The news is full of personal injury cases from celebrities to everyday people, it can seem like just everyone is heading to civil court. Sometimes, the need to file a personal injury lawsuit makes sense. Other times, you may be scratching your head and wondering why they filed a lawsuit. This leads to the question of when you should consider seeking a personal injury attorney.

While there’s no set answer, as every personal injury case is unique, there are a few key signs that may make retaining legal counsel a smart decision.

You’re Not At Fault and Have Significant Injuries

When you’re not responsible for the accident and your injuries, you don’t expect to argue with insurance companies for compensation. After all, isn’t this what insurance is for? The policy is there to cover your damages, especially when you’re not the responsible party.

While this is how insurance is ideally supposed to work, it’s rarely the case. Don’t forget that insurance companies are businesses, which means their goal is to make a profit and not pay out full claim amounts.

So, what does this mean for your personal injury claim? You may find yourself in negotiations with the insurance adjuster. The insurance company will initially offer a low amount, often not enough to cover all of your expenses and damages—but don’t expect the following offers to go much higher. Here, the goal of the insurance adjuster is to wear you down until you agree to an amount.

The best advice is not to settle with the insurance company since you may still have ongoing expenses like long-term medical care or rehabilitation therapy. Once you accept a settlement offer, you can’t file another claim. This means you’re stuck paying any additional costs out of your pocket.

An experienced personal injury attorney is skilled at negotiations and can help ensure you receive fair compensation. If an agreement can’t be reached, your attorney can file a lawsuit in civil court. This is something you don’t want to do without legal representation.

Determining Liability

If only you and another driver are involved in an accident, determining liability is pretty straightforward. Once the accident report is ready for pickup, it typically states who’s the at-fault party.

In this scenario, you may be able to skip retaining an attorney especially if injuries and property damage are minimal or non-existent. However, personal injury cases aren’t always this simple. Sometimes, more than one party is liable for the accident.

An example is if you’re involved in an accident with a company or government vehicle. The driver may or may not be liable. Instead, the company or even a maintenance service may be the liable party. Proving liability can be time-consuming and often comes down to the available evidence. A personal injury attorney typically has the resources and knowledge necessary to gather and interpret the evidence.

You may also need an attorney to help you prove negligence, especially if liability is a little muddled. Since there are multiple parts to proving negligence, it’s usually best to leave this to a legal expert.

You Suffered a Permanent Disability

Some injuries are severe enough to become a permanent disability. This can mean you need a lifetime of care. Even if you’re expected to eventually make a full recovery, the process may take months or years.

During your recovery, medical expenses are piling up and chances are you’re also not able to earn an income. Yes, insurance companies are ideally supposed to cover these types of damages, even if your disability is permanent. However, remember how insurance companies are businesses? Most are going to baulk at paying out large personal injury claims.

You may encounter insurance-sponsored experts who refute your need for extended care. However, this doesn’t mean giving up and accepting whatever the insurance company is willing to pay. To help ensure you’re fully compensated for your permanent disability, you’ll want to consult with a personal injury attorney.

Insurance Company Is Refusing Compensation for Lost Wages

Your personal injury claim probably includes a list of economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages. Yes, the insurance company is supposed to cover lost wages due to the accident. In some cases, this may also include future earnings.

Once again, expect the insurance company to have an issue paying out compensation for lost current and future earnings. However, when you work with a personal injury attorney you’ll find it easier to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you’re wondering if you need a personal injury attorney, in most instances, the answer is yes.