Have you ever wondered, “Do I need a personal injury lawyer?” If so, this can be a difficult question to answer.
If you have suffered an injury, it is essential to consider whether it is appropriate for you to hire a personal injury attorney. Often, following an injury or illness, individuals like yourself are overwhelmed and understandably concerned about their recovery. You may find yourself thinking about the circumstances of your accident or injury and whether you need an attorney to represent you.
When it comes to personal injury cases, the injured party must consult with an attorney specializing in personal injury law. Personal injury law is a complex and intricate field to navigate without the guidance and knowledge of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you have been injured and are wondering if you should consult with a personal injury lawyer, take the time to go over the following guide to help you make the right decision for your situation.
If you have any questions after being in a severe accident that results in damages and injuries, our goal is to make things as easy as possible for you. When you contact our personal injury lawyer, you will find that we provide all potential clients with free consultations. During the initial consultation, we can answer any questions and help you explore all the legal options available.
After being involved in an accident caused by another person or entity, you may be facing an uncertain future. However, even when this happens, an experienced attorney from our law firm will be able to help you through this trying time while protecting your rights to recover compensation along the way.
Still, you must figure out when you need to find and hire a personal injury attorney?
To find the answer to this question, keep reading. Here we will cover some of the times you need these legal services.
Table of Contents
What Is a Personal Injury Attorney?
Deciding whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer for your injury makes it crucial to understand the role of a personal injury attorney. Personal injury law consists of cases involving individuals who are harmed or injured as a result of various types of accidents that may have been caused by the negligent actions of others. Often, people correlate personal injury attorneys with vehicular accidents or slip and fall type cases. While personal injury lawyers deal with cases such as these daily, they also deal with several other types of cases involving injuries for which you may not be aware.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have experienced a personal injury due to negligence by another person or company, hiring an experienced and qualified personal injury attorney is essential.
Unfortunately, too many people try to handle personal injury claims independently. Many of these people fail to recover compensation or a fair amount of compensation for the damages and injuries they experienced. Several studies have shown when you hire experienced legal counsel, you can “net” (not gross) more than three times more money than if you handle the claim on your own.
If you choose to handle a personal injury claim alone, the insurance carrier will offer you a minimal amount of money, called a “nuisance value” offer. The goal of this is to make your claim go away. Unfortunately, the insurance company only offers you money because your claim is considered a nuisance. It’s possible to send several letters that demand a settlement offer, but these will typically fall on deaf ears because they believe if you don’t have an attorney representing your case, then you won’t be able to express your needs and get what you deserve.
You have the legal right to represent yourself in your personal injury claim. However, unless you have a legal background, you probably don’t have the experience or training to negotiate with the insurance carrier to resolve your medical bills. Additionally, claimants will usually lack the resources to retain the best professionals and the knowledge that expert witnesses could benefit their case.
Our law firm has handled tens of thousands of personal injury claims. You can count on our legal team to provide you with the professional representation you want and need. We can handle anything from minor to more severe accidents resulting in life-long injuries.
When trying to answer the question, “should I hire a personal injury lawyer,” the answer is a resounding yes. The fact is there’s no substitute for experience. All insurance carriers handle claims uniquely. We have dealt with the same companies and adjusters time and time again. We know the “ropes” and will use our experience and resources to benefit your situation.
Additionally, our firm is respected by insurance carriers. We have tried several personal injury cases before a jury, and because of this, we can secure better offers than the law firms who opt for settling claims rather than going to court. You can count on us to aggressively litigate your personal injury lawsuit to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Types of Personal Injury Cases
A personal injury case can arise if an injury has occurred due to the negligent action of another party or parties. Below is a list of some of the most common types of personal injury cases that you should consider when deciding whether you should contact a personal injury lawyer in your matter.
- Vehicle Accidents — Auto accidents are some of the most common personal injury cases and can also include injuries arising from the use of recreational style vehicles such as ATVs, dirt bikes, and go-carts.
- Boating Accidents — In areas such as Florida, where boating is a popular pastime, accidents are common, and those involving watercrafts such as boats and jet skis can cause serious injuries.
- Pedestrian/Bicycling Accident — Individuals injured while walking or bicycling along the road by other vehicles or due to improper maintenance of sidewalks or the streets may be entitled to compensation for any injuries obtained.
- Medical Malpractice — These are often complicated and challenging cases involving injuries resulting from improper medical care by a health care professional. These cases can be challenging due to the need to prove negligent actions were taken that directly resulted in your injuries. Although these cases may be challenging, you may still be entitled to compensation.
- Product Liability — Defective products or improper instructions for the use of a product can result in debilitating injuries to consumers who purchase or use these products. Manufacturers of these defective products, as well as distributors and sellers, may be liable for your injuries.
- Premises Liability– Some of the most common premises liability cases are slip and fall type accidents. However, any injury sustained as a result of improper maintenance or unsafe conditions while visiting a personal or commercial property can give rise to legal action against the negligent party.
- Workplace Injuries — If you have become ill or injured as a result of your duties at your workplace or while on the job, you may have a case for worker’s compensation.
- Intentional Acts — While intentional acts such as assault and battery are often criminal matters punishable through the court with jail or fines, the same intentional acts can give rise to a civil matter through personal injury law.
- Animal Attacks — If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog or other animal that is owned by an individual or entity, you may have a case for personal injury against the owner if the attack occurred as a result of their negligence.
- Neglect or Abuse in Care Facilities — If your loved one has been harmed due to negligence or abuse while in a care facility such as a licensed care home, assisted living facility, or nursing home, you may take action against the caregivers and providers.
- Wrongful Death — If your loved one was fatally injured as a result of others’ actions, you might have a legal action against those contributing to their death. The unexpected death of a loved one will often result in significant emotional and financial hardship on the surviving family.
What to Expect During Free Case Evaluations for Your Personal Injury Claim
When you schedule an initial consultation with our law firm, we will take the time to do a thorough intake. This includes getting to know all the medical providers that you have been treated by in the past. When you file a claim, the insurance carriers and the team of lawyers they have behind them use the “guilty until proven innocent approach” to your case. Because of this, we must gather all your medical records – even the ones that seem entirely unrelated to the situation. At this point, we can allow the insurance carrier to see if there are any pre-existing injuries and how serious they may have been.
When you work with our law firm at Shiner Law Group, we take pride in having a vast network that we can rely on to provide excellent legal services for our clients. In addition, the team of experts we have on our side can help with liability, causation (the cause of the accident and injuries you claim to have suffered), present and future damages, and any other related issues. All this information is necessary to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Our personal injury attorneys have achieved a considerable amount of success at mediation and trial. We have the financial resources to ensure that even the largest corporations are held accountable. We work to seek justice for those who have experienced any injury due to someone else’s fault or carelessness. We represent all accident victims; some of the life-altering and catastrophic injuries we have seen and successfully represented include:
- Traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries
- Amputation or loss of limbs
- Serious motor vehicle accident injuries
- Wrongful death cases
Deciding to hire a personal injury attorney needs to be made as soon as possible after your injury. First, it’s essential to evaluate the reviews supplied by past clients, which can be found on Google by a quick search of the law firm’s name. This will help you figure out if the personal injury law attorneys you are considering have tried and true trial lawyers on their side.
Understanding the Complexities of Personal Injury Cases
There are more than a few reasons an injured person would need the services of a personal injury attorney after being involved in an accident. But unfortunately, the involved process is much more complex than most insurance companies want you to know.
Remember, insurance adjusters work for a for-profit business. This means they are instructed to pay you as little as possible with the hopes that you will accept and go away. However, you can avoid this situation if you hire an experienced personal injury attorney.
It’s also important to know that the at-fault party’s insurance carrier will have legal counsel on the case from the beginning. Insurance adjusters may offer you a lower settlement amount to get you to say something that may hurt your compensation claim. When you hire a personal injury attorney, they will handle all communication with the insurance company. This includes working to negotiate on your behalf to help you get the best settlement possible.
Hiring a personal injury attorney is a smart move if you were involved in an accident that resulted in extensive damage, serious injuries, or death. They have training in the legal field, work with insurance companies almost daily, and have the resources required to help pursue compensation for your losses and injuries.
Did you know that if you are in a situation where the insurance company contests your injuries (and you can almost count on this happening), you must have an expert testify that your injuries did happen? This is one example of the different experts that you may need to help ensure you can prove your side of the situation. Some of the other experts that may be required to help you get the compensation you deserve to include:
- Surgical specialists
- Car accident reconstruction experts
- Mental health professionals
- Other experts who can testify to how severe your injury was and the various damages that you experience
Remember, as mentioned above, the insurance company will try to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. Therefore, you aren’t “in good hands,” as the slogan says. Instead, you are in the hands of a company and adjuster that wants to maximize its profits to help minimize its losses. You should try to hire an attorney who will benefit if you benefit. Don’t be the one stuck with the financial burden of a claim that isn’t handled correctly.
Should You Contact a Personal Injury Attorney?
When suffering an injury, it can be difficult for individuals to determine whether the accident may have been a result of another’s action. If you are unsure whether your injury gives rise to a personal injury matter, it is best to consult and discuss your situation and the specifics surrounding your injury with an experienced and professional personal injury team that can provide some answers to your personal injury questions or concerns. Below are some indicators for contacting a personal injury attorney for an injury or illness you have sustained.
You Have Suffered an Injury or Disability
Any injury or disability that has resulted from a specific incident or accident should be considered as possibly occurring as a result of the negligent actions of others. It would be best if you took the time to consider what happened to you and how it happened. Was there any specific factor or factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of your injury or illness?
You Believe another Party or Parties May Be Responsible For Your Injuries
When considering the circumstances that caused your injury, you may be feeling that certain individuals or factors may have led to your injury. Any indication that another party or factor caused your injury, whether in whole or in part, is a reason to consult with a personal injury attorney. Even in cases where you feel you may have had a lapse in judgment that allowed for the injury to occur, there may still be contributing factors from outside forces that led to your injury or disability.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
It’s essential to hire a personal injury attorney as soon as you can after being involved in an accident. The insurance companies will begin to work to try to “trip you up.” If you say anything that can be taken out of context, they will, which means that you may not be able to recover the compensation you deserve. Each hour you wait to contact our law firm for help, you give them a head start to find ways to reduce your compensation or deny it altogether.
Some people still believe that representing themselves in personal injury cases is wise since they won’t have to pay the attorney’s percentage. However, as mentioned above, people with lawyers get up to three times more in their settlement than those who don’t have representation. This situation is even worse because while the insurance company works to string you along with different negotiation tactics, evidence will begin to disappear. Some of the evidence that may be lost includes:
- Damaged vehicles
- Event data recorders (black boxes)
- Video footage of the accident
When you hire a personal injury attorney to represent your case immediately after the accident, the insurance company will recognize and understand you are serious about your case, which means it will automatically have a higher valuation. With an experienced personal injury lawyer, you have someone to take over the case, help preserve all evidence, and provide legal advice at each step of the process. This includes repairs to your vehicle, lost wages, and ensuring that you get the best medical care available. By immediately calling a personal injury attorney, you can feel confident that you have someone handling your case.
Why Experience Matters in Personal Injury Cases
If you have to ask the question, “do you need a personal injury attorney,” the answer is yes. If you don’t have experience dealing with insurance companies, you will quickly discover they aren’t on your side, nor are they your friend. Remember, their job is to settle your claim and resolve it as soon as possible. They also want to ensure they pay you as little as possible for the claim.
Remember, the insurance adjuster isn’t concerned about if you are okay or not. They aren’t concerned about the long-term physical outlook a doctor has given you. Nor do they care about your impairments. So if you are involved in an accident and believe you have a case or claim, you shouldn’t wait to contact a personal injury attorney.
Insurance companies will try to talk to you immediately after you are involved in an accident. They want to get to you before you see a doctor or speak to an attorney. This is done so that they can offer you a settlement (much lower than you deserve) with the hopes that you will accept it. Accepting a settlement offer releases the insurance company from further liability. If you don’t have a personal injury lawyer representing your interests, you are likely settling for much less than you need or deserve for the damages and injuries you suffered. You are also signing away your ability to hold the at-fault party responsible for the pain and suffering you have endured.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is in your best interest. They understand that your injuries will take time to heal, and only after receiving proper care will you know the full impact of the injuries and the actual cost of long-term treatment. Therefore, your attorney won’t try to get you to settle as quickly as possible. Instead, they want to take time to understand the full extent of your damages resulting from the accident. Only at this point can an accurate and fair settlement amount be determined.
Personal injury attorneys know the tricks and methods that insurance companies use. This knowledge ensures you aren’t a victim of these tricks and strategies. If you believe you may need the services offered by a personal injury attorney, it’s a good idea to hire one immediately. Usually, there are no associated out-of-pocket upfront costs for these services. If you don’t hire an attorney, you won’t have the chance to recover a fair amount of compensation for your injury and damages (in most cases).
What Can You Expect When Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
Before you hire a personal injury lawyer for your case, it is essential to consult with the lawyer and their team beforehand. This consultation will provide you the opportunity to discuss your case, as well as ask any questions or concerns that you may have about the process or the specific details of your case.
Individuals may be hesitant to contact an attorney about their injury matter due to financial concerns and concerns about the expenses that may be incurred. Personal injury attorneys work on a contingent basis. This means you will not be expected to make any upfront financial contribution to obtain representation in your matter. If a personal injury lawyer agrees to take on your case and represent you, they will only be paid if and when a settlement is reached or a court has entered a judgment in your favor. Your recovery will come from the at-fault party.
Contingency fees in Florida personal injury cases are as follows:
- In cases settled out of court, up to 33 1/3 percent of the total settlement will be charged by an attorney.
- In cases where a settlement or judgment is entered after the filing of an answer in court, attorneys will charge up to 40 percent of the final recovery in cases up to $1 million.
- Also, lawyers will charge 30 percent of the portion of recovery between $1 million to $2 million. Anything amount over $2 million will be charged at the contingency rate of 20 percent.
Our team at Shiner Law Group understands the struggles faced by individuals who have suffered illness and injury due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one has been injured, please contact us for a free consultation and evaluation to discuss the details of your case. We have been fighting for injured individuals in South Florida for over 18 years, and we pride ourselves in fighting for the rights and compensation our injured clients deserve.
What To Do After An Accident That Resulted in Personal Injury
If you are hurt in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or any other type of incident, one of the first steps you should take is to get treated by a medical professional. A doctor will know what to look for and check. They will search for injuries that are obvious and apparent, as well as those that you may not even realize you have, such as internal bleeding and concussions. The doctor you go to will also begin a treatment regimen to help you get on the path to recovery. It’s important that once your doctor has given you a treatment plan, you stick to it and complete it.
After getting the medical treatment you need, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney right away. Personal injury attorneys can review the facts of your case, explore your options, and help you start the process of pursuing the compensation you are entitled to. In any situation, you must speak to a personal injury attorney before giving any statements to an insurance adjuster and before signing any document.
Once you have handled your medical needs, get in touch with our experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case and what happened. An experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney can explain your rights in a free and no-obligation consultation. During this consultation, you can talk about what caused your accident and how serious your injuries are.
Also, they will begin to document different elements of the case, including your:
- Medical costs
- Time missed from work
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Any other accident-related losses
Evidence may begin to disappear in the weeks and days after an accident. Additionally, witnesses may forget what happened. Because of this (and other reasons), you need to have representation from a personal injury attorney right away. You should hire a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case as soon as possible.
What if You Are Partly to Blame for Your Accident and Injuries?
It’s important to hire a personal injury attorney for your accident case, even in a situation where you may be partially at fault for the incident and your resulting injuries. In Florida, being partially to blame for your accident doesn’t keep you from recovering compensation. While this is true, the amount you can recover may be reduced by your percentage of fault.
The responsibility for an accident will be divided and then shared between anyone who contributed to the accident. Therefore, the amount of compensation you can recover will be minimized by how much you are at fault. In these situations, the other people will likely be trying to shift blame to you to protect their interests. If these people are successful and you are considered the only one responsible for the accident, it will be impossible for you to recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
When you hire an attorney, you can feel confident that you have someone looking out for your best interest and working to maximize your settlement or the verdict issued by the jury. Your attorney will review all the details and evidence related to your case to find indications that someone else shares fault in the accident. At this point, they will work to help you recover compensation from anyone else who was partially to blame for your accident.
Collecting Damages from the At-Fault Party After an Accident
If you are hurt in an incident because of someone else’s fault or on someone else’s property, you need a personal injury attorney. The attorney will determine what happened to you, evaluate the situation, and decide whether they can take on your case. Getting in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury occurs is important. When you contact our law firm, we will get to work right away. However, it would be best if you didn’t wait to make this call since the longer you wait, the more challenging it will be to build a case that you deserve compensation.
An example of this would be if you are involved in a car accident, the insurance company for another driver will usually try to get in touch with you immediately. This call aims to get you to say something that will impact your legal rights. Some of the things they want you to say are that you aren’t seriously injured or that the accident was your fault. It’s always better to have representation from an attorney who can ensure your best interests are protected. They will also speak to the insurance company on your behalf and only provide the information necessary to ensure you are put in the best position to recover the maximum compensation possible.
Getting in touch with an attorney right after your injury is essential because they can provide the advice you need to ensure you are in the most favorable position for your situation. For example, an attorney will work to ensure that all evidence in your case is preserved, no matter what it is -witness statements, photographs, or video surveillance. The attorney-client privilege also protects the advice that they provide you. This means the information is confidential, just like what you tell your lawyer when it comes to your accident.
Steps to Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring a personal injury attorney is typically an easy process. They will have an agreement that you sign and typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means the attorney will only be paid a certain percentage for their work on your case when a settlement is awarded. This ensures that you can get legal representation from top lawyers in the area to ensure you have the best possible representation. Then, if you are harmed or injured, you have to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer for assistance.
The top personal injury attorneys in Florida (including our legal team) will listen to what happened and how your injury occurred. We will then ask follow-up questions and have one of our attorneys evaluate your case. At this point, we can determine if you have a viable claim and start the contract to help build your case and secure the compensation you deserve.
Our team works on a contingency fee basis. You don’t have to pay us anything unless we successfully represent your case and help you secure compensation. This ensures that you can get the top legal representation available. Our team will work to pursue the liable party and their insurance company to help you get the maximum compensation possible. When we do this, we can relieve you of some of the emotional distress involved with seeking legal remedy for more severe injuries that occurred because of a defective product, car accident, slip and fall incident, or any other accident.
We will also work to help you get a personal injury settlement for the physical injuries you experienced and can pursue punitive damages in some cases. However, punitive damages are usually only awarded in cases where you have a personal injury attorney with years of experience representing these cases. Also, these damages are rare since the goal is to punish the at-fault party and encourage others not to do the same thing.
Understanding Florida’s No-Fault Laws
The most common types of personal injury claims we represent include truck, bus, or car accidents. Florida has a no-fault law, which requires that the insured party advise their auto insurance carrier of the accident so that the no-fault claim can be submitted to the proper medical providers. At this point, your bills will be submitted to your own insurance company. Keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to file this claim.
Is Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Necessary?
You need legal representation if you are in an accident and suffered any serious injury. Some of the times that you should hire this attorney include:
- The insurance company refuses to pay
- There are several parties involved in the accident
- Your injuries are permanent or disabling
In any situation, though, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer at least and schedule a free consultation. This is going to ensure you know your options and rights.
Protecting Your Rights After a Personal Injury Accident
It doesn’t matter if your injuries occurred because of a dog attack, a car accident, a pharmacy error, or even if you lost someone you love; you need to take steps to protect your rights immediately. The best way to do this is by hiring a personal injury attorney. But don’t wait to make this call. Florida has a limited amount of time – called the statute of limitations – for you to file a claim.
Ensure you contact a personal injury attorney before contacting the insurance company. Regardless of anything else you do, never provide the insurance company with a recorded statement. It’s also essential to hire the right attorney for your case. Insurance companies know which firms will go to trial if needed – we are one of those firms.
Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help with Any Accident and Injury Situations
Some people believe they should only hire an attorney after being in an accident or suffering an injury because they were disabled or severely injured. There is a stereotype that only individuals who have been catastrophically injured have the right to hire a personal injury lawyer and file a lawsuit. It’s assumed that these are the only ones with a legitimate case.
Our attorneys have seen how different accidents – even those that seem minor – can turn a victim’s lives upside down. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common misconception, and it is harmful, even offensive, to those who have been injured.
The bottom line is that if you experienced an injury that was not your fault and it resulted in high medical costs, lost wages, or if the injury is going to have a long-term adverse effect on your quality of life, you need to hire a personal injury lawyer who will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Consider if you were struck from behind in a car accident and suffered whiplash. This is one of the most common injuries that occur in auto accidents. Unfortunately, it’s not always apparent at your accident scene. Additionally, the extent of your injuries may not be evident in an X-ray or physical exam. If this happens, the injured victim may not be taken to the hospital. Instead, they may decide not to go to the doctor or seek medical care until they are in extensive pain, have limited mobility, or experience some other type of issue. Unfortunately, waiting for treatment will result in the injury worsening and delay the claim.
When you talk to a personal injury attorney soon after your accident, you will know that getting medical treatment is essential. Not only is this important for your health, but for the viability of your lawsuit that is filed against the driver who ran into them. A seemingly “minor” injury can cause a lot of harm, and seeking treatment and rehab for this is costly. Because of this, it is important to hire our legal team immediately. Then, we can help ensure you get the medical care you need.
Seeking Fair Compensation for Injured Clients
It’s important to remember that the insurance adjuster working on your case (even from your insurance carrier) isn’t going to be “fair” to you. Instead, they focus on protecting their employer, the big-name insurance company. So, shouldn’t you have the same protection since the insurance company has someone protecting them?
The earlier you get an attorney involved with your personal injury claim, the more time they have to do a good job. Many people may try to handle a case independently, but this usually results in subpar results.
Don’t Wait to Call Our Legal Team for Help with Your Personal Injury Claim
You have rights if you suffered an injury due to another person’s fault or negligence. In Florida, our legal team is ready to help you with your case. We will evaluate your claim to ensure you get the representation you deserve. Being informed and hiring an attorney as quickly as possible will pay off in the long run. We are here to help. The first step is to reach out and schedule a free consultation. You will find that our goal is to protect your rights and interests and help you secure the maximum amount of compensation possible for your claim. Call today to learn more.