Personal injury is a term mostly used in civil actions. It enwraps all the psychological and physical harm a victim suffers following an accident/wrongful death. It’s one of the leading causes of claims in New York, including the Bronx.
If you or your loved one have just suffered harm due to the carelessness or inaction of another person or entity, you might wonder if you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
In most cases, hiring the expertise of a personal injury lawyer is beneficial. However, the details are essential.
There are circumstances where the services of an attorney may be worthwhile, and in other situations, you’ll be in trouble if you handle your case by yourself.
Here are the signs you need to hire a personal injury lawyer. If you live in the Bronx and want to engage a lawyer, find the best Bronx personal injury law firm to boost the chances of a successful claim/trial.
Signs that enlisting a personal injury attorney is advantageous for your case
While a personal injury attorney can be useful in many cases, you should consider engaging one in the below situations.
You are not familiar with the state’s laws
You may not be familiar with personal injury laws unless you’ve pursued compensation before or are a law enthusiast.
Furthermore, the insurance claim steps can be complex. There’s also the chance that the claim can be denied, and the only way to truly challenge it is with a lawyer.
In New York, for example, pure comparative negligence standards apply. That means you can still recover damages even if you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. That said, the jury will reduce your claim proportional to your share of liability.
That’s why it’s best to retain legal help to avoid being assigned an unfair percentage of the liability.
They know how to leverage evidence, including expert witnesses’ facts, opinions, and conclusions, to meet the burden of proof, eliminating doubts about liability. You do not need to do your own research if you hire a lawyer.
The damages are huge
An accident or wrongful death can leave various damages, including medical expenses, vehicle repair, disfigurement, loss of consortium, lost wages, and mental anguish. Experts usually break these down into special and general damages.
Special damages, aka economic damages, are easier to assign a dollar value. On the other hand, general damages, aka non-economic damages, have a subjective element and can be difficult to estimate without professional expertise.
For example, if you plan to claim compensation for pain and suffering, you will need strong documentation of your recovery process, including therapy appointment receipts. An attorney can help ensure that the compensation includes these hidden costs.
You are getting lowballed by the insurance
The defendant’s insurer might deny your personal injury claim, always watch out for signs of insurance bad faith. For example, they might not give a legitimate reason for denying your claim. They might just cite some confusing clauses.
That is a sign the insurer is lying. Others include delaying the investigation, requesting irrelevant documents, including private medical records, and offering a low settlement.
Seek legal help in such matters. An experienced attorney will help you appeal a declined claim and demand reasonable offers.
The insurer refuses to negotiate
It’s rare for insurers to decline negotiations once they see you’ve hired an attorney. But if they do, your lawyer can help you pursue another cause of action.
Usually, that means going to court. A trial can result in a settlement if the insurer panics in the face of the evidence and decides to stop fighting. It could also result in an award if the case proceeds and the jury finds it in your favor.
In any case, a trial is always a last resort. Experienced lawyers try to force negotiations and out-of-court settlements because trials take time and money. The good news is insurers hate being sued and would rather settle.
But the success of your personal injury case heavily depends on the lawyer you hire. Not all personal injury attorneys are equal. Some are bulldogs and will advocate aggressively for your rights, while some need to learn how to leverage all the evidence for maximum compensation.
Ultimately, you want to do a bit of homework before hiring a lawyer. Look at their case records, reputation, resources, and experience. Above all, hire a lawyer who will give your case the attention it needs.
Call a reputable law firm to engage the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer.