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Do I Need a Lawyer to Get a Settlement?

It is not always necessary to hire a personal injury attorney in order to file a claim or even receive a settlement. On very common cases with clearly defined negligence or wrongdoing, it is entirely possible that someone without specialized knowledge of the legal process can successfully negotiate a settlement. Simple auto accidents, bicycle accidents, or home product accidents that involve defective products are examples of cases where it is possible to reach a settlement without an attorney. For small judgments this can sometimes save you money and time.

On the other hand, what you think might be a small settlement could be something that an experienced personal injury lawyer can identify as worth a greater amount, so you should always at least check with a personal injury attorney so you are educated before you decide if you want to handle your settlement yourself. In no situation should you sign a settlement with an insurance company without having first gotten your injuries evaluated by a doctor so that you know that there's no likelihood of long-term impairment. So when do you need a personal injury attorney, then, and what for?

The more complicated a case is, generally, the greater the likelihood that you will want an attorney representing you. Someone who understands the intricacies of the legal system, knows how much similar cases like yours have received in settlement and in trial, and who can take care of negotiations while you and your loved ones concentrate on getting better can be invaluable when you are looking to recover from an injury that's occurred from someone else's negligence. Wrongful death, permanent disability, toxic exposure, drug injury, new product defect, complicated auto accidents, or slip and fall cases are all very likely to need comprehensive legal help from a personal injury attorney from the outset.

Regardless of the level of complication of the case, if you've started negotiations on a settlement without a lawyer and begin to feel that it is growing too complicated for you to follow all of the details of it, you can always contact a lawyer (up until you have signed a contract) to help you negotiate your settlement.

There are a few facts that you should take away from this post:

  • Not all personal injury cases require a lawyer to successfully settle
  • Complicated cases are more likely to need personal injury lawyers
  • You can always bring in a lawyer for help if you find that you are having difficulty handling your settlement yourself