Sustaining an injury can have devastating consequences for the victim. Accident victims may sustain painful injuries that result in high medical bills and significant loss of income. Injuries result in physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering.
Examples of cases that could result in an insurance claim for damages include:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Bicycle accidents
- Dog bites
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice claims
- Boating accidents
- Rideshare crashes (like Uber and Lyft)
For some accident victims, filing an insurance claim can get them the money they need to recover from the physical, emotional, and financial damages caused by an accident or injury. However, there may be times when a person needs to hire a personal injury lawyer to handle the case.
Situations That Might Be Okay to Submit an Insurance Claim Without an Attorney
It is generally in your best interest to consult a personal injury lawyer before talking to an insurance company about a claim. However, there are some situations where a person might submit an insurance claim without a lawyer.
Cases that might not require a lawyer’s help include:
- Cases involving victims who understand personal injury claims and insurance laws. These individuals might be able to handle their cases alone. However, filing insurance claims and negotiating settlements can be frustrating and time-consuming.
- The person understands the types of evidence required to prove the elements of negligence and has the time and resources to gather the evidence required to prove their case.
- The case does not involve serious injuries or disputes related to fault.
- The accident victim understands what damages they may recover and how to value those damages correctly.
If you decide to handle your personal injury case without an attorney, you are responsible for understanding the law and what you need to do to protect your rights. The insurance provider has a team of professionals to protect its best interests, including lawyers, adjusters, and investigators.
The company and its representative will always work to reduce the value of your injury claim so that the company does not have to pay you the total value of your damages.
When Should You Consult a Personal Injury Attorney Before Filing an Insurance Claim?
Some situations and factors complicate personal injury cases.
Examples of issues and factors that generally require the assistance of experienced legal counsel include:
- Your accident involves a complex area of personal injury law, such as medical malpractice, product liability, or premises liability
- The case involves a class-action lawsuit or multi-district litigation
- The other party denies liability for the cause of the accident, or you are being blamed for contributing to the cause of your injury (comparative negligence claims)
- The insurance company refuses to investigate the claim or acts in bad faith
- Your child was injured in an accident or because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing
- The accident caused catastrophic injuries or permanent impairments, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, loss of limbs, or internal organ damage
- The case involves a commercial vehicle, government entity, or more than one at-fault party
Other factors could make your personal injury case too complicated to handle without an attorney. Bottom Line – the insurance company looks out for itself. You need someone who fights to get you the compensation you deserve and puts your best interest first.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Handle My Case?
If you have any doubts about your legal rights or what your damages are worth, it is in your best interest to talk with an injury lawyer before dealing with the insurance company. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations. Therefore, it does not cost you anything to discuss your case with an attorney.
The insurance company nor its representatives or employees are trusted sources of legal advice. Their goal is to pay as little as possible to resolve your claim. If possible, they will deny your claim and pay nothing.
Therefore, take advantage of a free consultation to learn about your options and rights from a trusted legal source. Remember, you have a specific deadline for filing your claim.
For example, the Maryland statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is three years from the date of injury. However, there are cases where the statute of limitations may be shorter. For example, many government claims must be filed within a few months after the injury to preserve your right to file a lawsuit at a later date.
Failing to file a lawsuit before the deadline expires means that you cannot pursue a claim in court. In other words, the other party does not have to pay your damages even if it is responsible for causing your injury. Therefore, do not hesitate to seek legal advice about a personal injury claim.