Do I Need a Lawyer For a Personal Injury Claim?
If you have been injured by the negligence of another person, you have options on how you might proceed. Whether the injury stems from an auto accident or a slip and fall injury, the decision you face will be the same either way. The first decision to make involves whether or not to hire a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer.
You are under no obligation to hire legal counsel for your personal injury claim. The courts will not prohibit you from filing your own lawsuit as long as you follow all of the rules of the court, and the opposing insurance company will be happy to deal with you directly.
The risks that come with acting as your own attorney – even for seemingly minor claims – are substantial. Remember: you only have one shot to resolve your claim. After you settle, you can never come back for more money. It is crucial that you obtain a fair amount of compensation that will cover your damages now and in the future.
Benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer
There are certain aspects of a personal injury claim that will be difficult to manage on your own. It is possible you could miss certain nuances that can only come with hands-on experience handling an injury claim.
- Negotiation experience. When you file a personal injury claim, the defendant and their insurance company are unlikely to simply cut you a check for the amount you are after. Negotiations can take months and require evidence gathering and research. The other side will be represented by experienced claims representatives or attorneys. Having your own attorney could even the odds.
- Expert witness connections. Complex cases can require testimony from expert witnesses. In fact, some injury claims have little chance for success without the guidance of the right expert. These experts can be hard to find and difficult to evaluate. This makes an attorney with ties to skilled experts valuable.
- Trial experience. While most personal injury claims are settled, the reality is that some of these cases ultimately go to trial. Often, these cases are heard before a jury of your peers. A jury trial is a long, complicated affair that requires skill and experience to be successful. Taking on a jury trial without the help of a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer could prove costly.
- Understanding of industry standards. If you have never resolved an injury claim before, you will have little frame of reference on if a settlement offer is fair. You can compare it to your out of pocket costs, but experience with resolving these claims can truly tell you if the offer is lower than normal.
How to select an attorney
If you decide to move forward with hiring an attorney, there are several questions worth asking during your initial consultation. Your consultation is your best chance to learn about an attorney’s experience and how they will approach your claim. Questions to ask an attorney could include:
- Do you have trial experience involving a jury?
- Have you handled a case like mine?
- What was your strategy in that case, and how did it turn out?
- Do you focus on injury cases?
- Will I be able to contact you directly with questions?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
These factors can not only help you select an attorney, but also provide you with insight into whether or not an attorney could be beneficial in your case. Ask yourself the same questions you asked a prospective attorney. Do you have any experience with jury trials? Have you ever negotiated with an insurance company? If the answers are mostly no, an attorney might be in your best interest.
Let an attorney help
Do not put your personal injury claim at risk. Let a personal injury lawyer from Ellis Injury Law guide you through the litigation process. We are fierce advocates for our clients and look forward to aggressively pursuing your injury claim. Have questions for us? The initial case evaluation is always free at Ellis Injury Law. Call us today and schedule yours as soon as possible.