The decision to hire an injury lawyer is a personal one. You need to consider a number of different issues, chief among them whether you feel confident taking on the insurance company and trying to negotiate a settlement on your own.
Most injured people are not up to this task. As such, hiring a personal injury attorney is generally in your best interest.
Negotiating a fair settlement requires experience, knowledge, and skill. An injury lawyer can collect evidence of fault, calculate the value of your claim, and handle communications with the insurance company on your behalf.
Generally speaking, hiring an attorney does result in a higher settlement for the client. A reader survey by legal encyclopedia Nolo found that those who hire an injury lawyer receive, on average, more than 4 times as much in compensation as those who handle a personal injury case on their own.
Learn how Colombo Law can help with your personal injury claim. Call (304) 599-4229 today for a FREE case review.
What Is a Fair Personal Injury Settlement?
You can find plenty of articles online detailing the average value of personal injury settlements. However, when it comes to a particular claim, what is fair is completely dependent on the facts of that specific claim.
What is fair for someone who broke a bone in an accident and ended up with a few thousand dollars in medical bills and was back at work in a couple of months is much different than what is fair for someone who suffered life-altering injuries after being hurt by a truck. Bottom line: Your case is unique, and any information on an “average” settlement is moot.
Ultimately, it comes down to the specifics of your claim. Setting your expectations based on an average could result in you receiving much less than you deserve.
How Can an Injury Lawyer Help with My Settlement?
Personal injury lawyers bring a wealth of knowledge to your case. After all, they have the benefit of doing this every day.
Experienced attorneys know how to navigate the claims process to achieve the best possible results for their clients. An injury lawyer will take the following steps to maximize the value of your settlement:
Damages refer to the losses you face as a result of a personal injury. These losses are categorized as follows:
- Economic: Economic damages refer to monetary losses associated with your injuries. This could be medical bills and property damage—things that have to be paid for—or it could be lost income from time away from work.
- Non-economic: Non-economic damages are emotional or psychological in nature. Generally, they are used to compensate an accident victim for the pain and suffering and emotional anguish they experience as a result of an accident.
Strong, compelling evidence is needed to prove what damages you are entitled to in a personal injury claim. In addition to reviewing your medical records and speaking with your doctors, an attorney may consult one or more expert witnesses to build a strong claim on your behalf.
In addition to determining who is at fault, your lawyer will assess the available insurance coverage. Virtually all personal injury claims will involve at least one insurance company—or sometimes more.
The compensation that may be recovered for personal injury is limited to the maximum coverage provided by the policy. However, insurers are highly likely to offer well below the limit.
By examining the available coverage, your attorney will be able to provide you with an accurate assessment of how much may be recovered in a settlement. From there, it is a matter of demonstrating to the insurer that your claim has merit and using this leverage to negotiate a fair payout.
One of the most important things to remember in any personal injury claims is this: Insurance companies are not on your side. They make every effort to seem like they are, and they are extremely good at getting you to trust them. But make no mistake, their goal is to pay you as little compensation as possible.
This is why one of the greatest benefits a personal injury lawyer can bring to your claim is handling settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Personal injury attorneys make a living fighting against insurance companies on behalf of their clients. They know how to hold insurers accountable.
Read More: 5 Mistakes You Might Make When Negotiating an Insurance Settlement on Your Own
Speak to an Injury Lawyer Today
We understand that the decision to hire a lawyer can be a difficult one. You are already in a difficult situation and are not looking to add more confusion and complexity to it. But our goal is to remove some of the pressure and uncertainty while fighting for your right to maximum compensation.
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Our attorneys are highly skilled negotiators who have earned a reputation for obtaining settlements that exceed the initial offers made by insurance companies. We are also willing and able to take cases to trial if it means getting the result you deserve.
Contact Colombo Law for a FREE consultation. Our personal injury lawyers serve clients in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia.