Research indicates that one in every six Americans sustains an injury in an accident that causes measurable economic loss.
Further, about one-third of those injury victims suffer a moderate to severe injury that imposes high costs on them and society.
These injury cases often require victims to seek compensation through insurance claims, settlement negotiations, or trials.
Attorneys are a valuable asset in many types of cases, and this is especially true in personal injury and wrongful death claims.
While there are some myths about hiring a personal injury lawyer, statistically, those who hire an attorney achieve better outcomes.
Although some people believe they can resolve a case without the assistance of an attorney, these individuals often experience unfavorable, binding results.
An experienced attorney who possesses advanced research and negotiation skills and is an influential writer and speaker can drastically increase the likelihood of a lawsuit’s success.
Given all of this, you may be left wondering how to find a good personal injury lawyer.
Today, our Richmond, Virginia personal injury attorneys explore that subject.
Is It Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
No law requires accident victims to hire a personal injury attorney after an accident.
The law provides indigent defendants with an attorney for free or very low-cost in the criminal system because a criminal defendant’s freedom is at stake.
However, the civil system does not have this benefit. As such, many plaintiffs turn to the internet to get “tips and tricks” on representing themselves in these proceedings.
However, these online guidelines often present dubious information that may not even be prepared by a skilled injury attorney.
When victims follow bad advice or don’t know how to implement good advice, they risk embarrassment or doing or saying something that costs them thousands of dollars in compensation.
If they make a big enough mistake—like not filing by the statute of limitations deadline—they may even lose their right to compensation altogether.
To remedy these negative outcomes, victims need professionals who know the system by their side.
The personal injury liability system is complex and requires a comprehensive understanding of federal and state statutes, insurance laws, local court procedures, and the tactics used by insurance companies to lessen payouts.
An experienced attorney can collect detailed information about:
- Accident circumstances,
- Nature and severity of an injury,
- Health care and other expenditures and losses related to the accident,
- Sources of compensation,
- Amount of compensation available from all sources, and
- Potential defenses to liability.
Access to this information and experience evaluating it provides clients with a much more well-rounded case strategy—and typically results in much higher settlements or verdicts.
In fact, the very presence of a lawyer changes the leverage for negotiations.
It does this by putting the threat of a lawsuit and a trial on the table if the insurance adjuster doesn’t make a reasonable settlement offer.
Myths About Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Despite the pervasive stigmas attached to personal injury attorneys, the reality is that these lawyers go through extensive higher education, testing, and yearly continuing education to advocate for injury victims effectively.
Many accidents, particularly those involving severe multi-vehicle crashes, produce high rates of injuries and fatalities requiring significant medical treatment.
In these cases, accident victims should turn to an experienced attorney.
Regardless, common myths about hiring an injury attorney still exist.
Myth 1: Personal Injury Victims Don’t Need an Attorney to File an Insurance Claim
Personal injury victims do not legally need an attorney to file a case or an insurance claim.
But the fact remains that there is a crucial difference between filing a claim—and filing an effective claim.
Inherent in an insurance adjuster’s job is prioritizing their company’s financial position.
As such, adjusters will use any weakness in a claimant’s position or experience to reduce the amount of compensation they receive.
A personal injury attorney can protect you from the insurance adjuster tactics designed to trip you up.
They can also help injury victims through the entirety of the claims process, including settlement discussions with insurance companies.
Myth 2: Personal Injury Attorneys Are Too Expensive
Myths about personal injury lawyer fee arrangements are common.
Personal injury lawyers do not take every case that reaches their desk. Instead, they evaluate each case carefully.
They do this because, in Virginia, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis.
Under this model, clients do not owe their attorney any money unless the lawyer successfully settles or wins the case.
So you don’t pay a single dollar unless and until the attorney wins your case.
Myth 3: Personal Injury Cases Are Not Worth it for Minor Injuries
The full extent of a person’s injuries does not always manifest immediately following an accident.
In some cases, a minor injury may develop into a long-term condition that can affect the victim’s physical, emotional, and financial livelihood.
An experienced attorney can gather, compile, and review evidence to determine the true extent of your current and future damages.
Although the myths persist, the facts show that claimants who hire an attorney are more likely to be fully compensated after an accident.
We Are Here for You
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in any type of accident, recovering financial compensation through a personal injury claim might be an option.
The Virginia personal injury lawyers at River Run Law have extensive experience aggressively pursuing compensation on behalf of our clients and their families.
You may be wondering, Is it worth hiring a personal injury lawyer?
If so, why not schedule a free consultation to learn more about the process and how we can help?