UNITED STATES—If you have suffered an injury due to an accident that was not your fault, you may be weighing the possibility of hiring a Stockton personal injury lawyer. You may be having doubts about doing this because you might be convinced that you can get the compensation you need without the expense of a legal professional. However, since this is likely the first time you find yourself in this situation, you worry about making the wrong decision and jeopardizing your claim. What should you do? Read on to find out some information that can help you decide.
Handling Your Own Claim
Before taking this route, you should understand what you can risk by doing things independently. If you make any mistakes, you may lose more than the attorney’s fees and have your claim denied altogether.
You might be able to handle your case if:
You Suffered No or Just Minor Injuries
Let’s say you are in an accident where the car behind you rear-ends you. The damage to your car might be insignificant, and you and your passengers may just have to get yourselves checked out to confirm that there are no injuries. If this is the case, your insurance or that of the other driver should cover both the medical expenses and the repair. No attorney would have to be involved.
You Are Confident You Can Successfully Negotiate with the Adjuster
If you are a good negotiator and have dealt with an adjuster in the past, you may give it a try this time as well and forgo the advice of a personal injury lawyer. Also, you have an amount in mind that would cover your damages and that you consider fair. If you find that the insurance is not responding as expected, you may handle your claim through Small Claims Court.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Even though you may feel confident in your abilities, you may soon discover that the insurance does not have your best interests at heart. They are armed with a team of experienced professionals to defend their position. Also, if the other party has legal representation, there may be no way out for you but to do the same. You may also consider hiring a lawyer when:
Your Injuries Are More Extensive Than You Thought
Rushing to accept the first offer from the insurance company only to find out later that your injuries are more severe than you thought will put you in a position where there is nothing more to be done since you have given up any future claims by receiving the payout. A lawyer knows when to accept a settlement and when to wait.
You Are Seeking Damages for Pain and Suffering
If you have experienced pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other feelings after your injuries, you may be looking to receive compensation for these intangible items. A personal injury attorney can help put a figure to your pain and suffering based on a formula that would consider your economic damages and a multiplier. If your case ends up in court, you want the judge or jury to agree with the amount you are seeking. Doing this on your own may not yield the results you hope.