It depends. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, it is likely that you are already getting calls from the insurance company. You may be wondering whether or not you should sign any forms or give them a recorded statement while also questioning how to pay your medical bills and support yourself and family.
Usually, if you suffered minor injuries or only sustained little to no property damage, you should be able to successfully settle your claim without an attorney. However, in some situations, you will want to talk to a lawyer to see if you have a good case. These situations include:
- If you have suffered serious physical injuries.
- If someone else caused your injuries or a loved one's death.
- If you will require years of follow-up care and won’t be able to work the way you used to.
- If you have a pre-existing condition that was made worse.
- If your doctor misdiagnosed your injury.
- If you have a lot of medical bills.
- If insurance has denied your coverage.
- If your employer is threatening your job.
- If you think the insurance adjuster is offering a settlement amount too low for your injuries or you're being pressured into taking a settlement too soon after being injured.
Additional situations that typically require an attorney to protect the value of your injury claim:
If your claim is more than $5,000-$10,000.
When you start getting in to higher claims, you will be facing more experienced adjusters and company representatives. If you don't have your own legal counsel, you will not be playing on a level playing field, and you will most likely end up giving away much of your claim.
If you were hit by a drunk driver.
In these types of cases, you may be able to sue for punitive damages. This can result in larger settlements than if you were only able to recover the driver's insurance policy limits. However, you need a good attorney to properly work up your case, hire the experts needed to prove the drunk driver's negligence, and to take your case to trial if necessary.
If you were injured in an accident with a tractor trailer or 18-wheeler, talk to a lawyer immediately.
These cases are usually very serious and complex, and the trucking company and their insurance company can be really tough to deal with. Because these are larger, commercial vehicles, they are required to carry larger insurance policies. That's good for you, but it also means that the insurance adjusters hired to handle the injury claims filed against those companies are more experienced and have more tricks up their sleeves to try and eliminate your claim. These commercial trucking companies often send out attorneys and adjusters to accident scenes right away to assess the situation, to try to strengthen their defense, and to get you to sign away your legal rights before you've had time to consult an experienced truck accident attorney.
If an uninsured motorist was involved in your accident.
These cases can also be tricky. Typically, you'd want to find out if you carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage on your insurance plan. These plans, called UM/UIM coverage or PIP plans, allow you to recover from your own insurance company. Sometimes these claims are straightforward, however it is always smart to review your case with a lawyer.
Call Us. We'll Give You an Honest Legal Evaluation of Your Case - Absolutely Free.
If the insurance company is making you give a recorded statement without a lawyer, sign releases for your medical records that are too broad, or you think they're asking you to settle your case too cheaply and quickly, contact us now. It costs nothing to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys during a free, no obligation consultation. We can help you determine whether or not you need a lawyer, give you a range for an expected settlement amount, and make sure you have the information necessary to protect the value of your claim.