Personal Injury Lawyer
Many people benefit from hiring an attorney, like a personal injury lawyer from Johnston Martineau, LLP, after an accident. However, that does not mean that it is always the right thing to do. In some situations, the potential downsides of hiring an attorney outweigh the potential benefits.
How You May Benefit From Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
It is difficult to try to plan a court case while you are still recovering from a serious injury. Hiring a personal injury attorney allows you to concentrate on your rehabilitation and leave your lawsuit in experienced, capable hands.
An attorney’s experience is important when handling a personal injury case. A well-trained, critical eye in evaluating the damage can help identify key evidence that you may miss. Experience filing legal paperwork can prevent a potentially devastating clerical error. Hiring an attorney helps to level the playing field because the other side will almost always have its own legal representation.
When a Personal Injury Attorney May Not Be Required
If you are not injured, or not injured seriously, then there are little to no damages to collect from the party responsible for the accident. If that is the case, then there is no reason for you to hire a personal injury attorney. However, before you make the decision, be sure you get an evaluation from a doctor. Sometimes the symptoms of a serious injury may be delayed, and you may not realize that you are hurt badly until after you have accepted a settlement, at which point it is too late to file a lawsuit.
Before you decide to hire a personal injury attorney, you should understand how you will be billed. Rather than charging by the hour, personal injury attorneys usually bill on a contingency basis. This means that you pay nothing if you lose your case, but if you do win, your attorney takes a portion of your award or settlement. The percentage can vary, but assume that the attorney asks for 33%, or one-third, of the damages you recover. To justify the expense of hiring the attorney, he or she will have to improve your expected results by more than 50%.
If you feel the initial settlement the insurance company offers you is fair, then you can simply accept it without hiring an attorney or filing a lawsuit. However, you should know that the initial settlement offer is almost never really fair, and you might want to think about it before agreeing to it.
Remember that the first offer is almost never the last offer, and once you accept a settlement, you forfeit your right to take any further legal action. A lawyer would be happy to assess your situation and determine what you really deserve when you contact a law office.