Personal injury claims are civil actions. Many people misunderstand the legal term, think it means civility is part of the process. The lawsuit is still a legal action, and having familiarity with the law is paramount to the success of your claim. While it is tempting to argue the case yourself, you may jeopardize your potential settlement by doing so. Instead, consider the four reasons you should always hire an attorney.
1. Insurance Adjusters Aren’t Your Friend
Insurance adjusters make it a habit of contacting you after an accident. They sound cordial and sympathetic, and they often offer a settlement to resolve things quickly. Reject the initial offer. While an adjuster’s friendly demeanor is often convincing and may be genuine, they are not your friend, and they are not looking out for your best interests. Their job is to save their employer money. Therefore, always have a lawyer by your side when talking to the insurance company.
2. The Claims Process Is Complicated
A lawyer can also help you navigate the claims process. While the filing process is straightforward, you also need to keep track of the defense and several moving parts during settlement negotiations or a trial. Attorneys are familiar with the bureaucracy of the judicial system and can help keep your case moving along instead of stalling out in the early stages.
3. Legal Knowledge Is a Must
As you enter into negotiations, a lawyer is a must. The defense side of the table will include the insurance company’s legal team. They will try to confuse you with legal precedence and arbitrary laws. If you are unfamiliar with legal jargon, then you may get lost in the conversation and walk away unhappy. A lawyer can make sure you understand what is happening, and they will know when the other side is blowing smoke.
4. A Trial May Be Inevitable
While most personal injury claims settle outside of the courtroom, some cases inevitably make it to trial. You may have extreme confidence in your negotiation skills, but how are your trial tactics. Do you know the rules of courtroom decorum? Do you know when to speak, or how to phrase a question? Trials are complex and not for the faint of heart. Having expertise and trial experience means your attorney can hold their own.