This is a common question that deserves more attention. Most often the answer to that question is a resounding YES. Let’s use a car collision case as an example. If you are ever involved in a minor car accident, there are occasions when you would be able to handle a simple insurance claim on your own. However, what happens if your supposed injury-free case takes a turn? Because adrenaline at a car accident scene is at a high it is hard to really understand the extent of your injuries. Will you need ongoing medical care? Is there any underlying property damage you are not seeing? These are all questions you are going to want to ask yourself as you decide whether to hire a personal injury attorney.
It is also important to remember that personal injury attorneys do not solely deal with motor vehicle collision cases. Many personal injury attorneys can handle premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, assault or sexual assault, or even worker’s compensation cases.
Whatever your situation may be, the experienced staff at Galindo Law is available to answer any questions you may have about the insurance process. They will help guide you through the challenges of dealing with insurance companies and make sure you have a voice as you fight to get what is rightfully yours.
What is a Personal Injury Attorney?
While personal injury attorneys are most often linked to car accident cases, these types of established lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury settlements and lawsuits. A personal injury attorney provides legal representation for anyone who has been wrongly injured by the negligence or wrongful acts of another person or even an organization.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve after a loss. Their goal is to help make you whole after an accident or wrongdoing against you. They will fight for any losses you felt including your pain and suffering, legal costs, and attorney’s fees.
Another benefit of hiring a personal injury attorney would be their experience taking on insurance companies who often try to pay out as little as possible to the insured. Your attorney should have a strong and knowledgeable background in this field. Hiring an attorney like those at Galindo Law will help you level the playing field against big insurance companies that have a team of attorneys on their side. Galindo Law has the tools and resources you will need to fight your case.
Is Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney Worth It?
The answer to this question will vary. If you have filed an insurance claim and been paid out 100% of what you are entitled to and your claim is small, then probably not. However, keep in mind, like most individuals, you may not have a great understanding of the ins and outs of insurance policies. Did the insurance company offer you a settlement right away? Do you foresee any additional expenses related to your case down the road? These are the kinds of questions an experienced attorney will know to ask. There could be some key factors in your case that you are potentially overlooking.
Also, in many personal injury cases, you are not just dealing with your own insurance company, you are dealing with the defendant’s insurance company as well. Every party involved has their own interest at heart and will fight for THEIR best outcome.
In addition, remember that insurance companies are businesses. They are working to protect their bottom line. The less they can payout, the better for them. Is that fair? Absolutely not. In fact, an experienced PI (Personal Injury) attorney can spot a bad faith claim. There are many instances of insurance companies working to actively not keep their end of contractual obligations to their policyholders. Unfortunately, many victims do not understand their rights. Therefore, having legal representation can be a game-changer in your case.
Again, taking on insurance companies is an uphill battle that will be filled with challenges. It is more than worth it to have some experience on your side fighting for you.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Attorney Cost?
The answer to this question will depend on how much money you receive by way of settlement or verdict from the insurance company or other parties involved. What keeps most people from hiring a personal injury attorney is the misconception of how much it will cost them up front.
Most attorneys, like those at Galindo Law, operate on a contingency fee basis. They do not get paid unless they win your case. If you do win or settle with the insurance company or other entities, they will take a percentage of your settlement.
The great news is that getting guidance from most personal injury attorneys is initially free. Those hefty retainer fees you would have to pay other types of lawyers, like a family law attorney, for example, do not exist in these cases. Your attorney only gets paid if you do. The successful outcome of your case is not only important to you, but also to the attorney fighting for you.
Will I Go to Trial?
Most personal injury cases do not go to trial. In many scenarios, PI lawyers and insurance companies work to agree on a settlement before things progress to the courtroom. To be clear, reaching a settlement is not guaranteed, especially since multiple parties could be involved in the case. If your insurance company or other party attorneys decide to put up a fight, yes, court is always a possibility.
There could be several reasons why some attorneys like to go to trial. For example, the defendant’s attorney might believe you are demanding more money than the case is worth. Another possibility is the strength of the defendant’s case and their chance of winning the case in court. Either way, it is the perfect example of why you will want to have a knowledgeable attorney by your side. The attorneys at Galindo Law are skillful in all aspects, whether it be in negotiations or in the courtroom. They will fight for you until the very end.
Factors That Influence Your Case
During the negotiation process, all attorneys will take a number of factors into account in your case as they decide how to proceed. This holds true in any type of case, whether you decide to move forward with a medical malpractice claim or if you are seeking damages as a victim of a car accident.
If you are the plaintiff, they will consider the extent of your injuries, your medical and rehabilitation costs, your income and earning ability as well as any lost wages or property damage you may have suffered. In addition, attorneys will look at your age and your family situation.
If you and the details of your case have the potential to gain the sympathy of a judge and jury, that could also be a key factor in your case and will be considered by your attorney before you decide to proceed with a trial.
How Do I Protect Myself After an Accident?
If you are dealing with more than just a fender bender personal injury claim, we recommend reaching out to an experienced attorney right away. They can estimate the value of your case and help you decide how to proceed. If you have already reached out to insurance companies and been offered a settlement, remember, you do not have to accept it. Your attorney can help you determine if the insurance company is offering a fair amount of money.
While it is great to get the added protection of an attorney to help with your case, it is also important you know the steps to take immediately after getting injured.
Personal injury cases are all different. Whether you are dealing with a motor vehicle collision, slip and fall, or product liability case documenting the event from start to finish will help you and your legal representation prove your case, whether in negotiations or in a courtroom.
Here’s an example of why you will want to document everything along the way:
Imagine you have just been involved in a car accident where another driver hits you from the side at a slow speed as he is trying to change lanes. You seem fine. The other driver seems fine. Damage on both cars seems minimal and easily fixable. You might shake hands, and exchange phone numbers and insurance information thinking it is not a big deal.
Now, imagine that the same driver who caused the accident goes home and decides he is not “ok.” That driver decides to file a claim accusing you of being at fault for the accident. It now becomes a game of “he said, she said” with no legal reports to back up your side of the story…that you are actually the victim in this case.
Here are some tips to help protect you after a car accident:
Call the police to come to assess the scene. Pictures alone might make it hard to determine who was at fault. A trained officer will have more expertise and can help accurately portray on record what happened.
Take pictures of everything. From damages to your car to location, make sure you have pictures and videos documenting the scenario. Also, keep in mind, that it is best to not post these pictures on social media. Everything you post can be used against you later as your claim moves forward.
Gather insurance details from the other driver. If you decide to not get a police report, it is vital you gather as much information from the other driver involved, including insurance information, name, address, policy number, telephone numbers, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Make sure the VIN on their vehicle matches what the insurance information says.
Get their Driver’s License number, name, and address. Also, document if it is an out-of-state license.
Write down the license plate number and document which state issued the license.
Never admit fault. Anything you say can be used against you.
While the above tips are specifically for documentation after a car accident, other forms of personal injury claims should be documented with the same kind of detail. If dealing with a medical negligence claim, product liability, or sexual abuse/abuse cases, for example, it will be extremely important to have copies of any reports or medical records including:
Medical records, including invoices from all your appointments
Copies of all health insurance claims, whether approved or denied
Written documentation of any conversations
Like car accident cases, you will also want to take any photos or videos of sustained injuries. Your injuries may change in appearance over time so document that along the way.
It is also helpful to keep a daily journal of your experiences living with your injury, explaining how painful your injury is from day to day.
Where To Get Legal Advice
As mentioned before, one of the biggest misconceptions about hiring personal injury attorneys is how much they will cost. Fortunately, in most instances, hiring a personal injury attorney comes with zero financial risk to you. It makes sense to talk with an attorney to get a professional opinion on your case. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to see if your case has been handled fairly by the insurance companies. If not, they will work with you to help get you the money you rightfully deserve.
The attorneys at Galindo Law believe in giving you a voice. It is a priority for Cristobal Galindo and staff to educate you on your options as you deal with the stresses of a personal injury case. They understand the challenges, emotionally, mentally, and physically, as you navigate the challenge of getting the money you deserve.
Galindo Law will work to get you fair value on your case. With more than 20 years of experience, Galindo Law will not shy away from taking your case to trial. Insurance companies have an army of lawyers to fight for them and their bottom line. The staff at Galindo Law believes in leveling the playing field so that you can get total justice and get what is rightfully yours. They have all the tools and resources available to thoroughly investigate your case.
Galindo Law attorneys are nationally recognized. Their corporate office is in Houston, TX. Galindo Law attorneys work on contingent fees. They do not get paid until a settlement is reached.
If you have questions about your personal injury case:
Or, if you prefer, email us.
Let us help you make an informed decision about your case. We will work on your case with honesty and integrity.
And thank you for reading our blog!