Personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency basis. This means that a personal injury lawyer is paid a percentage of the client’s judgment or settlement as a legal fee.
Therefore, for some who are injured, there is a temptation to negotiate with the insurance company on their own rather than paying part of a settlement to a lawyer.
So does it make sense to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Here’s what an experienced personal injury attorney can do:
- Properly assess the true value of a case to maximize recovery;
- Skillfully negotiate with the insurance adjuster;
- Apply their knowledge of the applicable laws and explore all potential theories of liability;
- Handle bogus tactics employed by adjusters to delay settlement;
- Reject “low ball” offers from the insurance company. In fact, at least one study showed that the settlements paid to injury victims who had a lawyer were over three times more than those who did not have a lawyer;
- Properly file a lawsuit, summon all the appropriate defendants and meet the statute of limitations;
- Gather evidence such as witness statements and medical records;
- Deal with requests for information and court motions filed by the attorney for the insurance company;
- Utilize experts such as medical professionals, private investigators, accident reconstructionists and vocational specialists;
- Effectively present the case to a judge or jury by following the rules of court procedure, calling necessary witnesses, introducing favorable evidence and objecting to prejudicial or irrelevant information offered by defense counsel.
The decision to retain a lawyer is an important one. Once the settlement is accepted, there are no “do overs” with the insurance company.