How Do I Decide If I Need To Hire An Attorney?

Whether or not you should hire an attorney to assist you with your personal injury case is sometimes a difficult decision. There are some situations for which you may not need an attorney, such as for very minor injuries or disputes.  In Utah, an individual or business may use a small claims court if the problem can be settled for $7,500 or less and if the court has jurisdiction over the matter. If your injury is a minor one that will not result in any incapacity, or substantial medical care, then you may be able to settle it yourself in small claims court.  However, if the person you are suing is insured by an insurance company, then the defendant will likely be represented by an insurance company and small claims court may not be the best solution.  Also, it may be a challenge to seek certain kinds of damages in small claims court to the extent some small claims judges are not as familiar with personal injury protection benefits as the judges are in regular civil court. 

Also, an attorney should be consulted if you have been seriously injured or are unsure as to the outcome of your injury. These cases can get quite complicated. In such cases, an attorney will have the legal expertise, time and resources to effectively handle your claim. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to accurately analyze the value of your case and will be able to meet all of the rules, requirements and deadlines that have to be met. You will most likely have to deal with a professional insurance adjuster from an insurance company. The sole job of the adjuster is to try to settle the claim for as little as possible. Without knowledge of the complex insurance laws and policy provisions, a person could easily give away valuable rights and lose reasonable compensation. Also of note is the fact that statistics show insurance companies pay more than twice as much compensation when an attorney is involved in your claim.

Before you make a decision about whether or not to hire an attorney, it is often recommended to speak to a lawyer about your claim.  Non-lawyers are often not aware of the full value of their case, nor the array of legal options that may be available. 

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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