Personal Injury Lawyer – To Hire or Not to Hire?
Should you hire a personal injury lawyer or not? That’s a common question with a very common answer. If you would ask personal injury lawyers, of course they will 100% agree that you need their services. But what about the point of view of people like you, who are thinking about your best interest? That’s why a third-party source is here to tell you whether you have to hire an attorney or not. In this article, you will know when to hire a lawyer and when it’s best to do it yourself.
Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer or Can I Do It Myself?
How to Find A Personal Injury Lawyer
Finding Personal Injury Lawyer Reviews and Ratings
Questions To Ask Personal Injury Lawyer
Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer or Can I Do It Myself?
Ideally, it’s always better to hire an attorney to represent you on your case. But do I need a personal injury lawyer, really? It depends on the case. Small-scale injuries like in soft tissue injury cases are best dealt on your own. If you choose to do it yourself, just be prepared to do a lot of work. Here are some of the things you should do when settling injury cases on your own:
- Record your statements. It’s important to give your statement about the injury case whether hiring a lawyer or not. But do you need to be honest? Sure you should. But sometimes, too much honesty can hurt your case. Remember that all the things you will say on the statement can hurt you. So keeping them longer is such a bad idea because the more data you give, the more chances you are giving the insurance company to destroy your credibility. But we’re not saying you should lie. That’s just wrong and the insurance company can prove you’re lying if you will.
- Get photos. Take snapshots of everything—from the collision of cars to your physically visible injuries. Remember that wounds will heal and the scratches on the cars can be repaired. Photos will prove that you have suffered as much as you are claiming.
- Collect all medical records. Medical experts can prove or disprove the severity of your injury. Also keep the bills so you will have proper accounts about how much you spent because of the injury.All the documents you gathered have to be forwarded to the insurance company so they’ll know how much damage the injury has caused you. This includes all the medical bills, repair for properties, and your lost wages. Also attach a letter detailing important information about the case. Keep everything brief because no one will read a very long letter for a soft injury case.
Now, in which cases do I need a personal injury lawyer? In soft tissue injuries, you might still want to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. This is much more important for more severe injuries. Here is the personal injury lawyer job description so you’ll know what he can do for your case:
- Evaluate the case. Of course you can always study personal injury law and decide whether the compensation you’ll be getting is fair or not. But this will take a very long time and will need a lot of experience handing similar cases. Only those who have seen hundreds of similar cases can accurately determine how much your case is worth. It’s in the personal injury lawyer job description to work to your best advantage. Meanwhile, insurance companies’ job is to give you as little compensation as possible.
- Collect documents and witnesses. Think that you simply need medical bills and your monthly income statement to get a fair compensation? In a personal injury lawyer’s point of view, you’ll need more documents than just that. That means more work in compiling all the files needed as well as gathering as many professionals needed to boost your case and your claims.
- Advocate your case. The legal world is full of reasoning. A good personal injury lawyer knows not only how to explain but to advocate that you deserve higher compensation for your case. The best advocate for your case is of course you because you are the one who suffered the pain. But an attorney is often more fluent when speaking on your behalf.
There are more to the personal injury job description than what were mentioned here. The point is that an attorney will work to the best of your advantage, making it a better option than doing it yourself. Besides, the only disadvantage of hiring one is that you will pay the lawyer for his services or give him about 1/3 of the claim. That’s not bad if you can get $40,000 compensation instead of $4,000 doing it yourself.
So, will you be hiring an attorney? The next step is to find a personal injury lawyer. How can you do that? It should be easy with hundreds of lawyers specializing in that field in your area. But you should delimit your choices by looking from these sources;
- Friends and family. Think about family, friends or acquaintances who have undergone in a personal injury case. They must know some lawyers to refer to you. The good thing about asking friends is that they have first-hand experience about the professional’s expertise in the field. They are also among the ones you trust the most and the ones closest to you. They also care about you so they will most certainly refer professionals who can work to your best benefit.
- Google, but do it thoroughly. Almost everything can be found on Google. While that’s true, but finding the best personal injury lawyers can be very difficult especially with so many websites optimized to be on top. You should check their websites and see former clients that have hired their services. Their websites usually have testimonials. But it’s best to talk with clients personally than read their texts on the site.
- Other lawyers. Perhaps you know a few lawyers, say corporate, family, or tax attorneys. They have a network of other lawyers specializing on more specific fields. It’s almost certain that they know a few personal injury lawyers and can recommend some of the best to you.
- Online lawyer directories. What’s best about directories is that you can do more specific search based on specialization or the state. However, be very careful when using directories because some of them are paid. It’s much better to look for directories that offer free listing. They have to make money, of course, but it should be within the reasonable for clients like you.
You can find a personal injury lawyer with these avenues. But make sure that you will choose the one you are most comfortable with. Trust your instinct. Trust your lawyer. Only by giving your full trust that you can work together for your own benefit.
One of the best ways to find a personal injury lawyer is by reading reviews and ratings. Luckily, that’s an easy thing to do with personal injury lawyer reviews. Many websites also have personal injury lawyer ratings where you can check how well the professional works based on his clients’ grade.
There a lot of authority sites where personal injury lawyer reviews and ratings can be easily found. It’s best to rely on names that you are most familiar with. Here are our top picks:
- LexisNexis. Take note that we are referring to the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. It is an authoritative information site where you can find personal injury lawyer ratings as well as reviews. Even other lawyers in other fields can also be found here.
- Avvo. Not only that it offers personal injury lawyer ratings, but Avvo is nationally recognized as a website where you can see the rates and reviews of doctors and attorneys in specified areas of the country.
- The American Lawyer Academy. The main goal of this website is to provide the common people with in-depth articles about current, important issues. But on the site, they have personal injury lawyer ratings as well as reviews to help you decide who to hire.
There are more websites that can help you get the most accurate personal injury lawyer reviews. What’s important is that you are doing your part to find a personal injury lawyer in the wisest way you can.
Let’s say you have limited your choices to only three or so personal injury lawyers. That’s still a lot to choose from. Finalize your pick by moving the hunt to the next level—asking the attorneys. But what questions to ask personal injury lawyer? Here are some of them:
- Will you get higher compensations for me compared to other lawyers? The goal of hiring a personal injury attorney is to get the fair compensation for your pain and suffering. We understand that your suffering is worth more than any money can give. But the monetary compensation is the only way to make the liable person pay for his unreasonable care. So all personal injury cases boil down to getting as much money as possible. Therefore, it is important to know whether your lawyer can get that for you or not. You can use a personal injury settlement calculator to know the rough estimate of how much you should claim.
- How will I participate in the lawsuit? Although it rarely goes to lawsuit, it’s still important to know what your roles are and what are not expected from you for the trial. You may be passionate about your case. Ask the personal injury lawyer if he will let you be involved even more. Some will allow you. But others might not.
- How much are your personal injury lawyer fees? Lawyers don’t work for free, at least not all of them. So before dealing with the case, know how much you will be spending. It pays to know the personal injury lawyer fees. Some of them will ask for payment upfront. But most of them will get the personal injury lawyer fees from a percentage of what you will be claimed. Usually, this is 1/3 to as much as 2/3 of your claim. Be clear about the money issues before hiring a lawyer.
- What’s the worth of my case? Settlements can be a long and winding road. It can be expensive and exhausting. It’s good to know whether your case is worth all the effort and money. You can use a personal injury settlement calculator to know the answer. But it’s always best to ask a lawyer because they’ve seen more of the same cases. Therefore, they can give pretty accurate estimates.
Add more questions if you feel that these are not enough. Well, these are not enough, really. Don’t be intimidated to ask as many questions if it means giving you peace of mind. After all, working with a personal injury lawyer means working with a partner who will help you win the best compensation that you deserve.