You are faced with many important decisions as the victim of a personal injury accident in Texas. Many different people may be asking things of you, such as bill collectors, hospitals and insurance claims adjusters. Deciding to retain a legal professional could be the best thing you can do for your case. If you have a case that could benefit from a personal injury lawyer, hiring one can be crucial for your future.
Does Your Case Warrant the Hiring of an Attorney?
The first question to ask is whether your case is one that requires assistance from a personal injury lawyer. While you technically always have the option of going pro se (representing yourself), this might not be the best decision if you have a complicated case. Pro se litigation could set you up for mistakes such as accepting a lowball settlement from an insurance company or missing important information on your initial claim.
If you have serious injuries from your accident, hire a personal injury lawyer. A serious injury case demands attention from an attorney. An insurance company may try to dispute liability or use other tactics to avoid paying you a fair and full amount for a serious or catastrophic injury. Hiring a lawyer can be the most effective way to secure the compensation your injuries demand. It can also be important to hire a lawyer if your case involves complications such as multiple defendants, comparative negligence or lack of available insurance coverage.
What Are the Laws in Your State?
The next thing to consider is whether you will need to prove someone else’s negligence. If not, you may not need to hire an attorney, as you will be negotiating with your own insurance company instead of the company of an at-fault party. A first-party claim is generally easier to resolve. A third-party claim, on the other hand, will require you to prove fault. This can make it more important to hire a lawyer.
Texas is a fault state. If you are injured in an auto accident in Texas, the fault law means you will seek financial compensation from the at-fault party. Hiring a lawyer could enable you to gather evidence of the negligent party’s fault. If you live in a no-fault state, you may need to hire an attorney if your injury is serious enough to allow you to step outside of the no-fault system.
Could a Lawyer Obtain Better Results for Your Case?
The decision to hire a lawyer takes analyzing how much you could make alone versus how much money an attorney can obtain for you. Statistically, plaintiffs who hire attorneys generally recover greater compensation than pro se plaintiffs. This is because attorneys have the negotiation skills and resources to obtain better results. If necessary, a lawyer can go to trial to fight for higher compensation on your behalf.
If you know you are already recovering the maximum amount available under the defendant’s insurance policy, however, hiring a lawyer may be unnecessary. You may be able to accept the settlement and know that you achieved a fair outcome. When in doubt, talk to a lawyer about the value of your personal injury case. Then you will have more knowledge about your claim to use during settlement negotiations.
How Much Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Finally, ask how much your personal injury lawyer will cost. If you choose a firm that operates on a contingency fee basis, your lawyer will not get paid unless you do. This can ensure you always have the ability to afford your lawyer since the legal fees will come directly from the settlement or judgment won.
Plus, this type of attorney will be motivated to obtain maximum compensation, as the amount you receive determines the amount the lawyer receives as payment. Most attorneys do not take more in legal fees than their clients make. Ask your lawyer for more information about his or her fee system to make an informed decision.