Factors in Determining if Your Case Requires an Attorney

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct, you have the right to seek compensation for damages. However, a personal injury case can be costly to litigate and can also take a great deal of time. The award or settlement amount that you receive may not make it worthwhile for either you or an attorney to pursue. In determining whether a case is worth the effort on your part, as well as whether an attorney is likely to take it on, the following guide may be helpful.

Major Versus Minor Injuries

A minor injury that does not require much medical treatment and does not have a significant and chronic negative impact on your life is probably not worth the effort it would take to litigate it. However, before you make a decision one way or the other, be sure to seek medical attention to determine its severity. An injury that seems minor in the immediate aftermath of the accident may turn out to be more serious than you realize at first.

It is not only the severity of the injury that makes a difference, however. It is also the cost and duration of treatment. Even when the long-term prognosis is good, you may require surgery and/or extensive physical therapy to fully recover. These treatments can be expensive, and to further complicate matters, you may need to spend time away from work, thus negatively impacting your financial situation.

Expected Settlement Versus Costs

It is common for personal injury attorneys to collect fees on a contingency basis. In other words, you are usually only required to pay if you win your case. Nevertheless, there are costs involved in handling a personal injury lawsuit, and an attorney usually pays these out of his or her own pocket. The expectation is the attorney will be reimbursed in the form of the fee he or she takes after you win your award or settlement.

However, if the attorney determines that you may not be able to win enough from your case to cover the expenses, he or she may be more reluctant to take the case. Factors that can impact your settlement/award amount include the following:

  • Uninsured/underinsured defendant
  • Minimal damages
  • Partial blame on your part
  • Case outside the attorney’s field

It can be difficult to determine on your own whether or not your personal injury case requires an attorney. A consultation can help to make your legal options more clear. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Trenton, NJ today to start the conversation.



Thanks to Davis & Brusca for their insight into personal injury claims and determining if you should have an attorney.