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Deciding whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer or handle your case on your own is a decision that you must make for yourself.
While results cannot be guaranteed, a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) showed settlements by attorney handled cases are three-and-a-half times higher than cases settled without the assistance of an attorney. This means that even after fees are taken out, most clients will still do much better with an attorney than without.
In addition to higher settlements, you remove the risk of making a misstep with your case.
An attorney will also carry much of the weight of your case, that you would otherwise have to carry if handling the case on your own - everything from the stress of your case to the filing of paperwork and the preparing of demand packages.
In terms of timing, the sooner you can hire a lawyer, the better.
There are many timing concerns in injury cases. Chief among them, is the Statute of Limitation date - this is a hard date by which you must make a claim or file a lawsuit. This date can vary from state to state and from practice area to practice area. Further, or more significant, time restrictions can come into play when dealing with city, state and federal (government) claims.
In addition to the timelines for taking legal action, there is the concern for your health and recovery - delaying your hiring of an attorney could indirectly cause you delay in getting the medical treatment and attention you need to get better.
Gaps in medical treatment can compromise the value and integrity of your case. With your case under the guidance of an experienced attorney from the outset, they can work with you and your medical providers to make sure that you are getting your doctor necessitated treatment without introducing unnecessarily long gaps.
Benefiting from an attorney is not the same thing as 'needing' an attorney. If you are of sound mind, there is nothing that necessitates that you hire an attorney.
Not all lawyers are the same. While there are some lawyers who practice 'general' law, and will tackle anything that comes across their desk, most lawyers focus on a subspecialty.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, you will want to hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your case.
Personal injury is a subspecialty of law. These attorneys have experience handling accident and injury claims. They understand how to value your case - including futures costs. They have experience taking on insurance companies and working with the health care systems.
This is an occasion where you want to look to someone who focuses on auto accident injury cases, and not turn to your cousin that's a lawyer, or hire someone that will be handling your car accident case in the morning and a divorce case in the afternoon.
Insurance companies are not charitable organizations - they are companies that answer to shareholders. They are in business to take in as much money as they can, and to pay out as little as possible. When a person makes a claim seeking money from the insurance provider, the insurance company will do all that they can to reduce that payout or remove it entirely.
These trillion-dollar behemoths know that they can push you around and intimidate you into taking offers far lower than what you are deserving of.
This is where lawyers enter the picture. They are not scared, not intimidated, and have the means to take on these giants - leveling the playing field for all of us.
In addition to keeping the insurers in-check, these men and women act as your guide through the confusing times that follow an accident. And they will be your advocate and champion along the way.
The short answer is no, you do not need a lawyer for your car crash. However, you may greatly benefit from having a lawyer.
Attorneys obtain much higher settlements on average (3.5 times according to a study by the Insurance Research Alliance), can shoulder the load for you, and carry much of the stress of a case.
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