If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, slip and fall, workplace accident or any other event caused by the negligence of another person, business or government, you may be asking yourself whether it’s worth it to call a personal injury attorney.
A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council suggests people who have suffered bodily injuries in an auto accident due to driver, manufacturer and/or government negligence win 3.5 times more in settlement compensation while represented by an attorney than injury victims who don’t hire a personal injury attorney. In fact, the study found that in 85 percent of cases where an insurance company does settle an injury claim, the injured party had hired an attorney.
Why do auto accident injury victims who hire personal injury attorneys experienced with car, truck and motorcycle accident injuries get better settlement results?
Insurance companies know how to intimidate injury victims – it’s what they do for a living. They’ll tell you things like:
Additionally, they will use every tool at their disposal to tie up your claim settlement in an attempt to make you desperate enough for money to pay medical bills and your living expenses that you are willing to settle for an amount less than what you deserve.
Reputation makes a big difference when dealing with insurance companies and their claims adjusters. Personal injury victims and workers’ compensation filers who have a reputable law firm on their side have a much better chance of receiving the money they deserve in part because the insurance company will know that picking a fight with an experienced, proven personal injury lawyer will eventually cost more in legal fees than the claim is worth to them.
Of course, the threat of legal fees is only present if the injured party has hired a lawyer to fight for them. If the injury victim doesn’t have an attorney, the insurance company doesn’t have to factor legal fees into their cost-benefit analysis.
A general rule of thumb for calculating pain and suffering is adding together actual damages – namely things like medical bills, rehabilitation costs, property damage and lost wages – then multiplying that number by 1 through 5, depending on the severity of the injury.
If your injury cost $8,000 to treat, you lost out on $2,000 of income while you were unable to work and your auto accident injury was a 3 on the severity scale, your attorney may seek $30,000 in pain and suffering damages.
One thing a lot of people trying to handle their own injury or workers’ comp claim with the insurance company don’t consider are the costs associated with the future ramifications of their injury. What if you need to go to a chiropractor periodically for the rest of your life due to your whiplash injury? Will your injury sustained in the workplace prevent you from returning to your position or reduce your effectiveness to a degree that will prevent you from earning promotions or performance bonuses?
Personal injury attorneys work with your medical team to assess the future effects of your injury and recovery. A good accident law firm will have represented hundreds or thousands of previous injury cases and will have extensive experience accurately assessing future medical costs and lost income potential.
In some auto accident and personal injury cases, culpability isn’t as simple as blaming the other driver. If another driver runs a red light and hits your vehicle, injuring you and your family, there could be multiple parties responsible. If that driver had been slamming on their brake but the car wasn’t stopping, the manufacturer of their brake pads or the mechanic who installed them incorrectly may be negligent parties. If the traffic light was faulty, the government may hold some responsibility. If the driver was drunk, the bar that served them may be a negligent party in the accident.
A personal injury attorney hires a team of investigators, medical experts and even accident recreation specialists to gather data and uncover all available details to ensure everyone who is responsible for your injury is being held accountable.
The legal system isn’t comprised of a set of universal rules. Every state has a different set of laws governing personal injury cases and damage calculations. You can try to study up on your legal situation yourself, but that is a time-consuming process and there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to represent yourself well enough to get the fair claim settlement you deserve.
An experienced personal injury trial attorney in Florida has spent their professional life learning the:
If an insurance company simply isn’t willing to give you the settlement you know you need and deserve, it can be incredibly difficult for you to take them to court and win without an attorney on your side. A personal injury law firm with teams of trial attorneys make their living taking insurance companies to court and negotiating the fair settlement their clients need to recover and move on.
The majority of personal injury attorneys in Florida will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they are paid a percentage of the ultimate settlement they win for your case. Injury victims don’t have to pay for personal injury representation out of their own pocket, which is helpful at a time when they are being inundated with medical bills and may be without an income due to their inability to work. If the personal injury attorney fails to win your case, you may end up owing them nothing for the work they did on your case.