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When Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Attorneys are experts in state law and can help you navigate the complexities of your case. They will guide you through your insurance policy and personal injury claim in order to help you receive a fair settlement. Lawyers can advise you on when to accept a settlement offer, and when to take your case to trial.  

close up of a gavel

You Should Consider Hiring a Lawyer If

  • The Accident Involved a Motorcycle, Pedestrian, or Bicyclist
  • The Accident Involved a Head-on Collision, Road Construction, an 18-Wheeler, or Bus
  • Death Resulted From the Accident
  • Multiple People Came to Harm
  • A Driver was Intoxicated or Otherwise Impaired
  • You Have Extensive Medical Bills, or Missed Work/School
  • You Have Permanent Recurring Problems (Physical and/or Mental) as a Result of the Accident
  • Recovery Lasting Longer than 1 Year
  • Or Settlements Offered by Your Insurance are Inadequate

However, if you do not want to hire a lawyer, it is possible to settle on your own.

What is a Free Attorney Consultation?

Attorneys offer a free consultation prior to taking on your case. This free consultation provides you an opportunity to discuss your case openly with an attorney, and receive professional advice. Attorneys can help you negotiate settlements with your insurance, and can give an estimate for the duration of your case. 

If you were at fault for the accident, your insurance company will provide a defense attorney, free of charge. However, your premiums may rise, depending on your insurance provider and policy.

How do I Pay for a Lawyer? What Costs Should I Expect if My Case Goes to Court? 

hands fanning out money

Attorneys are paid by contingency fees, which means they do not get paid unless you win your settlement. Typically these fees fall anywhere between 25-40%. Legal case costs include copy fees, filing fees, daily jury stipends, legal research, producing trial exhibits, bringing in expert witnesses, and serving summons and complaints to the defendant.

If you lose your case, these costs may be absorbed by the attorney and their firm, or you may be responsible depending on the terms of your agreement. If you are required to cover these costs, it is best to pay these costs “off the top” of your settlement. By paying off the top, you may be able to negotiate a lower contingency fee with your attorney. Your court costs will be taken out of your settlement prior to the calculation of your lawyer’s contingency fee.

Has the Lawyer Handled a Case Like Mine Before? 

Lawyers specialize in many types of law including banking, finance, commercial, corporate, criminal, family, media, public, and more. For auto accident cases, consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law. Personal injury law acts as an umbrella term that includes animal bites, slips, and falls, car accidents, work accidents, and medical malpractice. Make sure to clarify what type of personal injury law cases your attorney has settled in the past.

 What is the Minimum Amount of Settlement I Should Agree to?

guy in a suit giving a thumbs up

Fair settlements should compensate you for collective expenses resulting from the accident, i.e. medical bills and lost wages. Depending upon the severity and length of your recovery, insurance companies may use a multiplier of 1-5 to compensate for pain and suffering. However, insurance companies are bound by policy limits and cannot exceed them. 

What are the Alternatives to a Lawsuit?

Settlement- Prior to going to trial, lawyers will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement directly with insurance companies. If they aren’t getting any fair settlement offers, they may consider involving a mediator or taking the case to court. 

Mediation- Mediators are trained in resolving disputes, and help their clients reach a monetary compromise. 

How Long Will it Take to Settle My Case?

If your attorney is able to settle with your insurance company without the help of a mediator or a trial judge, your settlement may be relatively brief. However, if your case goes to trial, your case may take several months to years. 

Do you need an attorney for your case? Call us now at 801-683-1948 to schedule a free legal consultation.

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