When do you need a lawyer?
We have all heard the lawyer jokes and even laugh at them sometimes, but having a good lawyer on your side is a tremendous plus when you’ve been in any type of accident.
Their experience and prestige goes a long way towards winning your case. When you consult with an attorney, you are letting the potential defendant know you are serious. And while most attorneys charge a decent-sized fee if they win your case, it’s well worth it in the end since those accident victims with attorneys get as much as 4 times more money than those without an attorney.
While there are complex rules and regulations that must be considered as the legal system can be confusing and daunting, even consulting with an attorney is a signal to the insurance company that you mean business, and they well may settle out of court.
So how do you know if you require or need an attorney to help solve your problem and find justice?
I asked this question to one of the lawyers at TSK Law Firm in Austin, Texas, and below are some of the types of injuries and accidents they say will need an attorney’s help and advice:
Injuries that are Severe - In most injury claims, the severity of your injuries and the time it takes for you to recover - if ever - is the basis of the amount of compensation you will receive. It just stands to reason that the higher the medical costs, the higher your claim for compensation is. You will want an attorney that will get you the highest amount possible, especially when the insurance company’s entire goal is to lay the fault on you and avoid paying you a single penny.
Medical Malpractice - This type of claim arises out of unprofessional, reckless, or careless treatment by a doctor, hospital, lab, nurse or any medical professional. You will need a lawyer who has had experience in malpractice cases.
Permanent or Long-Term Injuries - As we know, some accidents unfortunately can affect you for long periods of time - sometimes for life. You could be permanently disabled or handicapped for months or years. It is hard for a lay person to determine what compensation is needed for such an injury or disability. That is why you need a competent, experienced attorney; someone who knows what to do and say and will get you the most from your claim.
Toxic Exposure - As we all know, our world is becoming more and more toxic. Exposure to toxins in the water, air, soil, food or most any product can cause you harm, even permanent disability or death. However, these type of claims are often harder to prove. There are usually complex scientific tests and data that might need to be collected and proved. (Remember Erin Brockovich?) As you no doubt know, chemical and other industries have gone to great lengths to protect their interests, as well as their money. These kind of claims have to have to an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Bottom line - get a lawyer.
Faulty, Defective and Dangerous Products - Whether it’s your face cream that burned your skin or your shampoo that caused your hair to fall out, it’s these types of dangers that lawyers are here to help us get justice for.
But what if an insurance company refuses to pay? Things being the way they are, there are insurance companies that will refuse to pay, no matter what the injuries are or how high the medical bills. In a case like this, you HAVE to hire an attorney. When an insurance company, or even the government, refuses to pay, you will want to hire one, and hire the best you can. Yes, they will take their share of the settlement, but look at what you will get in the process. A settlement you most probably would not have had if you had not hired a lawyer.
How do you find a good lawyer? Ask around - to friends, family, neighbors, even lawyer referrals. Also use Google to search for “personal injury attorney + your city” to find one near you. Most lawyers offer a free consultation, so shop around if you feel the need to.
You can research each lawyer’s fees, education, experience, and usually their philosophy about law.
Narrow down your search, call them, and then talk to the ones you have chosen face-to-face.