When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

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When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?Hiring a personal injury lawyer can make almost every part of a personal injury claim smoother. Injury lawyers have experience in working with insurers to document and settle an injury claim. They also have the legal training necessary to litigate a case if the at-fault party or their insurer will not offer a fair settlement.

Circumstances may arise in which you need a personal injury lawyer in your case. This often happens when you require additional legal knowledge and experience to bring your case to a successful conclusion.

Here are the things you should know about situations where you should hire an experienced personal injury attorney.

Do You Need Help Preserve or Save Your Case?

Certain events can put your claim for compensation at risk. When these events happen, you should consult a lawyer to discuss whether they can do anything to save your case. 

Some examples of events that might prompt a legal consultation include:

Approaching a Statute of Limitations

Statutes of limitations define the time limits for filing a lawsuit. New York’s statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is three years after the accident. But some injury cases have shorter time limits.

Injured patients must usually bring actions for medical malpractice within two years and six months after the medical error or the end of treatment. For Metro and subway accidents, you only have 90 days to file a claim and one year and 90 days to file a lawsuit.

Filing a case after the time limit expires will result in a dismissal. New York law provides some exceptions for filing cases after time has expired. 

If your case is approaching a filing deadline, you should consult a lawyer.

Your Insurance Claim Was Denied

An insurance claim denial can end your case if you fail to act. When you file a claim after a car accident, slip and fall, or another type of accident, the insurer for the negligent person or business will investigate the claim.

A claims adjuster can deny a claim for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons for denial include:

  • No negligence found
  • No clear causation
  • No injury occurred

Hiring a lawyer after a claim denial brings three benefits. First, the lawyer can respond to the claim denial with evidence. This may persuade the claims adjuster to allow the claim to proceed.

Second, the lawyer can file a lawsuit against the negligent person or business. Insurers will sometimes make a settlement offer instead of paying a lawyer to defend their case.

Third, if the insurer acted in bad faith, the lawyer can remind them of their duties under New York insurance laws. Insurers violate New York law when they fail to investigate and pay claims in good faith.

Do You Need Help Maximizing Your Compensation?

Another reason to hire a personal injury attorney is to maximize your compensation. When you submit an insurance claim or file a lawsuit, you should seek all of the compensation that the laws allow. Hiring an experienced injury lawyer will help to ensure that you do not leave out any compensation.

You Suffered a Serious Injury in a Car Accident

New York uses a no-fault insurance system for car accidents. This means you will file a claim with your auto insurer regardless of who caused the car accident. 

In most cases, this system limits you to $50,000 in basic economic losses and bars you from suing the at-fault driver. Basic economic losses include your medical expenses and lost wages, but they exclude pain and suffering.

If you suffer from a serious injury, you may be able to escape the no-fault limits and file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. 

Serious injuries under New York law include:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Bone fracture
  • Miscarriage
  • Permanent loss of use of an organ or body part
  • Permanent limitation of the use of an organ or body part
  • Non-permanent injury that temporarily prevents you from daily activities

If you suffer from a serious injury, you should consult an injury lawyer about whether you may benefit from stepping outside of the no-fault system.

You Had Significant Pain and Suffering

New York does not have caps on pain and suffering damages. This means that in car accident cases in which you suffered a serious injury, slip and fall cases, medical malpractice cases, or product liability cases, you can claim damages for all of your pain and suffering.

Pain and suffering damages compensate you for the non-economic impact of your injuries. Some examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Physical anguish
  • Mental anguish
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of activities

If your injuries substantially diminished your quality of life, you should consider hiring a lawyer to help you document and claim your pain and suffering damages.

Do You Need Help Battling the At-Fault Party?

Getting compensation can take a lot of time, effort, and expertise. In some circumstances, you might need to hire a lawyer to have the best possible chance of recovering damages.

Your Injuries Were Caused by a Business

Businesses often have insurance companies with armies of lawyers. When you suffer an injury due to the negligence of a business or its employees, you could face significant obstacles to recovering compensation. 

Hiring a lawyer to deal with the company’s lawyers may improve your chances of staying on top of the case without getting overwhelmed by the other side.

The Liable Party is Uninsured

If the person or business that caused your injury lacks insurance, you will probably need to file a lawsuit to recover any compensation. 

Some examples of situations in which the negligent party does not have liability insurance include:

  • Boat accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents in a small business
  • Uninsured driver accidents
  • Hit-and-run accident

In these cases, you might need a lawyer to file a lawsuit against the negligent party or find another way to claim compensation.

Contact a New York City Personal Injury Attorney for Help

An injury lawyer can provide counsel and help you to choose a legal strategy for recovering compensation. A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies and advocate for your interests in court. 

Most importantly, an injury lawyer can give you the benefit of prior experience in handling injury cases so you can maximize your chances of obtaining a fair outcome in your case.

To discuss your case with an experienced injury lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel, LLC. We’ll arrange a free consultation to explore the facts of your case.

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