19th February 2021
After a car accident or slip and fall, you may wonder whether it’s worth it to hire an attorney for your injury claim.
A personal injury accident can change your life. You may experience minor to severe injuries and accumulate a mountain of debt from hospital visits, physical therapy, and lost wages. Personal injury accidents frequently cause high stress and leave victims with mental disorders like PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
If you’ve never been involved in an accident where you’ve filed a lawsuit before, you likely have no idea what the process of a personal injury case looks like. Contacting a personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that your case is handled correctly. A talented attorney will be able to walk you through the process of a personal injury case. They’ll also help take the stress off of your shoulders, leaving you to relax and recover.
What is a personal injury?
Personal injury is an all-encompassing term for injuries that occur because of someone else’s negligence. Negligence is an unintentional act, for example, like forgetting to clean up a spill in the grocery store or poorly training employees. The people who commit negligence often don’t think about how their behavior could impact others or cause an accident, and therefore they aren’t acting with malice.
However, some accidents involve gross negligence, like texting while driving or drinking and driving. These are things that people know are inherently bad and can cause direct harm (and are against the law) but choose to do anyways, putting people in direct harm with their cognizant choices.
Personal injury accidents include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, such as car accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Child care abuse
- Oil field injuries
- Dog bite injury
- Defective product accidents
- Wrongful death accidents
- and more
How common are personal injuries in the US?
Car Accident Statistics
- There were 36,560 car accident fatalities in 2018 in the United States and 105 fatalities in North Dakota.
- There are approximately 6 million total car accidents every year in the United States, with 3 million resulting in injuries and 2 million resulting in permanent injuries.
- 1 in 7 people don’t wear a seat belt while driving, but seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%.
- People are 23 times more likely to crash their vehicle when they’re texting.
- 1 out of every 3 people texts while driving regularly.
- Distraction is reported as a cause for 1 in 5 car accidents.
Truck Accident Statistics
- 4,119 people died in large truck accidents in 2019 in the United States.
- 52% of all truck accident deaths occured on major roads, not interstates or freeways.
- The majority of fatal accidents occurred between noon and 3pm.
- Most accidents occurred on weekdays and not weekends, with only a combined 16% occurring on weekends.
Slip and Fall Statistics
- Falls account for over 8 million emergency room visits every year, representing 21.3% of visits.
- 60% of deaths associated with falls involve people aged 75 years or older.
- 60% of all nursing home residents will experience a fall each year.
- Slip and fall accidents are almost always preventable.
- Flooring and floor materials contribute to 2 million falls per year.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
- 225,000 people die each year from medical malpractice.
- Only 2% of people who experience medical malpractice ever file claims for compensation.
- 1.5 million people suffer injury from medication errors each year.
Dog Bite Statistics
- There are approximately 4.5 million dog bite accidents each year, 800,000 of which require medical care.
- Dog bite injuries send about 316,200 victims to the emergency room each year.
- More than 28,000 people required reconstructive surgery for their dog bite injuries in 2015.
How Do I Benefit from Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?
Law is complicated, no matter how much you think you know about it. Attorneys have studied law for years, passed the state bar exam, and have had years of practice working on cases similar to yours. Simply put, they know the field and how to maneuver around it. They are knowledgeable about court proceedings and the tricky tactics of insurance companies.
An objective party is better to hire for your case. If you’ve experienced great trauma, it can be hard to remain objective when arguing your own case. Hiring an attorney ensures that a level-headed objective party will represent you in negotiations or at trial.
Speaking of negotiations, negotiating with insurance companies is notoriously difficult. Having an attorney with years of experience dealing with insurance companies and winning high settlements will be incredibly beneficial to your case.
They can also help to make sure you don’t make any mistakes while they’re working with you. This means they’ll speak to insurance companies on your behalf to avoid you accidentally damaging your case. They’ll also check in on you to make sure you’re getting the medical attention you need and staying on track with your treatment plan.
A good attorney will also help you make better, well-informed decisions about your case. If you’re offered a low settlement, they’ll let you know if they don’t think you should take it. They’ll advise you on when it’s a better idea to take your case to court instead of settling. While they can’t make this decision for you, they will help guide you along the way.
How do I Find the Best Personal Injury Attorney Near Me?
When searching for a personal injury attorney, you want to look for someone who best suits your needs. You’ll want to find an attorney that has experience working on your specific type of case and a proven track record associated with those cases.
You should ask around to see if any of your friends have lawyers they trust that line up with your needs. If you can’t find someone based on recommendations, you should do your own research. You should read online reviews, look at lawyer directories, and speak with a few attorneys to see who will fit best for your case.
After your initial research, you should meet with a few attorneys that you think might be a good fit for your case. Bring any documents that are relevant to your case and any questions you have for them. This is a good time to see if they line up with what you’re looking for. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t hire them.
When Can I Handle My Personal Injury Case By Myself?
Before handling your own case, it’s important to assess what you’re capable of. If you were in an accident where you suffered very minor injuries, filing a claim with your insurance company without the help of an attorney may be enough to get your damages covered.
If you’re already receiving the maximum amount available, meaning the at-fault party’s insurance coverage is maxed out, then a lawyer won’t be able to get your further compensation without delving into the defendant’s assets, which can be complex and not worth the hassle.
You should also be confident in your ability to negotiate a higher settlement amount and be comfortable researching law processes to further benefit your claim.
Even if you believe that your case can be handled without an attorney, you should still speak to an attorney about your case, as it’s free.
How Do I Know When I Shouldn’t Handle an Injury Claim on My Own?
You should never handle your claim on your own if you aren’t confident in your ability to negotiate, deal with the law process, and handle the case in general. If you would feel better with an attorney on your side, speak to an attorney.
If your injuries end up being more severe than you originally thought, that’s also a good sign to bring on an attorney to help you. Minor injuries can often turn into more major ones, or have a larger impact on your life than you may think.
If your injuries cause you pain and suffering or a great change to your quality of life, you should absolutely hire an attorney. An attorney will be able to get you the most pain and suffering compensation possible, as they’ll be able to accurately judge how much you deserve and convey that to the insurance company.
Questions to Ask During Your Free Consultation
When hiring an attorney, you’ll want to get a feel for what their vibe is like, as well as how they’ll handle your case. You’ll be working with this person for an extended amount of time, so you should ensure that it’s a good fit before signing any paperwork. Here are some questions you should ask during your free consultation:
- What is your experience with similar types of cases?
- What would your strategy be for my case?
- Are they any alternatives to going to court?
- What outcomes are possible for my case?
- Who will be handling my case?
- How much will hiring you cost me?
- What will my role be in the case?
Asking these questions will help you determine if the attorney you’re working with is legitimate or not. If they can’t give you solid answers to the questions you have, you may want to move on to someone else.
Will I Get More Money If I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
When you hire a personal injury attorney you’re not only hiring someone who knows what they’re doing and is great at negotiating, you’re also hiring the connections and relationships that they’ve built over the years.
Insurance companies know when they’re working with an attorney who knows what they’re doing. They’ll be more likely to offer a higher settlement right out of the gate because they know the attorney won’t stand for a settlement that’s laughably low.
When you don’t have an attorney, insurance companies will lowball you, knowing that you probably won’t negotiate as much.
Attorneys are also well versed in all the state’s laws, and can accurately calculate your damages, hold the negligent parties responsible, and get you the best settlement possible. Without legal expertise, it may be hard to do this on your own.
So yes, it’s very likely that you’ll get more money when working with a personal injury attorney. Some sources state that personal injury attorneys can help their clients get up to 2.5 times as much money as they would if they were handling their claim on their own.
What If My Personal Injury Case Involves a Wrongful Death?
If your personal injury case involves wrongful death, we highly suggest speaking to an attorney. When someone passes away, it can be difficult to properly calculate the amount of damages you should receive for your loss.
When calculating wrongful death damages, you have to think about how long your loved one would have lived if the accident hadn’t occurred, this can be challenging and hard for people to think about. With more money on the table, having an attorney handle litigation and negotiation is much easier.
Contact a North Dakota Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured in a personal injury case, please contact our talented attorneys here at Sand Law PLLC in North Dakota. We have years of experience working on various different types of personal injury cases, and we’re ready to help you win yours. For more information and a free case evaluation, please contact us online or by calling us at 701-609-1510.