Based on the ads from law firms that you see on television, it’s easy to think everyone who has ever been in an accident will be mistreated by the insurance company and should look for help from a personal injury attorney in Dallas to make it right.
In a lot of instances, insurance companies do, in fact, do their jobs as expected.
There are situations where you’d want an attorney to be involved, but there are also times when obtaining counsel is simply overkill.
Let’s take a look at some of the cases where you may NOT need to hire an attorney after an accident.
No injuries happened
There are scenarios where the only damage done has been entirely done to the property. Imagine the case where there were no people present in either vehicle at the time the accident occurred.
Your car may be one excitable dog and a loose gear shifter away from being part of a two-vehicle incident involving no humans. (You can ask any insurance adjuster, and they’ll tell you that strange things do indeed happen!)
If no one was hurt or there was no damage, pursuing a personal injury claim with an attorney may not be worthwhile.
Just be careful making this judgment of “no injuries” yourself. What may seem relatively harmless at one point may turn out to be an issue later.
If you were in a vehicle at the time of an accident, you certainly want to seek medical attention.
You’ll want to hear a doctor clear you of any risk too.
When the math of hiring an attorney doesn’t make sense
Some cases where the potential recovery for a claim is so small that you simply cannot justify hiring an attorney.
Don’t doubt there are attorneys who’ll take on more minor claims in exchange for a higher percentage of the recovery.
If any of these apply, you may need an attorney:
- Broken bones, hospital stay, long-term health affected
- Someone died in the accident
- Medical treatment costing more than a couple thousand $$
- Missing more than a couple of days of work, school, or everyday activities
- Non-economic losses like emotional trauma, pain, and suffering, loss of companionship
- There is a dispute over whose fault the accident was
- Multiple people were harmed in the accident
- The accident took place in a construction zone or other questionable area
- The paperwork does not look accurate (police report, insurance communications)
- Details are complicated (technical, legal, medical)
- Insurance is not playing nice
You do, however, have to ask if paying a personal injury attorney in Dallas to recovery $10,000 in damages is worth the bother if you end up handing over $5,000 to the law firm.
If the case might foreseeably proceed to small claims court
There are also easily imagine scenarios where the expected recovery would be so slight that the case would end up in small claims court if pursued to the point of litigation.
You’re certainly entitled to have counsel present to protect your rights in small claims court. However, the law firm must expect a fee for their services rather than working on contingency since the expected recovery would be minimal. It depends on the situation.
When the insurance company is offering you the amount you feel is fair.
If you’re in a situation where it’s clear the insurance company wants to settle, there is some tricky math to figure out.
Do you want to end up in a situation where you have to negotiate for a longer time and then hand over one-third of your compensation if the insurance company already wants to settle? Do you think what they are offering you is fair?
If the insurance company is not playing nice or refusing to acknowledge the full extent of your claim, you would want to talk to an attorney.
Remember, many law firms offer free consultations. Seeking a second opinion is also recommended.
However, it is essential to have a high level of confidence that something unexpected isn’t going to happen. Once you sign off on an agreement, you’ll likely never have the chance to seek more money ever again.
With bad drug lawyers, the matter is the same, but it differs from case to case. For more info on the same, click here.
It’s sporadic, but a judicial order could reverse settlements if it’s deemed the insurance company or defendant’s representative unjustly took advantage of a vulnerability of the plaintiff. This is a stringent standard and hard to prove.
Most accident and personal injury attorneys in Dallas offer free initial consultations, so feel free to ask around and get some advice before going forward with your claim.
If it seems clear to you that your case doesn’t have sufficient long-term risks or expected compensation, it may be a more intelligent move to settle with the insurance company and get on with your life.