If you are injured in an accident that was the result of someone else’s negligence, you may think that you can handle the negligent party’s insurance company on your own.
The truth is, in almost all cases you shouldn’t even try, because as friendly as the other person’s insurance adjuster appears to be, in reality, they are out to spend as little money as possible to satisfy your case, and that number may not come close to covering the bills you accumulate as you recover from the accident.
When an attorney is optional
If you were in an auto accident and your vehicle was totaled because another driver failed to yield or pulled out from a stop sign without checking for oncoming traffic (that’s you!) but you only suffered minor injuries, you may not need a personal injury attorney to handle your case.
Under circumstances such as these, you may only need to seek out the advice of an attorney to make sure that the settlement the negligent party’s insurance company is offering is a fair one.
When an attorney is a must
But let’s say the circumstances surrounding the accident are questionable, and the other driver refuses to admit guilt in the case. A police report may absolve you of any responsibility in the accident, but it also may not.
In this situation, you’ll need witnesses to back your claim. That’s why experts say one of the first things you should do after an accident, if you are able, is to take down the names and numbers of anyone who saw the accident, so they can be questioned later about their recollection of events. A personal injury attorney has the experience necessary to ask the right questions, gathering the best evidence to persuade the other driver’s insurance company to make an offer that’s fair and covers the costs you incurred as a result of the accident, including medical bills and property damage.
But vehicle accidents aren’t the only time when a personal injury attorney can be your best asset.
Certain cases, such as medical malpractice, require an attorney, not only because these lawsuits are incredibly complex, but also because doctors and hospitals have a team of lawyers on their side who will do everything in their power to prevent you from winning your case, no matter how heinous the medical mistake they made might have been.
It’s not only important that you hire an experienced attorney to handle your case, but it’s also vital that you hire one who works for a firm that has ample resources at its disposal for obtaining expert witnesses to represent you in court. This will be the key as to whether you win or lose your case, simply because laws are set up so that doctors and their personal information is protected, while everything about you and your personal history is an open book. Having a team of witnesses who can attest to the serious nature of your injuries will improve you chances of winning if your case goes before a jury.
The bottom line
While simple cases such as a fender bender that doesn’t result in any injuries probably don’t require a personal injury attorney, if you sustain any injury that could cause problems later on, you need a personal injury lawyer on your side who can make sure that you aren’t left with medical bills you can’t afford long after your case has been settled.