It is the first and most obvious question to ask oneself if injured in an accident. Because of my prior work experience as an adjuster for an insurance company, I seem to be asked this question an awful lot. I have worked on both sides of an injury claim, previously for the insurance companies, and today for my injured clients. So knowing how insurance companies evaluate claims, the question is often raised to me – does an attorney make a difference? Do I need a lawyer?
The simple answer, no surprise, is yes. I do not give this answer simply to solicit business. A good lawyer (and I include myself in this grouping) takes a case with the expectation that it will have to go to trial. That said, evidence and all vital information is secured early, the theory of liability is well thought out, and the case is monitored from the onset to ensure that nothing goes wrong. In so doing, a good lawyer gains leverage over the insurance companies.
In addition to protecting the strength of the case, a lawyer is necessary to secure a fair value for the injury suffered. Adjusters are quick to say that they evaluate claims the same way whether a claimant has an attorney or not – and to some extent this is true. If an injury is a relatively minor one, the evaluation will be approximately the same with or without an attorney. If you have been seriously injured, however, you NEED an attorney to obtain fair value. Insurance companies will make sometimes embarrassingly low offers for fractures or scarring, for example, and an unsuspecting claimant might accept such a number thinking it is a good deal.
Therefore, if you have been seriously injured in any kind of accident, hire an attorney to protect your rights and ensure that you receive full value for the injury suffered. My office offers a free consultation and is open to discuss any questions you may have regarding the process.