Is it Worth it to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Injury attorneys in Jacksonville usually charge between 25 to 40% to handle an injury claim. Anyone suffering personal injuries in a car crash should ask themselves whether hiring a lawyer is worth this expense. The answer depends on the type of claim you have and the severity of your injuries.
That’s right – a personal injury law firm is saying that you might not benefit from an injury attorney in every circumstance. For example, if your injuries completely heal and months have gone by without any need for treatment, an insurer will usually offer several thousand dollars in exchange for a release of all claims. As long as you were correct that your injuries were completely healed, an injury lawyer would likely not have been able to get much more money for you and may not have been able to outpace the attorney fees and expenses.
However, if your injuries persist, handling the claim yourself may be a “penny wise, pound foolish” endeavor. One hundred percent of $10,000.00 is a lot less than two-thirds of $20,000.00 or $25,000.00. Simply put, there are opportunities to increase your recovery that you are likely to miss. There are also numerous financial pitfalls in handling a claim yourself.
You are obligated to repay your health insurer for any amounts it paid for your accident related medical care. If you are not aware of this and fail to pay the insurer, it can deny payment for future claims you may have, leaving you essentially uninsured.
You must also pay your medical providers for any unpaid balances. Because the personal injury protection portion of your auto coverage only pays 80% of your medical bills, car accident victims typically owe medical providers a balance even after the auto insurer pays the majority of the bills. Our injury attorneys in Jacksonville will negotiate these balances down for you resulting in more money in your pocket.
If you have an uninsured motorist claim in addition to a claim against an at fault driver and you settle the claim with the at fault driver without getting approval from your own auto insurance company, you may lose your uninsured motorist benefits altogether – which could be a financial disaster.
With more serious injuries, a person who does not hire an attorney is very likely to undervalue his or her injury claim. Future medical expenses are difficult to determine; however, an experienced injury attorney will have the resources to hire expert witnesses who can calculate these future losses. Often, future expenses are much higher than past expenses.
If you do not have health insurance and your personal injury protection coverage for medical bills has been exhausted, you are likely to have great difficulty in obtaining further medical care. Obtaining complete medical care is necessary in order to present the full picture of your injuries. An experienced Jacksonville injury attorney can refer you to medical providers who will hold their bills until your case is resolved.
Finally, when insurance companies are placing a value on a claim, they consider whether the claimant is likely to file suit. Without an attorney involved, the insurer will feel confident that, at the end of the day, the claimant will accept the “final” offer the insurer makes. With an experienced injury attorney, the insurer knows that failing to make a fair settlement offer will result in a lawsuit. In fact, when an injury victim comes to us having received a settlement offer from an insurer, we often agree to charge an attorney fee calculated on the amount we receive above the highest offer the insurer made before the client hired us. With this opportunity, there is little chance for downside to the client.
If you have questions about whether to hire a Jacksonville injury lawyer, call us for a free, no obligation, consultation.