If you’ve ever been home sick on a Wednesday morning and spent some time watching the TV, you’ve seen the commercials – “Have you or someone you love been hurt in a car accident?” and the tag line is that “If you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.”
Remove the cheesy and sometimes slimy nature of some of these commercials and you’ll see the message is that if you have been injured through no fault of your own, you should get a lawyer. It’s also true that for the vast majority of personal injury cases, attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they get paid a percentage of what they recover on your behalf.
Retaining an attorney will usually lead to a higher recovery on your personal injury case. There are several reasons for this, but here are a few primary ones:
1. An attorney can assess the strength of your case and potential value.
2. Hiring an attorney lets the insurance company know you’re not afraid to take your case to trial. If you negotiate the claim yourself, the insurance adjuster knows you likely don’t want to go to trial.
3. Hiring an attorney allows the attorney to become involved in communicating with the insurance adjuster earlier on in the process. This can help you avoid any potential missteps in what you say to the insurance company or what personal information you authorize the insurance company to obtain about you.
4. An attorney can advise you on ensuring that your medical records and treatment notes are properly documented to assist you in maximizing your recovery.
Consulting with an attorney for a personal injury case is almost always free with no risk to you. Trust your gut – if you feel uncomfortable with the attorney you’ve consulted with, speak to another attorney or firm. Do your research and find attorneys that get consistently good reviews online (i.e., Yelp, Google and Facebook).