If you’ve been injured in an accident through the negligence of one or more other people, you may be wondering if you should file a claim. Perhaps you’ve been the victim of a car accident and the other party’s insurance company wants to settle with you as quickly as possible. As medical, car repair/replacement, and other bills begin to mount up, it can be tempting to take the settlement, even though you realize that the amount being offered to you seems rather small.
What should you do?
There are plenty of reasons to consult a personal injury attorney to discuss a claim, as well as a couple of potential cons. Here is a list of each followed by another comparison: when it makes sense to settle a personal injury claim out of court and when it makes sense to take it to the courtroom.
Pros of Filing a Claim
- An experienced attorney is knowledgeable in personal injury law and can get the fairest settlement possible for the injured victim. Generally, insurance claims adjusters are working for the insurance company’s best interest, and the initial settlement amount will likely be less than fair. Accident attorneys know all the ins and outs of how insurance works and can navigate the process seamlessly from start to finish.
- An accident attorney can take the burden of the claims process off the injured person so they can focus on healing. After an injury, there’s a lot going on and a lot of questions about what to do next. When you hire Harrell and Harrell to represent you in your injury case, we’ll do all the work so you can do what matters most — concentrate on getting better.
Cons of Filing a Claim
- Many times, an injured person may not feel comfortable discussing the accident or their injuries, perhaps reliving the traumatic experience is painful. If that’s a concern, then consider choosing a personal accident attorney who is compassionate and focuses on client comfort.
- Some people don’t want to file a claim against someone they know. In that case, it’s important to note that the claim is actually being filed against the insurance company, not the person.
- It’s not unusual to be concerned about the cost of hiring a personal injury attorney. At Harrell & Harrell, P.A., we work on contingency, though, which effectively eliminates that worry. There is no cost up front and we don’t get paid unless you do.
Settling Out of Court Versus a Lawsuit
When people think about filing a personal injury claim, they may be thinking about a lawsuit. In that case, their question may be whether it’s better to settle an injury claim out of court or sue for damages.
Pros of settling out of court include that:
- It’s typically resolved more quickly, which means that expenses can be paid more quickly.
- Trial expenses (expert testimonies, travel, and so forth) could be avoided.
- Any stress associated with appearing in court and making a situation public would not have to take place.
- You may feel a sense of control because you can decide whether or not to accept a particular settlement.
The majority of personal injury cases are in fact settled out of court. There are, however, both advantages and disadvantages to going into the courtroom and so it’s important to discern whether or not your situation warrants that move.
Disadvantages of going into court can include:
- The time frame involved is typically longer.
- The jury may not decide in your favor.
Advantages can include the following:
- You may get a better settlement than you would have otherwise, perhaps including an award for pain and suffering.
- You can feel sense of justice when you receive a fair settlement
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you decide the best strategy for your situation.
Preparing for a Personal Injury Attorney Consultation
When preparing for a consultation, you’ll want to bring any documentation you have on hand about the accident, including a copy of the police report; photos of the accident; medical diagnoses and treatments; hospitalization dates, if any; prescription medicines being taken as a result; and the names, addresses and specialties of medical professionals you’ve consulted.
Gather information about time missed at work because of the accident and lost wages. Record relevant health care insurance account numbers and, if the accident involved a vehicle, auto insurance information.
Be prepared to answer questions about your accident and injuries. If you get emotional, simply let your attorney know that you need to take a few deep breaths. Also come prepared to ask your own questions. (It can help to write them down.) You may, for example, have questions about the timeline, what injuries and damages you may be able to claim, how bills can get paid, and so forth. You can ask about your accident attorney’s experience and success rates for your type of claim. This information, of course, can’t predict the outcome of your case but it can help you to choose the right attorney for your personal injury claim.
Contact Accident Attorneys at Harrell & Harrell, P.A.
The personal injury attorneys in our law office are highly experienced in aggressively pursuing compensation and, because we work on a contingency basis, we don’t get paid unless you do. This means we get paid if, and only if, you receive compensation for injuries and damages.
Benefits of choosing our firm include how we:
- Have represented accident victims with a broad range of injury types
- Have former nurses on staff, plus a medical library in-house for our team
- Retain top medical doctors for their professional services, including careful analyses and expert testimony
- View damages from the physical standpoint, but also from emotional and financial ones
We fight for justice when pursuing compensation, taking a broad range of cases (not just the “big” ones) and maintaining a strong commitment to justice throughout.
For a free consultation about your personal injury, please contact us online or call our law office at (904) 251-1111.