Following on from our recent post about how to get the best settlement if you don’t have a personal injury lawyer, this week we’d like to talk about the benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney in New York.
As already discussed, you don’t always need to have a personal injury lawyer; however, if the accident was not your fault, or if the case is a difficult one, it’s generally best to seek representation in order to not be taken advantage of by the insurance company, and to receive fair compensation.
An experienced personal injury attorney has a deep knowledge of personal injury laws; given that the laws vary from state to state, and that each individual case has its own merits, the lay person cannot be expected to understand exactly what his or her rights and expectations might be. Insurance adjusters often bank on the lack of expert knowledge of those who go it alone, and in many cases, pay out far less than victims are entitled to.
In general, the first offer the adjuster comes up with will be low – usually substantially lower than the injured party is entitled to. They do this in order to test the water, so to speak, and to see how clued-up the person seeking the settlement is. If you feel unable, or unwilling, to pursue a disputed claim, this is the time to engage the services of a personal injury lawyer.
Because of their knowledge, understanding, and experience of personal injury laws, your personal injury attorney is far better-placed to negotiate a satisfactory deal with the insurance company.
We should point out that not all insurance companies are out to take advantage of those who don’t know any better but do bear in mind that these firms exist to make money, not to give it away, and one way they turn a profit is by under-compensating those seeking fair settlement. If you don’t have a personal injury attorney working on your behalf, you are more or less guaranteed to go through a lengthy process of negotiation, at the end of which, you may still end up with far less than you are entitled to. Your personal injury lawyer will not only negotiate a fair settlement for you with the insurance adjuster but will also represent your interests in a court of law, should your case proceed that far.
In terms of how much it will cost you to have legal representation, you should be aware that most personal injury attorneys operate on a no-win, no-fee basis – that is to say that their fees are contingent upon winning your case, which of course, means that they will always try to get you the best possible settlement. These fees are usually around 40% of the amount awarded, plus you may have to pay other expenses, such as court fees. Before you engage a personal injury attorney, make sure you know exactly which fees and costs you will be liable for. Since almost all personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations, you can afford to shop around for the one who best suits your needs.
There may be many more reasons why you should engage a personal injury lawyer, so if you have been injured in an accident in New York City, you may wish to speak to New York personal injury attorneys as soon as possible.
Our expert accident lawyers at Antin, Ehrlich, and Epstein LLP will determine the best course of action in order to get you the settlement you are entitled to. Contact us today on 212-221-5999 to schedule a free, no obligation, consultation.