When I was a young man, my father taught me that each man has his value in his own trade. This is true for personal injury attorneys as well.
Do you need an attorney to help you with your personal injury claim? Contrary to television and telephone book advertisements, it is not necessary to hire an attorney to resolve your personal injury claim.
If you do not know what the following terms mean, or how they interact with your claim, then you most likely need an attorney:
- liability limits
- underinsured motorist
- medical payments
- statute of limitation
- pain and suffering
Do you know if you can use your health insurance and still collect from the liable party? What if the liable party does not have insurance, or enough insurance to cover your losses? Are you entitled to your lost wages? What options do you have if you are dissatisfied with the insurance company offer? How long do you have to file a lawsuit if you are unhappy with the insurance company offer? What happens if you have Medicare and want to settle your claim?
All of the above are just a sampling of the complexities involved in handling your own car wreck claim. I am not an electrician or plumber; therefore, I call upon their expertise when I have an electrical or plumbing problem. No one would think of operating on himself, so it is surprising to me that some people believe that settling his case without a lawyer will be simple.
If your accident solely consists of damages to your automobile, it is unlikely that you will need assistance to resolve that claim. Once you determine that you have personal injuries, I would urge you to consider counsel. Remember, most people don’t even have one car accident in his lifetime. Most likely, you are dealing with your first insurance claim. The insurance adjuster has probably handled thousands of claims before yours, and always has an attorney to fall back upon. Experience does count.
If you choose to get an attorney, I would recommend looking for someone with experience. Make certain that the attorney is going to handle the claim himself and not simply pass it off to his assistant. Get assurance that your telephone calls will be returned within twenty-four hours. Understand the fees and costs associated with the representation. Ask if you can see a sample of his work.
Attorney Fees in Personal Injury Cases
The typical attorney fee in a personal injury case is one-third (33%) of the gross proceeds collected. In other words, if the attorney gets a settlement offer of $30,000.00, his fee would be $10,000.00. Medical bills and costs are also paid out of the total settlement. I have seen attorney fees in personal injury cases range from 25% to 50% (the maximum set by law).
Having an experienced, aggressive, and reputable personal injury lawyer would benefit most claims if you have injures related to an accident.