Do I need an attorney for my personal injury case? 36 Answers as of February 17, 2012

I sprained my foot & leg on an iron pole in a parking lot. The insurance company for property has agreed to pay medical bills but not pain and suffering. Should I get a lawyer and how much should I ask for for pain and suffering if I handle the case myself?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Lombardi Law Firm
Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
You should hire a lawyer if you're not satisfied with the offer and believe hiring a lawyer will get you a more satisfactory settlement.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 12/7/2011
Touchstone Law Firm, LLC
Touchstone Law Firm, LLC | Dmitry David Balannik
If they agreed to pay something, they probably think that you have a case. You should have someone to at least review the case.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 12/6/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Sounds like a small claims matter. Be careful of any releses. If carrier pays for the meds and sends you a release, it is probably for all claims.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/5/2011
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
You have not described how or why you were injured. You don't get paid for injury. You get paid for fault. Doesn't sound like much of an injury and it may be they are offering medical payments coverage only. They probably don't look on it as a liability case. And if there were a pole there why did you injure yourself on it, with it? They would say you should have seen the pole and that it wa s therefore your fault.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 12/5/2011
Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm
Wilson & Hajek,LLC, a personal injury law firm | Francis Hajek
It does not seem that your injuries are significant based on the description of a sprain. Since such cases are difficult because the defense is that pole was open and obvious, you may want to get what you can on your own. It is difficult to even suggest a number for pain and suffering without some idea of the medical bills and how significant the injury was. I suggest you start high and see what is offered. You can then negotiate from there.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 12/3/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You do not give me enough facts for me to determine whether there is a good chance you could establish liability if you go to court, not do you give me an information as to how serious our injury is. A sprain is usually not very serious, and usually resolves with no permanent injury. If this is the case, the offer to pay medical bills is probably fair. If you have permanent impairment, you should consult an attorney. I would not go to court on your own to get more. You may not even get your medical bills paid if you try to do this.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    Whether you should get an attorney depends on whether or not the insurance company is being fair & reasonable with you re: settlement talks. There is a possible issue of liability, which you would need to talk to an attorney about. Liability does need to be evaluated. I would not sign anything or submit to any recorded statements until you consult with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Michael J. Sgarlat Attorney at Law | Michael Joseph Sgarlat
    In many jurisdictions it is difficult to prove liability in slip and fall cases. Therefore it is essential that you at least run this by an attorney you trust to get a professional opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    I answer the question "yes" just from reading the question, never mind the "Question Detail". Do you cut your own hair? Suppose you got an abdominal pain, would you go onto a website to find out how to remove your own appendix.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
    R. D. Kelly Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Robert Kelly
    The category of cases dealing with situations like that is called "premises liability". "The possessor of land is liable for injuries to a business visitor caused by a condition encountered on the premises only if he (a) knows or should have known of such condition and that it involved an unreasonable risk; (b) has no reason to believe that the visitor will discover the condition or realize the risk; and (c) fails to make the condition reasonably safe or to warn the visitor so that the latter may avoid the harm." Huston V. Church Of God, 46 Wn. App. 740, 732 P.2d 173 (1987). (You can read relevant cases on the MRSC website.) Whether you should retain an attorney to help you with your claim and how much you should request for pain and suffering are questions which your statement really doesn't provide enough information to answer. You can call an attorney for a free consultation to discuss the particular details of your circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 12/2/2011
    T. Mack Taylor LLC | Mack Taylor
    Without an attorney the insurance company knows you probably will not sue their insured. Your bargaining power will likely be significantly compromised. It is usually better to seek counsel before you accept any injury settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    You should retain a lawyer, you can see that you did not get very far by yourself. A sprain is not going to be a severe enough of an injury to pursue a law suit in my view.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    I doubt that you'll find a reputable attorney to handle a case over just a sprain without further damage or surgery. Sprains heal, so the damage is temporary. You can't really ask for more than a few thousand dollars at best.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Craig Kelley & Faultless
    Craig Kelley & Faultless | David W. Craig
    I would recommend waiting to make sure you have made a full recovery before you even think about settlement. It is important that you get back to normal activities for a month or two before you try to settle. Usually when people get hurt they take it easy. Consequently they often think they are fine only to find out once they start normal activities they are not okay. If you made a full recovery quickly and you are sure that you are as good as you were before the incident you may be able to handle without an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq.
    Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
    You should consult with a lawyer. Most personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingent basis, meaning they take a percentage of the settlement that they get for you. An attorney familiar with the laws will most likely be able to negotiate a better settlement for you. It's difficult to provide an estimate of a settlement amount for you without more information regarding your injuries, course of treatment, and the specifics of the accident. Please feel free to contact my office if you wish to discuss this in detail.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C.
    Joel H. Schwartz, P.C. | Steven A. Schwartz
    Unfortunately, you have not provided enough information for me to assess your situation properly. I would need to know a lot more details regarding how the accident happened to determine if there was negligence or wrongdoing on the part of the parking lot owner. In addition, I do not know the extent of your injuries, the kind of treatment you received, for how long, and whether you are still suffering. These are all factors that go into determining value, amongst others. I strongly suggest you contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss - it is a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    $1000 for pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    You should at least consult with a plaintiff's personal injury lawyer for sound legal advice and possible assistance. That attorneywill evaluate your case, including your injuries and total medical treatment and expenses, and inform you of its estimated value.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | David C. Ayer
    You should retain a personal injury attorney at once and stop all negotiating with the insurance company yourself. An attorney will be able to negotiate a better settlement for you. The amount you receive will depend on the insurance policy, the specific nature of the injury, and the manner in which it has affected your life.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Holzer Edwards
    Holzer Edwards | Kurt Holzer
    There are two types of insurance that a property owner might have. The first is medical payments coverage which will pay for the medical expenses from an injury regardless of whether the property owner was negligent in any way. It sounds like the property owner may have that kind of coverage that is paying the bills. The second type is liability insurance which will pay for all damages including pain and suffering and medical bills if the property owners negligence caused the injury. You should consult with a local attorney to determine whether you have a valid negligence claim.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Eftekhari Law Offices
    Eftekhari Law Offices | Ehsan Eftekhari
    Yes. Pain & suffering is subjective. Nevertheless you need to be compensated for it fairly.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Broad Law Firm, LLC
    Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
    If your injuries are simply a sprain with no permanent injuries or broken bones, you will likely be hard-pressed to convince an insurance company to pay anything at all for pain and suffering. However, you should confirm this with a personal injury attorney in your area. Most will meet initially with you at no charge.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    It depends if they are liable for your injuries. If they are not at fault, your case is worth $0. There is no way to tell the value without medical records and bills.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink
    Law Offices of Steven A. Fink | Steven Alan Fink
    If you have no continuing medical conditions and you did not lose wages, general rule of thumb is 3 times the medical bills. This sounds like a small claims case for less than $7500.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    You should definitely contact a lawyer to represent you. To determine how much a case is worth varies depending on treatment, length of recovery, if there are lost earnings and the amount of medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    The Carlile Law Firm, LLP
    The Carlile Law Firm, LLP | D. Scott Carlile
    If they will pay your medical bills, you probably ought to take that deal and not hire an attorney. An attorney is going to cost you at least 30% of a recovery and it is unlikely that you would receive a large settlement for pain and suffering.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Office of Joseph M. Rameaka
    Law Office of Joseph M. Rameaka | Carol L. Ricker, Esq.
    You should not handle the case yourself as insurance companies are much more willing to negotiate under the threat of litigation. A competent personal injury attorney will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, and may put the case in suit if the insurer is not willing to settle. Even if the case is in suit, your lawyer will continue to try to negotiate the settlement as the facts come out in the discovery process.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    No one can say without speaking to you about how the injury has affected your life and without seeing photos of the defect. That said, a sprain is not worth very much by itself.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Gilbert & Bourke, LLP | Brian J. Bourke
    You should consult with an attorney. The attorney will be able to get you more than your medical expenses. You are also entitled to any loss of earnings, and as to your general damages, the amount depends on the severity of the injury, the types of treatment rendered, the time it takes to heal, activities missed due to injury, future potential medical care, any permanent residual disability and many other factors. Each claim is unique.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
    Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
    If you do not have an attorney, the insurance company will typically only pay for your medical bills. This is because they don't see you as a threat. If you have an attorney, you will often be compensated for your pain and suffering in an amount equal to double or triple your medical bills. A skilled attorney can get you even more. I settled a case last week for a client for $100,850 when the medical bills were only $11,202, because the insurance company knew we were serious and would put up a fight.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/1/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney