Why should you hire an attorney for a personal injury case?

Picture of Kyle E. Wright
Kyle E. Wright
11/9/21 9:52 PM
Tags: Personal Injury

Personal injury case

Answering this question is simple: hiring an experienced personal injury attorney maximizes the amount of money you obtain from the insurance company.

The natural follow-up question from a prospective client is: Why? This answer requires a more in-depth explanation.

An experienced personal injury attorney helps you recover the maximum amount from the insurance company because the insurance adjusters who control the money know who the experienced personal injury attorneys are. When they work with an unrepresented claimant or hire an attorney who does not regularly practice personal injury, the adjusters know that there is minimal risk of being sued and the injury case going to a trial. I sue people all the time. If you are a non-lawyer trying to handle your own case, it’s very likely that you don’t regularly sue people – and the insurance companies know this. A specific example of this is my experience with a client I will call ‘John.’

John was rear-ended and suffered minor back and neck injuries in a clear liability case. John didn’t want to pay an attorney 1/3 of his recovery, so he attempted to settle his claim on his own. John was on Medicaid, so most of his medical bills were paid, and Medicaid was only seeking a tiny amount of reimbursement. A week before the statute of limitations running (meaning that if John didn’t settle or sue, his claim was lost), John came to my office for me to “look everything over” before agreeing to settle his claim. John proudly told me that he handled this on his own, with pictures and documented medical bills. He told me the insurance company gave him a final offer of $2,000, and considering he only had to pay a couple hundred back to Medicaid; he felt this was not a bad offer since the bulk of the $2,000 was going into his pocket. I told John that I was pretty confident I could get him more money based on his total medical bills and some of the finer points that I felt were overlooked in his case. John was reluctant because he didn’t want to pay me 1/3 of his recovery. I made John a deal and told him that I would promise he takes home at least $2,000, so I won’t take a fee if I can’t get more. John agreed.

After a week of scrambling and preparing my proposal for the insurance company, they agreed to a pre-suit settlement of $10,000. John’s total money in his pocket went from $1,800 to $6,467. When I called John to inform him of the final number I received, he was in disbelief. He couldn’t understand it because his accident was pretty minor, and he didn’t have any significant medical bills to pay. I just smiled and told John the insurance company knew that if they didn’t come to my pre-suit number, I would file a lawsuit where I would be demanding even more money. They agreed to my bottom number rather than hire an attorney and pay additional funds to defend the suit. That day, I made a believer out of John.

Hiring an attorney for a personal injuryNow the story of John is not always a guarantee, but if you come to me with a case that I do not think I can get you more value on, I will tell you. I have turned away a handful of injured clients who, in my opinion, cannot get any more in their pocket in hiring me. These are typically small cases - cases where someone is in a minor motor vehicle accident and has no medical bills, or perhaps one visit to their primary care physician who tells them everything is okay. In these cases, even the most experienced attorney isn’t going to be able to make the insurance company pay because there just isn’t a real threat of taking that type of case to a jury trial.

Even if you think you have a policy limits case and don’t need an attorney because the insurance carrier has told you they will pay out the whole policy amount, talk to an attorney! The reason for this is there could be additional monies available, and you may not have exhausted every insurance avenue.

The main takeaway from this article is that if you or someone close to you is injured due to someone else’s negligence, whether it is a dog-bite, car accident, or premises liability case, always talk to an attorney as soon as possible. At the very least, it will give you peace of mind that you are proceeding down the right path, and who knows, you might just get more money than you expected!

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Maybe you haven't been in an accident and are just wanting to prepare for that unfortunate scenario, check out our blog on how you should prepare for an accident! If you have been injured in an accident and have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Call our office today if you would like to speak to one of our attorneys.

Author: Kyle E. Wright     Published: 11/9/21 9:52 PM     Tags: Personal Injury


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