Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Being involved in an accident that results in serious injuries can raise questions about whether or not filing a personal injury lawsuit is a good idea.
And if one does decide to pursue a lawsuit, they may have other questions about the personal injury claims process, including whether or not it’s advantageous to hire a personal injury lawyer.
If you have been injured and are on the fence about hiring a personal injury lawyer, here’s a brief overview of what you need to know, including the benefits of hiring a lawyer, situations where you may not need a lawyer, what working with a lawyer is like, and how to find a personal injury lawyer --
Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
The first thing to consider when making a decision about whether or not to hire a personal injury lawyer is that hiring a personal injury lawyer is almost always beneficial; those who work with lawyers tend to have more satisfactory case results and recoup larger settlements.
While this is not a rule--working with a lawyer does not guarantee a win or a large settlement--it is the general trend.
When you work with a personal injury lawyer, you will experience the benefits of:
- A legal scholar who can explain to you the rules and regulations regarding your case;
- An advocate who cares about your best interests;
- A professional who has the resources available to hire experts for your case, as well as devote time and energy to your claim; and
- A negotiator who won’t back down in the face of aggressive insurance adjusters.
When you have someone on your side who can handle all of the above, you are able to focus on your recovery and slowly taking steps to put your life back together.
With a lawyer, you’ll be more prepared as you navigate the claims process, won’t miss important deadlines or exclude critical information from your claim, and won’t make the mistake of settling for a settlement offer that doesn’t fully compensation you.
Hiring a lawyer offers peace of mind.
Does a Plaintiff Always Require Legal Representation?
While our lawyers at the office of Star Point Law do strongly recommend that an individual seek out legal counsel before pursuing a claim on their own--if but for free consultation only--it is possible to file a claim without a lawyer on your side.
And in some cases, doing so may even make sense.
If your claim is very simple and straightforward,
However, talking to a lawyer first is never a bad idea just to be sure that there’s nothing that you’re overlooking.
What’s it Like to Work with a Lawyer?
One thing that can make people hesitant to hire a lawyer after suffering a serious personal injury is a lack of familiarity with what the process of working with a lawyer is like, as well as how much a lawyer charges.
While each lawyer is different, here’s a brief overview of what working with a good lawyer will probably entail--
- Free consultation. The process starts with a free consultation, where you will tell the injury attorney about your accident and explain your injuries and losses. You should bring as much information about your accident to the free consultation as possible; the more information the attorney has, the more accurate information about the claims process they can provide you with. During your free consultation, you will also have the opportunity to ask the attorney any questions that you have.
- Investigation and claim-building process. After your free consultation, the attorney with whom you met will inform you whether or not they think you have a strong case, and whether they are interested in working on your case. If both you and the attorney agree to work together, an investigative process will be initiated where the attorney will gather as much information about your case as possible. This evidence will be used to prove fault, substantiate damages, and argue for your compensation.
- Demand and negotiations. After evidence has been gathered and your attorney determines what your case is worth, a demand letter will be sent to the insurance company asking for this amount. Then, the insurer will respond by offering you a settlement, which will typically be less than what you demanded. Your attorney will then negotiate on your behalf to reach a more appropriate agreement.
You should always work with an attorney who works on a contingency fee basis, which means that they only collect a payment if your case is successful, and then the payment is based on a percentage of your winnings, not out-of-pocket expenses.
Finding a Personal Injury Attorney
Finally, if you’ve thought long and hard about it and have decided that you do indeed want to hire a personal injury attorney, you may be wondering how you can find an attorney.
Choosing a personal injury lawyer may seem overwhelming, but there are a variety of ways that you can narrow your choice. Start by searching for personal injury lawyers near you.
Then, determine whether or not lawyers work in your personal injury area of relevancy (i.e. if you’ve been hit by a car, you want a car accident lawyer). Then, read reviews about the different attorneys, and check their current State Bar of California status. You can also ask friends and family members for referrals.
Tips for Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Choosing a personal injury lawyer who fights for justice and your rights is critical in a personal injury case. So, how do you choose the right personal injury lawyer? Here are a few tips:
- Experience. You need a lawyer who knows their way around the courtroom and has experience with California laws. Before hiring an attorney, always ask about similar cases they've taken and what the outcomes were.
- Focus. An attorney’s time and focus can make a huge difference in your personal injury case. You deserve a lawyer who will personally invest in your claim.
- Reputation. The reputation of a personal injury attorney is critical to your case. Reviews from colleagues and clients can tell you a lot about how they operate in the courtroom.
- Personality. Even though this might seem odd, personality is an essential element to look for in an attorney. You need someone who will be available to you at all times, put your interests first, and who genuinely cares about you and the outcome of your case.
- Specialization. Hire an attorney who solely practices personal injury. That way, you know their whole career has prepared them for your case and that they have no other distractions.
An attorney can make or break your personal injury claim, so make sure you hire someone that you are confident in.
Call Star Point Law Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been injured and want to learn more about filing a personal injury claim and how a lawyer can be of assistance, please call the office of Starpoint LC today for your free consultation.
We have the experience you’re looking for, and are passionate about representing clients in our community.