If you’re involved in an accident, it’s a good idea to stop and think if you really need the help of a lawyer. As useful as lawyers can be in this kind of situation, working with an attorney will cost you money. If you have a tight budget and want to consider dealing with your legal issues on your own, it might be a good idea to ponder whether a good attorney can bring anything to the table.
If your accident was minor, you have few or new injuries and the other person is clearly at fault, you may not need to work with a lawyer. If the other party is insured and is up-front about his or her fault in the accident, you should be able to get in touch with that party’s insurance company with little difficulty. You will need to produce a small mountain of paperwork about the accident, but this isn’t anything you can’t do on your own. Once you get to that point, you’ll need to speak with an insurance adjuster and get the ball rolling on compensation. While certainly not fun and rarely easy, this isn’t always a process that requires the help of an attorney.
Things begin to get even more complicated as soon as real issues of injury or fault come into play. If you are seriously injured or you aren’t sure who is actually fault in the accident, it’s important to retain the services of a skilled auto injury attorney. You should be speaking to the attorney before anyone else, especially if you are in a position to negotiate with the insurance company to get compensation with this person. A good lawyer will not only know whether you need his or her help, but will be able to provide it in a manner that is consistent with the facts of your case.
It’s also important to remember that there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be treated fairly when you deal with the other party’s insurance. Remember, you are in an adversarial process and the duty of the insurance adjuster is to the bottom line first, and to the insurance company’s actual client a distant second. This person’s job is to make sure that you get as little as possible – if they could get away with paying you nothing, they wouldn’t even be talking to you. This means that in many cases, people who are owed money are offered an unfair amount and are usually pressured into believing that this is their only chance to get any kind of compensation. If you find yourself dealing with an insurance company that wants to offer you less than you need or deserve, your best chance at compensation is to work with an injury lawyer.
If you aren’t sure whether your case rises to the point where an attorney is necessary, try to get a meeting with a lawyer. He or she has a limited amount of time, and he or she is very likely to let you know if your case is actually one worth pursuing with legal help. Good attorneys know that some cases just won’t benefit from having them around and that any money paid to them will be a waste of the client’s resources. If an attorney seems interested in your case or tells you that he or she thinks you need legal help, it’s important to listen – this means that the case is usually more complicated than you think and that having an attorney on board will be the best way to make sure you get the compensation that is due to you.