When you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury caused by the negligence of someone else, even a minor one, it usually is a wise idea to consult an experienced attorney to see what your rights are and whether you could be entitled to compensation. However, there are a couple of situations in which it may not make sense to hire a personal injury attorney.
You Live in a No Fault State — The no fault state rules do not allow you to file suit unless your injuries rise to a certain level, which is determined either by the nature of the injuries or the cost of treating them, depending on where you live (South Carolina and North Carolina are NOT no fault states). Since this limits you to recover damages from your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and are limited to medical bills and lost wages only, hiring a lawyer for minor injuries may not make sense in this situation. However, if there is a possibility that your injuries might be extensive enough to qualify you for additional damages, then hiring a personal injury lawyer becomes a good idea because he/she can help you assess whether you have a chance of being able to sue or not.
You’re Already Receiving the Maximum Settlement Available — Insurance companies will only pay out to their policy limits. This means if the person who injured you has a $100,000 maximum insurance policy and you’ve been offered a $100,000 settlement, attempting to go for a larger verdict may not be useful to you. Any additional dollars over the policy limits would have to be collected from the defendant directly, that is if the defendant has other assets or money to pursue.
The attorneys at Elrod Pope Law Firm are highly experienced in handling personal injury cases. Contact them for a complimentary consultation to see whether or not hiring an attorney makes sense in your situation.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.