An unexpected accident can throw you off course in an instant. If someone else caused the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. But how do you get the money you deserve?
Many personal injury claims are covered by insurance. You don’t always have to go to court to get the compensation you deserve. That might leave you wondering whether you really need a personal injury lawyer if you’re submitting a claim to insurance.
If you’re lucky, you don’t have much experience filing an insurance claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is always an option. Our lawyers at Allen Law Firm, P.A. can help you evaluate the best course of action in your specific situation.
Important Factors When Deciding Whether You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Some simple insurance claims don’t really require a lawyer’s help. Damages caused by minor car accidents are fairly easy to handle–usually, your Florida no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover your losses.
Other injury claims can be far more complex. It can help to hire a lawyer with experience handling cases like yours. Your lawyer will understand the basic insurance claims process and know the tactics insurance companies will use to pay you less.
If you’re on the fence and wondering whether to hire a lawyer, here are some of the primary factors to consider:
Do You Know What Caused the Accident?
Finding out what caused an accident can be tricky. You might not know exactly who or what caused the accident. This is particularly true in multi-vehicle car accidents.
When everyone involved denies responsibility, a personal injury lawyer can help. Personal injury law firms have the financial resources to conduct a thorough investigation. We also know what to look for and the types of evidence insurance companies take seriously.
Is the Insurance Company Blaming You For Getting Hurt?
Insurance companies almost always try to shift at least some of the blame onto the victim. Under Florida’s comparative fault rule, everyone involved is responsible for their fair share of the damage.
That means your compensation award could be reduced by the amount of fault assigned to you. Lawyers understand these tactics. A personal injury lawyer might be able to help you get a higher settlement by minimizing your role in the accident.
Does it Seem Like the Insurance Company is Stalling?
If the insurance company seems unwilling to investigate or isn’t responding to your communications, they might be stalling. A personal injury lawyer can stop this type of bad faith insurance practice – or hold companies accountable if they cause you harm.
Without legal help, you might miss the deadline for filing a formal lawsuit under the Florida statute of limitations.
Were Your Injuries Severe or Permanent?
One of the more complex aspects of the personal injury process is putting a value on the future costs of your medical care. Realistically, there’s no way to know with 100% certainty what you’ll need in the future. You probably don’t have the time or money to conduct a full analysis.
Insurance companies are betting on this. However, an established personal injury law firm has resources. They can hire medical experts and specialists who can provide an educated estimate of what you’ll need over time.
If your injuries were catastrophic or are likely to have lasting consequences, a personal injury lawyer can help you get what’s fair.
Should I Call a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Filing My Insurance Claim?
It really never hurts to speak with a personal injury lawyer before starting the insurance claims process. It can only help your injury claim. Most respected personal injury law firms offer a free consultation. That lets you sit down with a lawyer who can evaluate your case and whether you’re likely to need help.
Accident victims sometimes avoid that consultation because they’re expecting a sales pitch. In reality, a personal injury lawyer will probably be honest about whether you’re likely to encounter any problems with your insurance claim. After all, they only get paid if they recover compensation for you.
On the other hand, the insurance adjuster isn’t your friend. Giving a statement to the insurance company without talking with a lawyer can damage your future case. Remember, you probably don’t have all the facts. You might not even know the root cause of your accident.
At the very minimum, a personal injury lawyer can help you understand what to expect and what to watch out for.
When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Again, not every slip and fall accident victim needs a personal injury attorney. However, certain factors make it much more essential to hire a personal injury lawyer right away.
You should almost always hire a personal injury lawyer to help with your insurance claim if:
- Your suffered catastrophic injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or any other type of injury that might result in permanent damage
- The insurance company quickly offers a settlement award
- You have a pre-existing medical condition that might have been aggravated in the accident
- The insurance company is trying to blame you for the accident
- The case involves multiple parties or large corporations, such as in truck accident or defective products cases
- Your accident involves a particularly complex area of law, such as a boating accident that could require knowledge of state, federal, and maritime laws
- The insurance company won’t investigate or denies your claim outright, which could be a sign of bad faith insurance practices
- The defendant is a government entity, such as a public transit authority
If your case involves any of these factors, things can get messy quickly. It’s possible that the insurance company is already pushing you to settle. It’s also possible that the insurance company is trying to blame someone else.
You can easily make a mistake that might reduce your overall compensation award. Hiring a lawyer doesn’t mean you’ll end up in court. It also doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck with a mountain of legal bills.
Before making your choice, evaluate all your options. If you’re still on the fence, feel free to give us a call for more information.
If You’re Wondering “Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer I’m Submitting a Claim to Insurance”–the Answer Might be Yes. Call to Learn More Today
It doesn’t hurt to be cautious after you’re hurt in an accident. At Allen Law Firm, P.A., it doesn’t cost you anything to get the legal advice you deserve.
Our Gainesville personal injury lawyers are here to sit down, listen to what happened, and give you our straightforward thoughts about your case. From that point on, it’s up to you to decide whether you need a personal injury lawyer if you’re submitting a claim to insurance.