is set up to pay properly is the hallmark of a good lawyer. I have never met a client who understands the intricacy of insurance law as it relates to personal injury claims. Only a good trial lawyer can tell you how to maximize the amount you receive by strategically going after different insurance policies. It can mean the difference of tens of thousands of dollars.
A lawyer will make sure that you get the proper medical treatment for your injuries
Many times clients have come to my office after months of trying to handle a claim on their own. What is striking about these types of claims is the lack of consistent medical care that the client has received. Your claim rises and falls on the medical documentation regarding your injuries. Said another way, the script for your case is the medical records. If your injury, complaint, ailment, diagnosis, prognosis, etc. is not contained in the medical records, then it does not exist to the insurance company.
If it does not exist, then you will not receive compensation for it. An attorney will make sure that you are getting the proper medical treatment and documentation so that all of your injuries are clearly definable and presentable to the insurance company. If you cannot point to the medical records and show the insurance company your injury, you will not be compensated for it.