Making Changes To Your Life

Three Concerns A Lawyer Can Address About Your Personal Injury Claim

by Kristin Hawkins

After suffering an injury, you may have the option of pursuing a personal injury claim. This can be a complicated process to undertake, especially when you're still recovering. If you're uncertain about whether to pursue this claim, an experienced lawyer can help you figure out how much your claim may be worth, if it's a good idea to pursue it, and help alleviate any concerns about court costs.

You Don't Know How Much Your Claim is Worth

After an accident of some kind, it's common for insurance companies to attempt to reach a quick settlement by offering some money up front. This can happen within as little as a day after the accident is reported. This is standard practice, as reaching a settlement means the company cannot be sued in the future. These offers tend to be low, and you may not know if what they're offering is enough for what you need, especially if you're still assessing damage and healthcare costs.

A personal injury lawyer can help you estimate what your claim is actually worth, which will likely be more than what you're being offered. They will factor in costs related to physical damage and healthcare—that is, costs that can be measured in some way—but also damages relating to things like emotional harm, pain and suffering, or loss of companionship. Because these factors can be hard to quantify, an experienced lawyer is your best bet in helping you figure out what your claim is actually worth. If they think you have a good case to be made, they can also help you put together arguments for why the amount they're asking for is fair.

You Aren't Sure if You Should Pursue a Settlement

Depending on what type of injury you experienced and how severe you perceive it to be, it may not be clear whether putting in the time and effort to pursue a claim is worth it. If you think your injury isn't severe enough or the right kind of injury, it's worth a consultation anyway; personal injury cases go far beyond auto and workplace accidents, and can include things like defamation, defective products, or animal attacks.

Because things can quickly get complicated, it's worth talking to a lawyer before you accept anything from an insurance company or send any documentation. Insurance companies may try to get a recorded statement of you for their records, as well as photos, videos, and any other documents you may have -- all before you have even finished seeing your doctors. They more they have, the harder it can be to win a case if you move forward. If the lawyer you see decides it's not worth going to court over then you can always accept the insurance company's settlement later, but exploring your options before you agree to anything can give you much better results.

You're Worried About Court Costs

Whether you actually end up in a courtroom or not, you may expect to pay various fees that aren't in your budget, especially after an injury. In these cases, there are benefits to working with experienced lawyers. First, many of them work using contingency fees, which means that they don't get paid at all unless a settlement is reached. Their payment is typically a percentage of your total settlement, so you don't pay any extra. Second, this also means that if you don't reach a settlement, you usually don't need to pay anything apart from a few minor administrative costs. Many lawyers eat the costs for you, but double-check your fee agreement to make sure. This is why it's important to find a lawyer who has the resources to deal with these kind of cases, in case your claim doesn't go your way. Finally, if you do reach a settlement, court costs will be taken out of your settlement, not paid up front.

This ties into whether your lawyer recommends pursuing a settlement in court or not. If they recommend you do, there's a better chance you will end up with enough in your settlement to easily cover the cost of going to court in the first place.

For more information, reach out to a personal injury lawyer in your area today.