Jason Stephens | October 28, 2020 | Personal Injury
Being injured in a slip and fall accident, car accident, or a motorcycle crash is unexpected. Fortunately, most people injured in an accident do not have experience with filing insurance claims for personal injuries. However, that lack of experience might be what the insurance company is counting on to reduce its liability for your claim.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim is one option. Another option is submitting a claim to the insurance company without an attorney. How do you know which option is best in your situation?
When is it Okay to Submit a Claim to the Insurance Company Without an Attorney?
You might not need to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your accident claim. There are situations in which a person might want to submit a claim without a lawyer. For example, if you were not seriously injured and have not incurred substantial financial losses, you might not need a lawyer.
Likewise, if you understand insurance laws and personal injury laws, you might be equipped to handle your injury claim without a lawyer. However, make sure that you have plenty of time to work on your claim. Filing an insurance claim, gathering evidence, and negotiating a settlement can be time-consuming.
Insurance companies have teams of claims adjusters, investigators, and lawyers to protect the company’s best interest. If you decide to go up against the company alone, you need to have substantial knowledge and experience, or you could receive much less money for your accident claim than the claim is worth.
If you caused the accident or you are substantially at fault for the cause of your injury, you might not need a personal injury lawyer. In Texas, you cannot recover compensation for an accident that is entirely your fault. Therefore, a personal injury lawyer would not be able to help you recover money for your damages.
Should I Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Submitting an Insurance Claim?
For most people, consulting a personal injury lawyer after an accident is in their best interest. It is wise to get the facts about your legal rights and your options for seeking compensation for a claim from a trusted legal source.
The claims adjuster for the insurance company is not a trusted legal source. The adjuster’s job is to pay as little for your claim as possible. If possible, the adjuster will try to deny your claim.
Therefore, before you talk with an insurance company or file a claim, you might want to meet with a personal injury lawyer. Most lawyers offer free consultations, so it does not cost you anything to get advice that can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your accident claim.
When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Some situations indicate you should hire a personal injury lawyer instead of filing an insurance claim on your own. These situations involve complex legal issues that generally require the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Indicators that you need to consult with an injury attorney as soon as possible include:
- The accident caused catastrophic injuries or permanent disabilities, including paralysis, amputations, and brain damage
- The other party is blaming you for the cause of the accident or alleging you contributed to the cause of the accident
- The case involves multiple parties, as in a truck accident case or product liability claim
- Your accident involves very specific and complex areas of law, including train accidents, oil & gas accidents, and aviation accidents
- The case involves a government entity, vehicle, or employee
- Your child was injured in an accident or because of another party’s wrongful acts or negligence
- The insurance company refuses to investigate the claim or engages in bad faith insurance practices
The Texas statute of limitations restricts your time to file a personal injury lawsuit. In some cases, the time to file a claim is shorter. Therefore, it is wise to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
You do not want to lose your right to file a lawsuit against the party who caused your injuries to hold that party liable for your financial losses and damages. You also do not want to make a mistake that could hurt your chance of recovering full compensation for your damages.
Consulting with a lawyer before filing an insurance claim or discussing your claim with an insurance adjuster is the best way to avoid problems with your case. A lawyer also provides the support and guidance you need as you continue to heal from your injuries and navigate the process of recovering fair compensation after a personal injury.