Do You Really Need an Attorney for Your Personal Injury Claim?
Let’s say you were injured in a car accident. Or, hurt at work. Maybe you slipped and fell in the mall. You’ve been contacted by the negligent party’s insurance company. The adjuster is very nice and has arranged for payment of all your bills. There’s already talk of settling your case when you’re done with medical treatment. So, why do you need an attorney for your personal injury claim?
It’s always a good thing when an insurance carrier’s representative is respectful of claimants. However, there’s something to keep in mind. The adjuster works for a conglomerate that emphasizes fiscal responsibility. There’s no doubt that someone could empathize with your injuries. However, there are reasons that retention of an experienced personal injury attorney can afford you a better outcome.
Attorney Fees and Personal Injury Claims
You may be reluctant to retain a personal injury attorney for a number of reasons. You might think that you can’t afford a lawyer. First off, you should know that your case will be handled on a contingency fee basis. When it comes to legal representation, you will not be expected to outlay money. Additionally, the attorney is only paid if there is a positive result. The fee will be based on a percentage of monies obtained on your behalf.
New Jersey Court Rule 1:21-7 sets forth the amount attorneys may collect as part of a contingent fee arrangement. Workers’ compensation awards are treated differently, as are for juvenile cases. On the first $750,000 of recovery, an attorney’s retainer agreement may include an expectation of 33 1/3% for fees. The percentage goes down as the award amount increases.
Attorneys’ fees for minors are reduced to 25% of recovery. The workers’ compensation judge sets awards for work-related claims. They also are decided at the end of the case and are split between you and your employer.
Personal Injury Settlements/Awards
As we mentioned, you may be under the impression that the insurance adjuster is already treating you fairly. This is understandable. However, do you really know the value of your injury? There’s the obvious temptation to research your claim online and try to find settlements or award that mirror your issues.
No doubt you can already guess that no two cases are exactly the same. Not every broken back or fractured arm is worth the same when it comes to negotiating an accident claim. There are many considerations, including the extent of your medical treatment and permanent damage. Preexisting injuries may even be brought up as a potential negative. An experienced personal injury attorney looks at a variety of factors when recommending settlement.
Here are some other things to consider. You should think of your lawyer’s role as more than your advocate. Attorneys also coordinate your claim and ensure your bills and any potential liens are addressed. For better insight on the latter, take a look at our article on monies held in compensation cases.
What if the adverse party says you are partially responsible for the accident? Can you dispute these types of allegations on your own? Yes, that was a rhetorical question. Legal counsel can better assist you with claims of contributory negligence.
We Can Help
At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we can help you with your personal injury claim. We have worked with insurance carriers on behalf of clients for almost three decades. Give us a call to see how we can assist you.