“I Was Involved in a Small, Rear-end Auto Accident. Should I Hire a Lawyer?”
Yes. Statistics show that claimants who have an attorney often receive a higher settlement – even after the legal fee is deducted – than those who negotiate with an insurance company without representation.
Suppose you were injured in a small rear-ender, and the insurance company calls you soon after the accident and offers you $500.00 to settle your case. You may think that that is not a bad offer, and since the insurance adjuster appears to have your best interest at heart, that you should probably just accept the offer. The insurance company has you sign a release, and you forever release any and all rights you had in the case.
But, that neck pain still persists. In fact, it has gotten worse. You go to your doctor and he recommends some testing. It turns out that you have a herniated disc in your neck that your doctors say was likely caused by the accident. Because of the herniated disc, you will now have to undergo a regimen of pain management. Eventually, the condition gets so bad that surgery may be necessary. Your simple rear-end accident that seemed so trivial just got more serious. You have no right to sue the driver who caused the accident because you signed that release.
Therefore, it usually makes sense to hire an attorney when you have a legal problem, because you are protected, plus the attorney does all the work for you so you don't have to worry about the case. After all, would you ever attempt to practice medicine yourself? No, you would hire a doctor with the education, experience and skill to handle the problem.