If you have suffered an injury or accident that was not your fault, you may be wondering whether it’s necessary to hire a personal injury lawyer. Many accident victims experience only minor injuries, resulting in limited medical expenses that insurance companies settle efficiently and with enough compensation to cover those costs. Other times, a person’s injuries may be more serious, leaving them faced with an uncertain future and legal complexities that require more expertise than simply knowing how to file a personal injury claim.
Without qualified legal advice and representation, accident victims can become overwhelmed dealing with teams of adjusters and lawyers employed by insurance companies who use various tactics to keep costs down. It’s not in their best interest to care about the long-term implications of your injuries or consider all the damages you may be entitled to receive. However, the right personal injury will have specialized knowledge of personal injury law and fight vigorously to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Car accidents, workplace accidents, slipping and falling on someone else’s property, nursing home negligence and abuse, medical malpractice, and animal bites can all result in personal injury claims that can benefit from legal representation. While every situation is unique, here are some instances when you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer in Ohio:
1. Your injuries are severe.
Being injured in an accident can put an enormous strain on your finances, causing you to rack up substantial medical bills and miss out on weeks or months of work due to your injuries. The amount of compensation you receive is based on the severity of your injuries, the cost of your medical bills, the length of your recovery, and the impact the injuries have had on your life. Sometimes with serious injuries, the amount of compensation can be capped at the negligent party’s policy limit, which is the maximum amount of money an insurer will pay toward a claim. When this happens, an experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to help you recover damages beyond these limits, looking at everything from umbrella policies to other defendants who are partly responsible for your accident.
2. Your injuries require long-term care or resulted in permanent disability.
If you suffer injuries that cause long-term and permanent disability, the financial impact can be devastating. The effects of an accident may halt your earning capacity temporarily or indefinitely. You may need to stay at a long-term care facility or require long-term care services at home such as physical or occupational therapy, dressing, bathing and feeding assistance, transportation services, pain management, and yard maintenance. Since not everyone has disability insurance or their plans don’t cover long-term care costs, a lawsuit may be necessary to help you recover the compensation you need to live as independently as possible. A personal injury lawyer can take your case to trial if needed.
3. The insurance company refuses to pay, devalues your claim, or employs rush or delay tactics.
Insurance companies will look for every angle to protect their profits. They tend to contact victims very soon after an accident (even before a person realizes they need medical treatment) to obtain information that can later be used against them in a case. It’s essential to seek medical treatment right away, even if your injuries seem minor at the time. Medical documentation provides evidence of injuries, giving insurance companies less chance to dispute their existence and deny paying for associated treatment costs needed for the recovery process. But be prepared for your medical history to come under scrutiny. An experienced personal injury lawyer will often present arguments to a judge regarding discoverability or admissibility of prior medical records and conditions. In many cases, a personal injury lawyer will strengthen your case by demonstrating that an accident aggravated or made worse any previous medical condition.
Insurance companies tend to take accident victims more seriously when a personal injury lawyer represents them. A personal injury lawyer knows how to communicate with insurance companies to avoid claim delays, confusion, and policy misrepresentation. When a claim is denied, a personal injury lawyer can assist with gathering additional evidence to file an appeal and fight for your rights to fair compensation.
4. There are multiple parties, making liability unclear.
It’s not unusual in an accident for multiple parties to share liability. When more than one party is proven to be at fault for causing an accident, the more complex it becomes to recover damages from each responsible party. Insurance companies often shift blame to avoid paying damages or to pay the least amount possible. A personal injury lawyer can help establish percentages of responsibility used to determine your settlement offers.
5. Your settlement requires advanced negotiation skills.
Since most personal injury cases are settled out of court, negotiations drive the final compensation amount. A personal injury lawyer will investigate your claim and offer supporting evidence to prove its worth. After that, they will issue a demand letter and respond to any offers or arguments while being prepared for any unfair settlement tactics to arrive at a figure you are willing to accept.
6. Accident investigations are incomplete or deficient.
Strong evidence increases your chances of winning any personal injury claim, which is why a thorough accident investigation is so crucial. An experienced personal injury lawyer can review accident reports that are often flawed or incomplete due to human error. They can also help correct police reports, conduct independent investigations, obtain video surveillance, subpoena witnesses, and uncover hidden evidence to help strengthen your case.
7. The stress of your injury claim has taken over your life.
Any injury or illness can be stressful, but a personal injury case can compound that stress. The complexities and time associated with the legal process can take their toll on any accident victim. A personal injury lawyer can reduce that stress by handling all of the aspects of your case and absorbing all case-related costs along the way so you can focus on recovering and regaining control of your life. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they do not collect a fee (usually an agreed-upon percentage of compensation) unless they are successful at winning your case. This fee structure removes the financial burden associated with hourly legal fees and makes it possible for people from all walks of life to afford quality legal representation.
Selecting an established law firm with specialized experience in litigating complex personal injury cases and the right resources will improve your chances of winning. It’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer soon after you have been injured or harmed. If you would like to schedule a free initial phone consultation with Joseph Law Group, please call us at (216) 912-7402. We never charge a fee unless we are successful at helping you recover compensation.