If you have been injured in a personal injury accident, such as a car accident, motorcycle accident, or been a victim of medical malpractice, you are likely hurt and feeling overwhelmed.
You may wonder how you will pay your medical bills, make ends meet during your recovery, and who will help you through this difficult time.
Fortunately, personal injury law dictates that the party liable for your accident and injuries is responsible for compensating you. This means that if another driver hits you in a car accident, their insurance company should pay your medical bills and any other damages resulting from the accident.
However, obtaining the full and fair compensation, you are entitled to is not always easy. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that are motivated to pay you as little as possible – or nothing at all.
That’s why it’s important to have an experienced personal injury protection lawyer on your side who can level the playing field and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
But hiring a personal injury lawyer is a big decision. How do you know if you need one? And, if you decide to hire an attorney, how do you choose the right one?
Here are five things to consider when hiring a personal injury protection lawyer:
1. The Severity of Your Injuries
You likely don’t need to hire a lawyer if you have been in a minor accident with no injuries. However, it is important to have legal representation if you have been seriously injured or suffered any permanent damage, such as paralysis or a brain injury.
You need to keep in mind that some injuries may not present symptoms immediately. For example, you may not realize you have suffered a traumatic brain injury until days or weeks after the accident.
So, even if you don’t feel like your injuries are severe, it’s important to at least speak with a personal injury lawyer to find out if you have a case.
2. The Complexity of Your Case
Some personal injury cases are relatively straightforward and don’t require the help of a lawyer. For example, if you have clear liability in your accident and the insurance company offers you a fair settlement, you may not need legal representation.
However, many cases are much more complicated. If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident or multiple parties are liable for your injuries, you will likely need a lawyer to help you navigate the claims process and get the best possible outcome.
Similarly, if your injuries are serious or permanent, you will probably need a personal injury lawyer to ensure you receive full and fair compensation.
3. The Cause of Your Accident
Another thing to consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer is who or what caused your accident.
If you were in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, such as speeding or texting while driving, you will likely need an attorney to help you obtain compensation.
However, if your accident was caused by a defective product, such as a car seat that malfunctioned in a crash, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer.
These cases can be complex, so it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
4. The Attorney Fees
Before you hire a personal injury lawyer, you should always ask about their fees. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if they win your case.
While you may be worried about the cost of hiring an attorney, you should remember that you likely won’t have to pay anything upfront. And, if your lawyer successfully wins your case, their fees will usually be a percentage of the settlement or verdict.
The percentage varies from case to case, but it is typically between one-third and 40%. So, if you receive a $100,000 settlement, your lawyer will get paid $33,333 to $40,000.
5. The Statute of Limitations
Another important thing to consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer is the statute of limitations for your case. The statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
In most states, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you were injured in a car accident caused by a government entity, you may have a shorter deadline for filing a lawsuit.
If you try to file a personal injury lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, your case will likely be dismissed. So, it’s important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
When looking for a personal injury protection lawyer, it is important to consider the severity of your injuries, the complexity of your case, and the cause of your accident.
You also need to be aware of the attorney fees and the statute of limitations.
Working with an experienced personal injury protection lawyer can help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
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