Suffering an injury in the face of an accident can be a stressful time. There are doctor bills to take care of and insurance companies to talk to, and through all the paperwork you’re working at feeling better and recovering from the physical and emotional damage you suffered.
Many accident victims opt to represent themselves when talking to the at-fault party and insurance companies in an effort to get through the process quickly and to avoid attorney fees. But representing yourself is usually not the best course of action if you’re ready for your life to get back to normal. And it could cost you big.
Here’s what hiring a personal injury attorney could do to help you:
- Experience and Knowledge. When you represent yourself in a personal injury case, you’re taking time and energy away from your own well-being in an effort to recoup your medical costs and property damage. It’s stressful and involves a lot of red tape. A personal injury attorney is able to skirt some of the formalities for you because he knows who to talk to first. He knows what paperwork needs to be filed and when, and how to investigate fault so your case is seen in the best light possible.
- Higher Settlement. Because of their vast experience, attorneys are adept at earning clients a higher settlement than they might receive if they negotiate the case on their own. Sometimes damages and compensation rights go far beyond what an injury victim might expect. For example, you need to consider lost wages, current and future medical bills as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional destress. These can be difficult to calculate, but personal injury attorneys have the resources, experience and case knowledge that can help clients get the largest settlement possible.
- Contingency-Based Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so they don’t get paid unless they earn you a settlement—whether you settle before or after filing a lawsuit. So if you’re worried about the up-front cost of hiring an attorney, they don’t typically exist in this type of case. Typical contingency fees in California are about a third of the total settlement.
- History with Insurance Companies. Working with insurance companies can be tricky, especially when the company has its own attorney. The insurance company has experience on its side when you represent yourself, which could mean the difference between recouping all your damages or not. A good personal injury attorney has worked with many insurance companies and knows how they work—to your benefit.
Nothing can reverse the injuries or damages suffered due to a personal injury, but hiring an attorney can help take away some of the stress so you can focus on taking care of yourself. If you’ve been injured in an accident, we encourage you to contact your personal injury attorney in Orange County today.