Personal Injury Lawyer Houston

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer? 5 Signs You Do

Jad J. Stepp

Jad J. Stepp is the managing shareholder of Stepp & Sullivan, P.C., a Houston-based firm that focuses on probate and elder law matters, as well as estate planning, personal injury, aviation, and maritime litigation. For over 35 years he has been trying lawsuits in both federal and state court and has been the lead trial lawyer in complex litigation in many areas.
Jad J. Stepp

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, you may be wondering how you’re going to pay your medical bills, repair damaged property, or return to work. The truth is, you may need to seek legal remedies through a personal injury lawsuit. If your insurance won’t pay or doesn’t cover everything, a personal injury lawyer can advise you whether you have a case or not.

If you’re wondering “do I need a personal injury lawyer?” you are in the right place. We’ll review 5 situations that might necessitate a personal injury lawyer and help you determine if hiring one is the right course of action for you.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be tempted to try to handle the insurance company and those responsible on your own.

This is a mistake, however, as insurance companies are looking out for their bottom line (not you) and want to pay out as little as possible. They will try to get you to accept the lowest settlement possible so they can move on.

A personal injury lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement for you and take the case to trial if necessary. Trying to do this alone, with no legal training or expertise, is not a wise decision. Here are five situations where you should consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer.

1. You Have Serious Injuries

The severity of your injuries will dictate the amount of your compensation or settlement. Insurance companies consider things like the type of injuries you experienced, how much your medical bills are, and how long your recovery will take.

As these amounts increase, it’s likely that you’ll hit the policy limits of the insurance policy of whoever was at fault. In this case, the insurance company will try to settle with and they may try to get you to accept only a small portion of what you are actually entitled to.

A personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and if necessary, take the case to court for a trial.

2. Your Injuries are Long-Term or Permanent

You might suffer severe injuries that you will eventually recover from, but in other cases, your injuries may be long-term or even permanent. If your injuries resulted in permanent disabilities, hire a personal injury lawyer right away.

They will be able to determine how much your injuries are “worth” based on loss of wages, medical care, and other difficulties you may face throughout your life as a result of the injury.

3. The Insurance Company Won’t Pay

If the insurance company of the person at fault refuses to make a fair settlement or any settlement at all, you need a personal injury lawyer to negotiate for you.

As we’ve already discussed, insurance companies are looking out for their bottom line, but if they insure a person or company who caused your injury, they need to compensate you.

4. Your Injury Was Caused by Negligence

If your injury was caused by negligence, such as defective parts, failure to follow safety procedures, or someone engaging in conduct that puts you at risk, the person or persons responsible for the negligence must be held responsible. If they are not, someone else could be injured.

5. There Are Multiple Parties Involved 

Things become confusing when there are multiple parties that may be liable for your injuries. If you are trying to negotiate with multiple parties and multiple insurance companies, things become complicated.

This is also true if there are multiple victims, as the insurance company may try to offer even smaller settlements since they have more than one victim to pay out.

What to Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve decided that your situation warrants a personal injury lawyer, don’t just hire the first attorney you find online. There are certain things you should look for in a personal injury lawyer, including:

1. Experience WIth Your Type of Case/Injury

If an attorney specializes only in one type of accident or injury, and that doesn’t describe your case, move on. Find someone who is an expert in your case, such as aviation accidents, not an attorney who primarily handles personal injury cases involving car accidents.

2. Trial Experience

If your attorney can’t negotiate an acceptable settlement with the insurance company, your case may go to trial. If that happens, you’ll want an attorney who has trial experience and knows how to fight for you in court.

3. A Proven Track Record of Success

Whether the attorney is successful at winning trials or negotiating fair settlements, you want one who has a proven track record of success. Before hiring an attorney, ask about their success record.

4. An Attorney Who Only Represents Victims

Some attorneys represent both victims and insurance companies. You want one who is solely focused on representing victims. You don’t want an attorney who doesn’t have full loyalty to victims.

5. An Attorney Who Comes Highly Recommended

Finally, get referrals for a personal injury lawyer. Ask your family and friends or other attorneys you may know, read online reviews, and do your homework. Make sure your attorney comes highly recommended by others.

The Bottom Line 

A personal injury lawyer can guide you through a very complicated and often lengthy process and will be your advocate throughout. They can negotiate the best settlement for your case and make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

Now that you’re better able to answer the question “do I need a personal injury lawyer”, it’s time to make the call for a free consultation. Contact us today and we can walk you through your options and discuss what we can do for you.

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