If you have an injury from an accident, you may wonder whether you should hire a personal injury attorney. It’s critical to consult a lawyer if you sustained a severe injury and need to obtain compensation for your damages.
There are several types of situations that almost always require the assistance of a qualified and skilled lawyer. The right lawyer will have an in-depth knowledge of personal injury law in your state. Below, we’ll outline the situations in which you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
If your injury was because of someone else’s negligence, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, or the state where you live. In fact, you have nothing to lose by consulting with one of our lawyers at Howe.Law. You can schedule a free confidential with our attorneys to decide how to proceed with your case.
Four situations when you should contact a personal injury lawyer
If you have found yourself in any of these situations, you shouldn’t hesitate to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney in your state. The following four situations require the assistance of a lawyer to protect your legal rights and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
1. You sustained a severe injury or were permanently disabled
If your injury, which resulted from someone else’s negligence, is severe or you were permanently disabled after an accident, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer right away.
You need to contact a knowledgeable attorney to calculate how much your personal injury case is worth. Typically, the more serious and permanently disabling a victim’s injury is, the more compensation they are entitled to. Only an experienced attorney can help you recover all available types of damages in your case.
Also, depending on where you live, your compensation could be subject to damages caps. Tennessee law limits non-economic damages to $750,000 for most personal injury cases (TN Code § 29-39-102). Although Georgia and Mississippi don’t cap compensatory damages in most personal injury cases, they place a limit on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases (O.C.G.A. § 51-13-1 and Miss. Code § 11-1-60).
2. Multiple parties are involved, or liability is not clear/disputed
You can benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer in Georgia, Tennessee, or Mississippi if your case involves any of the following:
- There were multiple parties involved in the accident;
- The other party(s) refuses to admit fault; or
- Liability is not immediately clear.
Determining liability is never easy, especially when an accident involves multiple parties, and/or it’s hard to tell who was at fault for causing the accident.
Regardless of whether you live in a comparative or contributory negligence state, your degree of fault could impact the settlement amount you are entitled to. In fact, being found partially at fault could even leave you with no compensation whatsoever.
The insurance company or the other party involved in the accident may try to have your compensation reduced by arguing that you were partially at fault. Like many other states, Georgia and Tennessee follow the modified comparative negligence doctrine, which means the injured party cannot recover damages if they were 50% or more at fault for their injury (O.C.G.A. 51-11-7 and TN Code § 29-11-103).
Mississippi, meanwhile, is a pure comparative negligence state, which means you can get compensated for your injuries and damages regardless of fault, even if you were mostly at fault for causing your accident (Miss. Code § 11-7-15).
Hiring a lawyer is essential if the other party or the insurance company is trying to hold you partially responsible for your injury.
3. The insurance company refuses to settle your claim for a fair amount
Since insurance companies are looking out for their own interests, it’s not uncommon for insurers to engage in bad faith practices. Insurance companies employ different tactics to deny legitimate claims or settle claims for as little as possible.
Sometimes, insurers refuse to pay or delay the claims process by not responding to claims and requests on time. There are legal requirements that make insurance companies respond to claims and payout settlements within set timeframes. For example, under Georgia law, insurers must pay out a claim within 10 of accepting it (O.C.G.A. § 9-11-67.1).
You need an experienced lawyer on your side when dealing with an insurance company. This is especially true if the insurer refuses to settle your claim for a fair amount, refuses to pay, or engages in other bad faith tactics.
4. You exhausted the insurance policy limits or cannot negotiate a settlement
If the insurance company is not willing to accept your settlement offer or you have already reached the policy limits, you may need to consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party or the insurance company, depending on your situation.
While most personal injury cases are settled before reaching trial, suing a negligent party may be the only option to get compensated for your losses and damages.
You should consult with a personal injury attorney to explore your legal options. If your attorney advises you to file a lawsuit, it’s critical to have the representation of a skilled trial lawyer.
Why should you hire a personal injury attorney?
Although you are not legally required to hire a personal injury attorney, doing so can dramatically improve your chance of success. We’ve listed seven top reasons you should seek help from a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in Georgia, Tennessee, or Mississippi.
1. They can objectively evaluate your case and explain your options
If you have been badly injured due to another person’s negligence, chances are you aren’t capable of looking at your situation unbiasedly. For this reason, it makes sense to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your unique situation objectively and without emotions.
After evaluating your personal injury case, the lawyer will explain your legal rights to help you choose the best course of action. A knowledgeable attorney will advise you on your legal options for your particular situation.
And the best part is that a consultation won’t take much of your time and cost you anything. Our personal injury attorneys at Howe.Law, which represents clients in Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi, provide a free consultation.
2. They know the law
Unless you have a law degree yourself, you probably don’t know how the legal system works. Also, you probably aren’t aware of all the personal injury laws in your state.
Attorneys, meanwhile, possess superior knowledge about the legal system. They know the ins and outs of federal and state laws that might impact their client’s case. For example, each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury cases. The time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee ranges from one to three years:
- Three years from the date of the injury in Mississippi( Code. § 15-1-49);
- Two years from the injury date in Georgia(C.G.A. § 9-3-33); and
- One year from the date of the accident in Tennessee(TN Code § 28-3-104).
Since personal injury laws vary greatly from one case to another, you should hire a lawyer well-versed in state and local laws that apply to your case to maximize your recovery and pursue all available forms of compensation for your damages and injuries.
3. They know how to negotiate a fair settlement
You can gain the upper hand in personal injury negotiations if you hire an attorney with excellent negotiation skills. If your injury is because of someone else’s negligence, chances are you will need to communicate with the insurance company or even the at-fault party’s lawyer.
Negotiating a fair settlement offer is tricky when you don’t have an attorney to protect your rights. A lawyer will look out for your best interests when negotiating a settlement offer to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
4. They will represent your interests in court
While only a small number of personal injury cases get to trial, you should never rule out the possibility of filing a lawsuit. Taking your case to court may be the only option to recover damages when the at-fault party or their insurer refuses to settle your claim for a fair amount.
If you choose to litigate your case, we only advise going to court with the assistance of an attorney. It’s vital to have representation by a trial lawyer who knows what it takes to win.
5. They can speed up your personal injury case
As you may know, the personal injury claims process can take a long time. However, you can speed up the process if your lawyer is fighting for your interests in and outside of court. If you want compensation for your injury as soon as possible, you can benefit from hiring a lawyer who can expedite the timeline of your claim.
6. They can give you much-needed peace of mind
Sustaining an injury is an extremely stressful and traumatizing event in any person’s life. The last thing you need is to face even more stress trying to navigate the legal system on your own.
Instead, you should hire a skilled lawyer who will handle your claim while giving you peace of mind. This will allow you to focus on your recovery.
7. They can maximize your compensation
Being represented by a skilled personal injury lawyer can increase your chances of getting the financial compensation you deserve. Insurance companies tend to undervalue claims to increase their own profits. This makes negotiating a fair settlement amount very challenging.
As you can see, there are quite a few benefits when you hire a personal injury attorney. If you want to find out more about how a lawyer can help you in your particular case, schedule a free consultation with our attorneys at Howe.Law. Call at 844-876-4357.