When people are injured in accidents, they are sometimes entitled to file lawsuits to recover compensation. The facts and circumstances of what happened will dictate whether they have the basis to file a claim. Some minor accidents may be handled without the help of an attorney; so if you were involved in a small accident that only resulted in property damage, you may be able to negotiate a settlement on your own. But if you were injured, you may wonder, “Is it worth it to hire a personal injury attorney?”
Is It Worth It to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Every situation is different so it’s important to assess the details of your specific circumstances before you decide whether or not to hire an attorney. There are three primary factors to keep in mind: the negligent party, your injuries, and the available recovery sources.
The Negligent Party
Did someone cause your injuries through negligence? This is the first question you should ask yourself if you’re wondering, “Is it worth it to hire a personal injury attorney?” To have a valid basis for a legal claim, you must present evidence that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries and losses. If you were entirely at fault for your accident, you will not have a case. If someone else was primarily at fault, you might have a claim.
Determining liability also includes looking at whether the person owed a duty of care to you, whether he or she breached the duty of care, and whether the person’s breach was the cause of your accident and the resulting injuries. A person’s duty of care means his or her responsibility to act reasonably to others around him or her. For example, in the context of driving, all motorists have to drive in the same way that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances, including obeying the traffic laws. When a person fails to act reasonably or acts unreasonably, it constitutes a breach of his or her legal duty. If those actions or failures to act result in an accident with injuries, the person is considered to have acted negligently.
If you escaped from your accident with no injuries and only property damage, you may not need to hire a lawyer. However, if you suffered injuries – whether minor or serious – you should consult with a personal injury lawyer to learn about your rights.
Suffering injuries in an accident caused by the negligence of someone else can result in huge losses and expenses, including medical treatment, income losses, losses of future income, and pain and suffering. In these types of situations, a personal injury attorney may be in a better position to successfully negotiate a settlement for you that fully compensates you for all of your economic and noneconomic losses.
Even if your injuries seem insignificant, we encourage you to consult an attorney. Sometimes post-accident injuries exhibit minor symptoms at first but then escalate over time. For example, one of our clients had a sore shoulder and neck as well as some back issues. Although the shoulder and neck soreness appeared significant at first, the symptoms quickly faded. The back issue worsened, however, and the man eventually had to have costly back surgery. Always keep in mind that some major medical issues don’t show symptoms right away.
The Available Recovery Sources
Finally, it’s important to identify all of the available recovery sources. In nearly all personal injury cases, insurance companies pay the damages that are awarded to the injured victims. However, if the negligent party did not have insurance coverage or had insufficient coverage, it may be more difficult for you to recover compensation. And in some cases, it may not be worth it to pursue a claim. An attorney can investigate the potential sources of recovery to determine the value of your potential claim and provide you with an honest assessment.
Talk to the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook
If you have suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by someone else, it is a good idea to talk to the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook. We offer free consultations and can explain the legal merits of your claim. Contact us today for a free case evaluation by calling 479-783-8000 or sending a message online.