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For minor injuries, such as a fender-bender, where you’re offered the cost of the repairs and the cost of a doctor visit to verify that you are unharmed, you probably do not need an attorney to receive compensation. However, there are instances when having a New York personal injury attorney represent you is essential to protect your rights and ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
I Cannot Afford An Attorney
Personal injury attorneys generally offer free consultations, where they will determine if you have a case and then explain how they collect their fee out of your settlement or the court award. Since you do not have to put out any money up front, you can afford the attorney in your community who has experience with personal injury cases.
Won’t My Insurance Company Pay Me?
Insurance companies, whether your own or the negligent party’s insurance company, are interested in maximizing their profits, not maximizing your settlement amount. They will offer you the least amount they feel that you will accept, while an attorney will help you receive the maximum settlement.
A representative from your own or the other party’s insurance company may visit you and request a statement from you or they may ask for a release to examine your medical records. If this happens, consult with your personal injury lawyer first, before making any statement or signing any papers. Your attorney is your advocate, he or she will handle this while you concentrate on your recovery.
Serious or Disabling Injuries
If you are the victim of a car accident, or any other type of accident, caused by another person’s or a company’s carelessness or negligence, you may sustain serious or disabling injuries. You will likely have high medical bills, expenses related to rehabilitation and you will miss time at work. In case of a disabling injury, you may never be able to return to your current employment. You may also be eligible for other types of damages, such as pain and suffering, therefore, you will need an attorney’s expertise to ensure you receive the full amount of money that you are entitled to under the laws in your state.
Technically, you can negotiate the settlement yourself, however, you will be up against a team of experienced lawyers who may dispute fault or the extent of your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney will have the resources to investigate the accident and he or she will speak to your medical providers and determine if you have severe injuries or if your injuries will disable you for the rest of your life.
Medical Malpractice Injuries
You will almost always need an attorney’s expertise to handle complicated medical malpractice cases. If you believe a medical provider injured you through carelessness or incompetence, speak with an attorney as soon as possible, since there are time limits on your right to file a claim.
Besides the fact that people who hire personal injury attorneys receive larger settlements, you need a person on your side who understands the applicable laws and who have experience negotiating with insurance companies. If you have a serious injury, you do not need seemingly sympathetic insurance representatives constantly calling you, hoping you will say something that will allow them to deny your claim. You main focus should be on your recovery, let your attorney handle everything else.