Many people prefer to resolve personal injury disputes without a lawyer. There is a common misconception that hiring a lawyer is expensive and usually unnecessary. Some want to navigate the process on their own.
While simpler cases are easier to resolve without legal representation, people who hire a lawyer tend to have better outcomes than people who do not. That’s because cases can become complex, and lawyers are specifically trained to negotiate and understand the law.
Unfortunately, personal injury attorneys often get a bad reputation. The reality is that most Dallas personal injury lawyers are affordable. They work to help their clients get justice after experiencing a traumatic injury. They charge a contingency fee, meaning they don’t get paid unless they win your case. The fee is always proportionate to your awarded compensation.
While you don’t necessarily need a personal injury lawyer, there are a few instances when you should consider seeking legal counsel. An attorney will increase your chances of getting the compensation you are searching for.
The Responsibilities of a Personal Injury Lawyer in Dallas, Texas
Personal injury lawyers in Dallas, TX are regulated through the Texas State Bar. Each attorney attends law school and passes the bar exam before representing clients.
Every personal injury lawyer will handle cases differently based on their training and experience. However, most personal injury lawyers will perform core duties and responsibilities for their clients.
These responsibilities include:
- Investigating the cause of your accident or injury
- Finding out who is responsible
- Filing insurance claims
- Negotiating with insurance on your behalf
- Calculating your total damages
- Collecting and preserving evidence to support your case
- Consulting expert witnesses
- Filing a personal injury claim
- Reviewing discovery from opposing counsel
- Interviewing witnesses and taking depositions
- Keeping track of deadlines and important paperwork
- Communicating on your behalf before the court
- Preparing for and conducting a trial
Without a lawyer, you will be responsible for taking on these responsibilities. If your case ends after an easy insurance claim, this may not be an issue. However, if your case goes on to trial, you may become overwhelmed without the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Signs That You Should Hire a Dallas Personal Injury Attorney
There’s no harm in getting a personal injury lawyer involved in your case as soon as possible. However, if you have waited, there are a few clear signs that you should speak with a lawyer immediately. You don’t want to risk losing your case or worsening your outcome. After all, you only get one shot to pursue damages.
Your Injuries Are Severe or Permanent
If you have experienced severe or permanent injuries, you should hire a lawyer immediately after the accident. Some injuries can be catastrophic and have a significant impact on your life.
Examples of severe or permanent injuries may include:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Severe burns
- Organ damage or internal bleeding
You should immediately hire a lawyer because these types of injuries can involve years of recovery. In fact, you may never recover at all.
This means you will likely face substantial medical expenses and changes in your life circumstances. This could include losing the ability to work and earn income or requiring round-the-clock in-home care. If you fail to get compensation for these losses, you could end up in financial ruin down the line.
Even if you aren’t sure about the full impact of the injury, you should consult a lawyer so that you don’t miss the opportunity to seek compensation while there is still time. In Texas, you typically only have two years to file a lawsuit. You can’t afford to wait until years down the line to seek justice.
An Insurance Company Denied Your Claim
Some types of accidents usually go through an insurance company before becoming a personal injury case. This is common with car accidents, truck crashes, and workplace injuries.
If you’ve been in an accident that involves an insurance company, you may be going through the headache of the insurance process.
The insurance process usually looks something like this:
- Filing a claim
- Giving an insurance adjuster a statement
- Providing evidence of your injuries and the cause of the accident
- Negotiating for a settlement
Sometimes, insurance companies accept your claim and will pay the full amount of your damages. However, more often than not, insurance will either reject your claim or make a wholly inadequate offer.
Many people who don’t have a lawyer will accept an unfair settlement or think that denial is the end of the road. That’s because the insurance process wears them down, or they don’t know how to effectively negotiate or file a lawsuit.
If the insurance company rejects your claim or refuses to pay your full damages, you should consider speaking with a lawyer. A Dallas personal injury attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company and ask them to reconsider. If the insurance company refuses to accept your claim, your lawyer will escalate the case and file a lawsuit.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be very complicated and involves specific procedures and knowledge of the law. Without a lawyer or legal training, it will be difficult to do this on your own. Once you’ve been unable to reach an agreement with insurance, you need to start interviewing lawyers.
You’re Getting Blamed For Causing the Accident or Your Injury
If you are getting blamed for causing the accident or your injury, you should consider hiring a lawyer. It’s normal for a defendant to try and shift blame onto the plaintiff in a personal injury case. This is their way to try and get out of paying for your damages.
However, it can be challenging if you are getting blamed. If you say the wrong thing or don’t fight back, you might get stuck without any recourse. The earlier you hire a lawyer, the sooner they can protect you from unfair blame. This will help preserve your personal injury case while also protecting you from becoming liable – particularly if the defendant is also claiming damages.
Texas has a modified comparative negligence law. If you are more than 50% responsible for an accident, you can’t recover any damages at all. If you are partially responsible (50% or less), you will receive damages minus the percent of your responsibility. A lawyer will help minimize your share of responsibility.
Don’t Wait Too Long To Hire a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer
While there are clear situations where you should hire a lawyer, most people can benefit from legal counsel. If you want to maximize your compensation and put yourself in the best position to move forward, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out and learn more about how a Dallas personal injury lawyer can help. Give Anderson Injury Lawyers a call at (214) 327-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.