Personal injury lawyers can handle cases from car accidents to dog bites from your neighbor’s dog. The level of the injury, medical costs and loss of work contribute to the level of your claim. In some cases, you’ll be able to handle your claim yourself through the insurance company or through small claims court.
Cases You Might Handle on Your Own
It’s best to know at the beginning of the case whether you should even be handling it yourself. It can complicate matters if you attempt to handle it on your own and end up needing a lawyer.
Car Accidents with No Major Injuries
Minor vehicle damage with little to no injuries are common in some accidents often referred to as fender-benders. In these kinds of accidents, both parties exchange information and drive away from the scene.
Any injuries are minor, and can be sent in to the insurance company for reimbursement. Satisfaction is often simple in these cases where the insurance company will cover medical costs and repair costs.
If you have to deal with an insurance adjuster, you should be confident that you can negotiate a fair deal for yourself with the company. Otherwise, a lawyer might be hired to deal with them.
Small Claims Court
If you’re dealing with a situation like a dog bite that has minimal injuries, you can represent yourself in court. Cases that don’t involve big insurance companies can often be resolved without the assistance of an attorney.
While you don’t need to hire an attorney to represent you in court, you’re certainly welcome to consult with one for advice. You’ll be charged a fee for sessions where you’re asking for advice on your case, but it can be valuable to research your rights this way.
Cases Where You Should Run to an Attorney’s Office
In many cases, you’ll definitely need a lawyer working hard for you. This is especially true if you are up against an insurance company who has a fleet of lawyers and adjusters who will try to dismiss the validity of your claim.
Whether it’s been a car accident or a slip and fall, if you received serious injuries like broken bones, trauma that involved numerous stitches or ones that include hospitalization, you should run to an attorney’s office.
Death is Involved
If the accident was severe enough that someone died, you shouldn’t be approaching the insurance company without a lawyer. That death could be a loved one, and you’ll need advice on how to move forward with a claim.
There’s a Question of Who Was at Fault
When you’re unsure of who was at fault, but believe that it was the other person, you’ll need an attorney to help you figure that out. If the police report doesn’t describe the situation correctly, that could have contributed to the questions. An attorney can bring in experts in accident reconstruction to prove your case.
Confusing Issues are Involved
You could have complicated and confusing legal or medical issues that confuse the case. This is definitely when you should call a lawyer to represent you.
When to Call an Attorney
It’s vital that you call an attorney immediately after an accident. If you wait too long to consult an attorney, you might not be gathering the right evidence or doing things correctly from the start. This could complicate your case.
There are statutes of limitations involved in accident situations. If you hire a lawyer immediately after an accident, he’ll know exactly what to do in your case to ensure that the process goes smoothly and correctly.
Hiring an attorney for your personal injury case might not be required unless there are serious injuries and awards for damages could be high. You can consult with an attorney over cases that don’t need an attorney full-time. For cases that need a lawyer, you should be consulting with one immediately after an accident to be sure the case proceeds properly.