It isn’t unusual for a person to represent him or herself when negotiating a personal injury or a car accident claim settlement. It is, in an economic sense, practical, especially when the case is uncomplicated or the damages/injuries are minor.
In fact, it is important to consult with an auto injury accident lawyer even before you talk to an adjuster. Remember, what you say to an adjuster can hurt your claim.
Before taking on the task of settling your own claim or deciding not to hire a car accident attorney, it would be good to consider a few important things. There are certain reasons that would make your claim a more complicated task.
It would make a smart decision to employ the services of an experienced auto injury accident lawyer when:
-You have sustained serious Injuries. If you have sustained severe or life-threatening injuries that will take a long time to treat and to recover from, it is more practical to hire a lawyer than to consider self-representation. If the injury is minor, the other party may not put up much of a fight – this is something you may handle yourself. If the cost of the treatment/medical procedures would reach a considerable amount or the accident made you lose a substantial income, expect the other party to resist the large claim.
-You have sustained permanent or long-term, disabling injuries. A long-term injury is technically defined as one that continues for at least a year or longer. A permanent or residual injury, on the other hand, is one that incapacitates you for a very long time, if not for life. These types of injuries can increase your claims for personal injury damages, considering the need for further treatment and the inability to work or be employed. The medical nature of your disabilities can be tricky, providing complications to your claims and the legal proceedings.
-The liability is being contested or there is refusal to pay you. The decision to dispute your claim is tantamount to saying that you were at fault or you don’t have anything to prove your claim. It is also possible for an insurance company to refuse to pay your claims. Any of these can complicate the process of collecting what you believe is fair and just. Without a proper legal background and training, you could be biting more than you can chew if you will decide to do without a lawyer.
If there will be no dispute resolution, all these three instances may take you to court. If it does, don’t ignore the need for an experienced car accident attorney to have a fair chance of winning and to ensure your rights are respected.
There are other reasons to decide in favor of hiring a lawyer. Severely or permanently injured, you may find attending the hearings and legal proceedings too physically challenging for you, even when you are trained in law and procedural rules.
Further, if your car accident is not a clear-cut case and you would rather get something than nothing, there is no better alternative than to turn over your case to an auto injury accident lawyer who can ably represent you in the court.