From car accidents to medical malpractice, or from animal attacks to intentional tort cases, most victims have the right to compensation when they are injured because of someone else’s actions. Compensation can come as a result of a court case or through a lawsuit. In this article, readers can learn when they need a lawyer from Dulaney Lauer Thomas, LLP and when it is acceptable to represent oneself.

Cases That Can Be Handled by the Client

Below are several examples of injury cases that can be handled without a lawyer’s help.

  • The client lives in a no-fault jurisdiction. Here, no-fault rules bar victims from suing unless the injury meets a set standard, usually determined by the severity of the injury or the cost of treatment.
  • The client is already getting the maximum from their insurer. An insurer only pays out up to the coverage limit. If a defendant’s insurance policy has a $50,000 maximum and the victim is offered a $30,000 settlement, a larger verdict might not be of any help.

Cases of Minor Injury

Many injury victims do not want to hire an attorney for minor injuries. For instance, if one gets into an auto accident and only suffers scrapes and bruises, they may not believe that it makes sense to hire a personal injury lawyer.

  • A minor injury has turned into a major one. If a person’s injuries are worse than expected, and they have already accepted a settlement, there’s nothing the client can do because they waived their future rights to litigation. A personal injury attorney will tell a client to wait until the severity of the injury becomes fully apparent, and they can advise as to the timing of offer acceptance.
  • The client is eligible for damages for pain and suffering. Damages for emotional distress or pain and suffering are considered by juries, and a settlement without these damages may be incomplete. A personal injury lawyer will explain which damages a client may be eligible for, even in minor injury cases, and they will work to ensure that the client receives a fair settlement offer.

If the other motorist’s insurer offers to pay the victim’s medical bills and to give a small settlement, accepting the offer and forgoing legal counsel may be the right choice. However, there are a few instances in which retaining a personal injury attorney may be wise, even for minor injury cases.

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