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When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Getting injured because of someone else’s negligence or recklessness can cause you serious pain in more ways than one. Physical, mental, emotional, and financial hardship can turn your world upside down. 

Accidents can come out of nowhere, but the truth is that they can often be avoided. When an injury happens because of another party’s actions or inactions, it’s time to call a personal injury lawyer. 

The personal injury lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark are here to fight for your justice and get you the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about when to hire a personal injury lawyer. 

What Is a Personal Injury Lawyer?

A personal injury lawyer is an attorney that represents you after you have suffered an injury on account of someone else’s negligence or improper actions/inactions. 

Personal injury lawyers can represent you in a trial case and protect you against insurance companies who try to give you less than you deserve. 

In addition to representing you, a personal injury lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to help build the strongest possible legal case. 

Having a personal injury lawyer on your side means having an expert who will fight to ensure you receive maximum compensation. Many insurance companies, government entities, and big corporations will seek to pay you the bare minimum. A personal injury lawyer will stand up for your rights to make sure you are fully compensated after your injury.  

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

In some cases, you may not need a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury claims come in a range of severity and situations. There are many types of personal injury accidents and every personal injury claim is unique. 

When considering whether or not you should proceed in hiring a personal injury lawyer, you may want to seek legal advice to analyze the depth of your case. Hiring a personal injury lawyer, and knowing when to hire a personal injury lawyer, depends on the details of your case.    

Common Circumstances That Likely Require a Lawyer

Some personal injury cases seem simple at first glance, yet turn out to be complex legal situations that demand time, specialized knowledge, and personal injury law experience. The circumstances below are a good indication that you will need a personal injury lawyer to advise and represent you.

When You Get Blamed for Causing the Injury

There is a high chance that the other party/defendant’s insurance company will claim that you are liable for an accident by saying you were partially at fault. In these cases, the at-fault compensation amount will be divided based on a percentage of your fault and the other party’s fault in the accident. They do this to lessen the amount they pay, which ultimately decreases your compensation.

This is a a scenario in which you would want to get a personal injury lawyer involved right away. A personal injury lawyer will defend you against insurance companies who try to fault you for someone else’s negligence. 

When the Personal Injury Involves Multiple Parties

What is a personal injury lawyer going to do if there are multiple parties involved in a personal injury claim? Develop a case that protects you not only against one party, but also against all of the people and entities involved.

When the Government Is Involved

In many states, the statute of limitations for making a claim against the government is a significantly shorter amount of time than in a normal personal injury claim case. In addition to a short timeframe for making a claim, governments are extremely perseverant and usually have a great deal of legal support.

When do you need a personal injury lawyer in a case where the government is involved? Right away. You will need all the legal resources you can have backing you. Building a case immediately after an accident has occurred is the best way to approach a government claim.

When the Injury Results in Disability or Traumatic Injury

It’s always a good idea to hire a personal injury laywer in a disability or traumatic injury case. These types of personal injury cases are unique in their nature because lifelong trauma and disabilities means you will need compensation to cover future expenses. 

Where insurance companies will fight to avoid losses, a personal injury attorney will collect evidence and documentation to build a case that will secure you for life. Because of the nature of the injuries involved, these types of personal injury cases have high-settlement amounts that will determine the lifetime value of your claim. 

Hiring a personal injury attorney who is experienced in these types of cases can help provide the support that you need during this difficult time. A knowledgeable attorney can calculate pain and suffering for you to receive the full and fair compensation that you both need and deserve.  

When an Insurance Company Is in Bad Faith

Insurance companies are not typically looking out for your best interest. In general, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible. There are also times when insurance companies act in bad faith, which happens when insurance companies:

  • Mistreat you and your case
  • Delay payment
  • Fail to communicate
  • Unjustifiably deny benefits
  • Offer an unreasonably low settlement amount
  • Fail to thoroughly investigate a claim 

What is a personal injury lawyer going to do with a bad faith insurance claim? Fight for your denied or underquoted compensation—and then some. We will defend you when an insurance company acts illegally. In addition, when you are represented by a personal injury attorney, an insurance company is less likely to try to swindle you. 

The attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark know how to defend our clients against insurance companies who try to nickel and dime policyholders. We always fight to ensure our clients are fully compensated. 

When You Are in an Automobile Accident

Many people will try to handle their car accident case alone. But most car accident cases become more complicated as insurance companies work to protect their profits. There are many reasons for hiring a personal injury attorney in a car accident case, including:

  • Proving fault
  • Collecting evidence
  • Building a case
  • Receiving the maximum amount of economic damages
  • Recovering the maximum amount of non-economic damages

If you have been in a car accident, hiring a personal injury attorney may be in your best interest in order to get the maximum compensation available to you.

Have a Chain | Cohn | Clark Personal Injury Lawyer Represent You

Deciding to hire a personal injury lawyer can completely alter the outcome of your claim. Here at Chain | Cohn | Clark, we focus on protecting the rights of our clients who have been injured because of another party’s negligent, reckless, or malicious behavior. We have been practicing personal injury law for 85 years and provide personal care to our clients and community members. If you are a Bakersfield and/or Kern County resident, we are here to represent you and get you the justice that you deserve. 

If you have any questions, like how to hire a personal lawyer and when should you file a personal injury claim, contact Chain | Cohn | Clark today. Call us at 661.616.9829 or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation today. 

Our lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark specialize in personal injury law for the people of Kern County. Click on the following links for more information about working with a Chain | Cohn | Clark personal injury attorney in your city:

Bakersfield Personal Injury Lawyer

Shafter Personal Injury Lawyer

Arvin Personal Injury Lawyer

Wasco Personal Injury Lawyer

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer FAQs

There are many factors that contribute to knowing when to contact a personal injury lawyer. Many people believe that going after a personal injury claim on their own may be best for them. Consider these FAQs before answering the question: “Do I need a personal injury lawyer?”

Does the State I Live in Matter?

The state you live in does matter when it comes to answering the question, “Why hire a personal injury attorney?” Each state has its own set of laws—including the statute of limitations—that will affect your case. California’s statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury, whereas Utah is four years and Tennessee is only one. 

You also need to consider how your state evaluates fault, as your state may be a no-fault state. If you live in a no-fault state, you cannot sue unless you have qualifying severe injuries. When to hire a personal injury lawyer in a no-fault state depends on if you have serious injuries or not. That’s why we always suggest you meet with a personal injury lawyer to determine if your case has merit.

Why Should I Worry If My Injury Was Just a Minor One?

If you sustain a minor injury from an accident, you may not need to hire a personal injury attorney. This is most common in car accident cases where minor vehicle and/or physical damage has occurred. Seeking legal advice may seem like a moot point. 

However, it may be advantageous to know when to contact a personal injury lawyer. Any time there is a minor injury, there is a potential for a larger one. Many personal injury lawyers will advise you to wait to settle the claim until you are fully aware of any and all injuries you have sustained. 

If your injury was minor and you accepted a settlement, you risk giving up potential compensation for future injuries related to the accident that may not have been immediately recognizable. 

Minor injuries may not seem like a big deal, but when minor injuries turn into major issues, you will probably wish that you had hired a personal injury lawyer rather than suffering without compensation. 

What Is "Fee Contingency Basis"?

Many people are reluctant in their decision of hiring a personal injury attorney because of the connotations around the word “hiring.” When it comes to attorneys, there is often a stigma of excessive costs. However, that is typically not the case when hiring a personal injury attorney.

Most personal injury attorneys operate on what is called a contingency basis. A fee contingency basis is when you and your personal injury lawyer agree upon a percentage amount that the attorney will be owed only after a settlement is won. Both you and the lawyer collect an already agreed upon compensation. 

The maximum amount a lawyer is actually able to take is 33.3% of the personal injury settlement. However, there are exceptions based on the case type and state. 

Will Representation Increase My Settlement?

Much like the misconceptions surrounding contingency fees, deciding when to hire a personal injury lawyer can be an intimidating experience. The perceived costs associated with hiring a lawyer often turn people away from working with a personal injury attorney. What many people don’t realize is that it is often more expensive in the long run to face a claim without a personal injury attorney’s representation.

Though making a claim by yourself may seem simple at first, it’s common for the situation to become complicated, and fast. Legal jargon, insistent insurance companies, bills, and time spent on your case can quickly become overwhelming. Even if you get a settlement amount, you may be entitled to more than you think.

So why hire a personal injury attorney instead of working on your own? Because a personal injury attorney’s knowledge, experience, and legal resources can result in a bigger payout than you previously expected. 

Additionally, when a seemingly straightforward case begins to become complicated, you may want to seek legal advice. Knowing when to hire a personal injury lawyer before a case gets too complex will help reduce unnecessary stress. And our attorneys and resources will provide opportunities to seek justice and compensation. 

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