If you suffer an injury from someone else’s actions you will have to decide if you want to file a lawsuit or try to settle with the insurance company. There are several elements that go into determining if an accident occurred and determine pain and suffering. How do you know if you should hire a lawyer? Here are a few misconceptions that prevent most people from taking the first step:
- “I’m not seriously injured so an attorney will not talk to me”
- “My case is too small”
- “I will just let my insurance company handle everything”
- “I can’t afford an attorney”
Dealing with Minor Injuries
After an accident you may only have a few cuts and bruises accompanied with a few days of feeling sore. On the surface this could look like minor injuries. Once you settle with the insurance company you give up the right to file future claims associated with the accident. What happens when the soreness does not go away and you realize you have a serious underlying injury such as nerve damage? All of the sudden what you thought was a minor injury becomes a long-term big deal.
No matter the severity of the injury you are still entitled to pain and suffering. You also need an attorney with experience that can guide you through the insurance claims process to ensure that all of your options are covered. Most attorneys offer free initial consultations. The two of you can assess the circumstances surrounding the accident and determine the best course of action.
My Case is Too Small
An experienced attorney understands the legal system and has good working knowledge of what you are entitled to. You may not realize it, but more than one party may be responsible for your injuries. Along with the experience of knowing what you are entitled to, they are also experienced negotiators and have a better chance of maximizing your settlement.
The insurance company you are going up against is not looking at your case as being too small and neither should you.
I Will Let My Insurance Company Handle Everything
Most insurance companies have a single goal of settling a case as quickly as possible. You probably will only talk to your insurance case worker over the phone and never meet in person. Chances are they are not going to have working knowledge of everything you are entitled to.
I Can’t Afford a Lawyer
Most personal injury lawyers are not paid until you win your case or a settlement is reached. Fees are collected when you receive your settlement. Most personal injury attorneys in Louisiana offer free initial consultations. In the consultation you will discuss:
- Circumstances of the accident.
- Review possible options for you to consider.
- Discuss contingency fees.
- Decide on how to move forward and develop a plan of action.
To Mediate or Not Mediate
How is Pain and Suffering Determined?
Auto Accident Checklist