Does Hiring a Lawyer Help Recover More Money in a Personal Injury Case?
Statistics Don't Lie. You Will Get 350% More Money on Average For Your Injury Case With A Lawyer
Were you or a family member involved in a collision and sustained an injury? Are you wondering if you need an attorney to represent you in your case?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys understand that many people handle minor injury claims without legal representation to save legal fees. However, victims with serious claims can benefit significantly from an attorney's expertise and years of experience.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you overcome many problems in dealing with a "friendly" claims adjuster from the insurance company reaching out to you, expressing their "genuine" desire to resolve your case for "fair value."
Perhaps you've never been involved in a crash before and want to "see how things go?" However, your decision to pursue a case without legal representation might not be your best option.
The insurance company providing coverage for the person or company at fault for causing your harm will respond to your submitted claim and express an interest in resolving the case by paying you "fair compensation." However, insurance carriers are in the business of generating profits for their shareholders, often at the victim's expense.
The insurance adjuster will likely offer you minimal compensation for your case or outright deny the claim telling you that there is insufficient evidence to prove that someone else's negligence led to your damages.
Statistics show that injured parties that hire a personal injury lawyer received 3.5 times more financial compensation than the victim receives without representation. Hiring a personal injury attorney can provide you the assistance you need to resolve your case through the challenging time of healing from your injuries.
Handling a Case Without a Personal Injury Attorney
Filing claims and lawsuits in civil court is a complicated process. However, hiring a lawyer might not be necessary in civil cases if you understand what is at stake if you fail to submit your documents on time in the appropriate county courthouse.
Fortunately, most personal injury lawyers provide every potential client a free consultation to evaluate the case's merits to determine if legal counsel is necessary to ensure their clients receive maximum compensation. In complex cases, receiving legal advice on how to handle the complicated legal process and resolving a claim is likely necessary.
Some reasons you may choose to handle your case without using an attorney include:
Your Car Crash Caused by Someone Else's Negligence Involved Very Minor Injuries
Statistically, more automobile crash claims are filed in civil court than any other personal injury claim or lawsuit. Thus, people involved in a simple fender bender where someone rear-ended their vehicle at a low speed, causing minor damage, is a perfect example of a case that might not require an accident lawyer.
Typically, the victim will file a claim with their insurance company or the other driver's insurer to receive adequate coverage for the cost of repairing the vehicle and any medical expenses from the emergency room or doctor's office.
The Event That Caused Your Harm Occurred in a No-Fault State
In states with no-fault rules, the victim cannot file a civil lawsuit against the person or company at fault unless their injuries rise to a specific level depending on the severity of their injuries and the cost of medical treatment.
The victim is often limited to recovering damages through their insurance claim under personal injury protection coverage. In these cases, hiring a personal injury lawyer to recover damages for minor injuries might not be the best legal option.
Conversely, if the collision or event left the victim with moderate to severe injuries or someone died due to another's negligence, filing a personal injury lawsuit through an experienced law firm is likely the best option.
The Claims Adjuster is Offering the Maximum Amount Available Based on the Insurance Policy
Victims involved in a car crash or harmed by medical negligence or other civil tort issues can file a claim against the defendant and their insurer. However, the insurance company will only pay the injured victim an amount up to the policy limits.
In horrific cases, the amount of coverage the negligent party offers may be sufficient to cover the victim's serious injuries. However, in cases with horrific injuries, extensive property damage, or fatalities, receiving fair compensation may surpass the policy limits.
Even in cases where additional legal action might be required to receive compensation equal to the case's value, getting a more significant verdict from the jury may not be helpful if it's uncollectible. The defendant may have minimal assets that, even if liquidated, cannot provide any more monetary recovery.
You Have Experience Negotiating With Claims Adjusters
At some point dealing with your insurer, or the defendant's insurer, you'll need to deal with the claims adjuster working to resolve your case. Unfortunately, claims adjusters are trained to avoid litigation by making an initial settlement offer valued significantly lower than the case's worth.
Typically, claims adjusters will make offers within the first few weeks after the accidents or events occurred before victims have time to understand the severity of the injuries or extent of their property damage, weeks before the first medical bills arrive.
The victim is often overwhelmed when the claims adjuster dangles a check in front of their eyes when attempting to heal, out of work, and wondering how to pay the bills. Many personal injury lawyers recommend participating in a free consultation to determine if you can receive more money with an attorney than handling your claim without one.
You Understand the Law and Settlement Process
Resolving cases involving auto accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and wrongful death usually requires being intimately familiar with civil tort law and well versed in civil court procedure and the settlement process.
While personal injury claims can be filed directly with the insurers for a settlement offer, personal injury cases are submitted to the civil court. Most injured parties do not have the personal injury experience necessary to conduct the research, obtain expert witnesses and prepare the case for the negotiated settlement meeting.
The Monetary Difference of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
A large study and another separate report by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) pointed to much higher payouts when an attorney represented the injured party.
Another study presented by the All-Industry Research Advisory Council (ARAC) points to the same conclusion, making it evident that having a personal injury lawyer on your side can make a sizable monetary difference when it comes to personal injury claims estimating the case's value.
Get the Compensation You Deserve for your Personal Injury Claim
Once the victim decides to file a personal injury claim, they'll need to take steps to maximize the compensation they deserve. Typically, a personal injury lawyer will take steps to protect evidence, ensure the victim receives medical attention, and research the case's facts to negotiate the best settlement agreement.
Most civil attorneys represent clients in various practice areas of civil tort law, including:
- Auto crashes
- Amputation injuries
- Baby brain damage
- Birth injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Construction site injuries
- Defamation claims
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Hospital malpractice
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle crashes
- Nursing home abuse
- Pedestrian accidents
- Physical assault (intentional tort)
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Sexual abuse (intentional tort)
- Slip and fall accidents
- Surgical mistakes
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Workers' Compensation
- Workplace accidents
- Wrongful death
A personal injury lawyer working on behalf of the victim will file suit against the responsible party and any other party (third parties) that might also be at fault for causing damages.
The attorney will also determine if any future damages must be included in the damage award, including future treatments and surgeries, permanent disability assistance, or future lost earnings because of the crash.
Study: Paying For Auto Injuries: Consumer Panel Survey of Auto Accident Victims
The IRC study surveyed 6,000 people who had been harmed in auto accidents to determine the types of injuries, treatment, economic losses, and reimbursement they experienced. One of the details of this survey and study revolved around the settlement amount that victims received from insurance companies.
The results were eye-opening to many, though not to most personal injury lawyers or insurance companies. Victims who had an attorney on their side received settlements of an average of 350% more than those who went it alone. This large discrepancy shows the value of having an attorney fight for the victim in any personal injury accident.
Report: Auto Injuries: Claiming Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs
In a separate report issued by the IRC, the agency looked at the relationship between insurance payouts for auto accident injuries and how it was tied to attorney representation. The report has even more staggering numbers than the study.
In the report, the IRC estimated that 85% of all money paid out for bodily injury claims by insurance companies are paid to victims with an attorney representing them.
When they looked at the total amount paid out on all auto injuries claims, those with attorneys were paid 3.5 times more than those who did not hire an attorney. That is a difference of $10,000 versus $35,000, a drastic impact.
Although seemingly unfair to the victims, it shows that insurance companies will take advantage of the situation when the injured parties do not have anyone fighting for their legal rights.
Study: Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury Claims
In another study done by the All-Industry Research Advisory Council (ARAC), the researchers looked at the correlation between economic loss and hiring an attorney. It also revealed the difference in payouts when a lawyer was hired and when they were not.
First off, those with more significant losses were more likely to hire an attorney. Secondly, similar to the IRC study and report, the ARAC study found that they received a significantly larger settlement when the victim hired an attorney.
For example, victims with attorneys received $1.59 per dollar lost due to the accident, where those without a lawyer only received $1.26. So in a $20,000 claim, the difference is about $6,600, and in a more significant claim of $100,000, that is $33,000, and it only increases from there.
All these studies and reports point out that having a legal team on the victim's side when fighting for compensation in a personal injury case will almost always result in a much larger settlement. Insurers would prefer that the general public know these facts as it will cost them millions of extra dollars in payouts.
However, for anyone who has been injured due to someone else's fault in an auto accident or other personal injury, it is in their best interest to find an experienced personal injury attorney committed to fighting for the compensation that they deserve.
Are You Ready to Get an Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm Working for You?
By now, you likely recognize the importance of having a lawyer to help you with your injury case. However, you may be overwhelmed by the number of attorneys touting different slogans and experiences (we regularly hear this from clients).
Before you hire a law firm, consider the following:
- Does the lawyer work in personal injury law exclusively?
- What type of experience does the law firm have with your particular type of accident?
- What is the law firm's success rate with your type of case?
- Is the law firm familiar with your injuries?
- Does the law firm seem attentive to your needs?
- Has the law firm earned the respect of its peers in the legal community?
All personal injury cases require extensive documentation, cutting red tape, and careful attention to detail. However, filing a personal injury lawsuit against all responsible parties can ensure that the victim receives adequate monetary recovery for their damages.
Even though most attorneys will provide a free consultation to discuss the case, it is best to consult with a few to ensure that the one you select has the personality, experience, and commitment that best fits your financial situation and legal dilemma.
Hire a Lawyer to Handle Your Personal Injury Case
Do you need to hire a personal injury attorney that can serve as your aggressive legal advocate? Are you unsure if you can handle the case without representation but reluctant to discuss what happened during a free consultation?
Contact the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today for a free, initial consultation. Let us discuss handling your case and using our legal team to hold the other party responsible for your damages.
Our personal injury lawyers work on contingency fee agreements, where our attorney's fees are postponed until we reach a negotiated settlement or win a jury award at trial. Our team represents people from all walks of life in matters involving: serious personal injury, auto accidents, medical malpractice, work accidents, product recall cases, and nursing home abuse cases.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our law offices remains private through an attorney-client relationship.