Do I Really Need to Hire an Attorney for a Car Accident?
You have been rear-ended by a careless driver and are suffering the classic symptoms of whiplash—stiff neck, soreness, headaches, and some back pain. You figure that there’s no need to hire a personal injury lawyer because liability seems to be clear, and the at-fault driver’s insurance adjuster has promised a good settlement.
So, do you really need to hire a lawyer?
In reality, no, you don’t have to hire a lawyer for a personal injury case—or any case, for that matter. In Florida, case parties have the right to represent themselves in legal claims. You may represent yourself in settlement negotiations and even in a trial if you so desire. You’ll pocket 100% of any settlements or awards you receive.
However, there are many benefits to hiring a Florida personal injury attorney.
You are much more likely to prevail in your case if you hire an attorney. One study examined the success rates of pro se claims that were filed in a one-year period in San Francisco. The majority—76.2 percent—lost their claims. Only 3.5 percent of the pro se litigants actually won their claims; 20.3 percent of the claims were settled or transferred to a different court. Many of these claims were dismissed early on. Due to inexperience with court deadlines and protocol, as well as failing to understand how to present a legal argument, many litigants lost their right to recovery. Had they hired an attorney from the beginning, their chances of success would have been much higher.
Do you know what types of damages you may be entitled to under Florida law? Any insurance adjuster you speak with will try to settle the claim for as little money as possible. If you have $5,000 in medical bills, the insurance adjuster may offer you $5,000. You may think this is a great settlement—but did you know that you may also be entitled to compensation for your lost wages, pain and suffering, and the cost of future medical care you may need? If you do not ask for these damages, they are not going to be offered. A personal injury attorney will ensure that your legal interests are protected.
If you are concerned about the cost of hiring a personal injury attorney, you shouldn’t be. Most personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that, if you prevail in your claim, the attorney takes a portion of any settlement or verdict amount as payment. You do not have to pay your attorney out of pocket. In many cases, even if you lose, the law firm will absorb costs associated with your case.
If You Have Decided to Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer, Contact Shiner Law Group For Your Free Case Review and Consultation
Our personal injury firm in Boca Raton, Florida has received numerous honors and awards since opening its doors 15 years ago. To schedule your free consultation, call 561-777-7700.