Getting injured is a traumatic experience. Pain, disruption to work and family life, and doctor’s appointments and treatments can be stressful and draining. When the medical bills start piling up, you may be concerned that your insurance is going to low-ball you on your claim or deny it altogether. How do you know when it is time to hire a personal injury lawyer? There are several clear signs that mean you should seek legal help after an accident.
You Sustained Serious Injuries
If you were seriously injured, suffered long-term injuries, or were permanently disabled, your claim will be worth a substantial amount of money. Examples of serious injuries include those that require hospitalization, orthopedics, surgery, medical rehabilitation, or physical therapy.
The compensation involved with serious injuries makes it important enough to the insurance company for it to fight, trying to offer you as little as it can in the way of compensation. If you do not know what your claim is actually worth, then you will not know whether or not what you are being offered is suitable under the law. A personal injury lawyer, on the other hand, can estimate what your claim is worth based on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the medical bills incurred, the wages lost, and the impact of your injuries on your earning capacity.
Liability is Not Clear
If it is not clear exactly who is at fault in your case, then that is a good indication that you should consider hiring a personal injury lawyer. Fault may be difficult to establish when there is an accident with multiple parties involved who
- Could be liable for the injuries that you received, meaning that multiple insurance companies may be involved
- Were also injured in the same accident, resulting in less settlement money to be distributed (cross-claims)
- Could make claims against you for your part in causing the accident (counterclaims)
- Could be liable for your injuries, but has more than one type of insurance, in which case a lawyer may be necessary in order to discover the additional policies
If any of these apply to your case, then it may be time to find a lawyer.
You Are Contacted by an Insurance Adjuster
If an insurance adjuster contacts you; some other representative of the insurance company requests copies of your medical records, recorded statements, or you story; or if the insurance company tries to get you to sign a release, then you really do need legal help. These are all indications that the insurance company knows you have a legitimate claim and they want to do whatever they can to reduce your payout.
Insurance Company Refuses to Pay
If the insurance company refuses to make what you deem a fair settlement or, even worse, refuses to make any settlement offer whatsoever and your attempts at negotiation have failed, that is another indication that you need some legal assistance. A lawyer can pursue your case all the way to the courtroom if necessary and help you to negotiate a fair and just settlement.
Insurance Company Engages in Bad Faith Tactics
Bad faith tactics refer to these types of action by your insurance company:
- Ignoring or outright refusing reasonable requests for documentation
- Offering less money than a claim is legitimately worth
- Denying a claim without giving any reason
- Making threatening statements
- Misrepresenting the meaning of policy language
These types of companies will not play fair and you will lose, which is why you need a personal injury attorney if you encounter these types of practices when pursuing an insurance claim.
Insurance Companies Have Experts
Even if the insurance company is not using bad faith tactics, you can rest assured that they have their own experts working for them whose sole job is disproving your claim. For example, they have insurance adjusters that know the right questions to ask you and the right way to phrase them in order to gain a foothold to reduce the amount of compensation you should receive. They have access to medical professionals and private investigators to review every detail of your case with an eye to discrediting it.
With a lawyer on your side, you will be in a much better position to successfully pursue your claim despite such efforts on behalf of the insurance company. Your lawyer will have access to private investigators, forensic analysts, accident scene reconstruction specialists, expert witnesses, and medical professionals. If your opposition has a legal team, you should too.
There are some definite indications that you need to hire a personal injury lawyer, including serious injuries, the involvement of multiple parties, and serious issues with the insurance company. If insurance refuses to pay or uses bad faith tactics, you really do not have much of a chance without legal representation acting on your behalf.
Contact Sacchetta & Baldino Today!
If you have been injured in an accident and realize that you need a personal injury lawyer, then it is time to contact Sacchetta & Baldino. We specialize in personal injury claims and will put our decades of experience to work for you so that you receive the compensation you deserve under the law. Whether it is negotiating with the insurance company or presenting your case in court before a jury, we will fight aggressively for your rights. Contact us today to speak with one of our attorneys about your personal injury case.