Many people who are injured in preventable accidents wonder whether they should attempt to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company or the at-fault party directly without the assistance of an attorney. After all, lawyers charge notoriously high fees, and a claim arising from a two-car accident or standard slip and fall case may seem simple enough. While this logic may seem sound, the reality is that it is highly advisable for people that have been injured in any type of accident caused by the negligence of others to retain legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident occurs. Some of the reasons for this fact are discussed below. For specific advice regarding your case, you should talk to an attorney that practices law in your state.
An Attorney will Accurately Assess the Value of A Personal Injury Claim
Accurately determining what a claim is worth is one of the main reasons that it is important for victims to retain an attorney. Properly assessing the value of a personal injury claim is a complicated process, and involves much more than simply looking at a victim’s property damage or medical expenses and making a claim. In many cases, people that have been injured in preventable accidents are able to claim damages such as pain and suffering, lost income, loss of quality of life, and loss of future earning potential, all of which require legal expertise to accurately determine.
The Cost of an Attorney will Likely be Offset by the Increase in Compensation you Recover
Personal injury attorneys almost invariably enter into contingent fee arrangements with their clients, meaning that any legal fees that will be owed are a percentage of the total settlement or award recovered by the client. This means that if a victim does not recover any compensation, he or she will owe nothing in legal fees. Furthermore, a settlement or award that an injured victim can negotiate without an attorney will often be less that the amount he or she would receive from a settlement or award obtained with the assistance of an attorney, even after legal fees are taken out.
The Representation of a Lawyer will Ensure that Victims do not Inadvertently Admit Liability
People who are injured in preventable accidents should keep in mind that any insurance adjuster with whom they speak after an accident does not have their best interests in mind. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and train their employees to minimize the amount they pay to people with valid claims. In fact, in many cases, insurance companies attempt to avoid liability at all by asking questions that are designed to induce a victim to inadvertently admit legal liability. For this reason, anyone injured in an accident should retain legal counsel prior to making any statements to the insurance company. When victims retain a lawyer, all communication between themselves and insurance companies will be through their attorney, reducing the risk of accidentally admitting liability.