If your claim is small enough, you may not need an attorney. However, even small claims can involve complex issues. An attorney can maximize the value of your claim and also correctly handle complex insurance coverage issues (e.g., uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, subrogation). Additional medical reports can be requested that reflect the true extent of your injuries. Many claims also require extensive investigation. Furthermore, the retaining of an attorney will impress the insurance company with the thought that you are serious in pursuing your claim and will pursue a lawsuit unless a reasonable settlement can be achieved. Lastly, attorneys are experienced negotiators, which will help you maximize the value of your recovery.
The underlying idea in personal injury/tort claims is to make the injured person, who has no fault in causing his injury, “whole.” Although there are many different types of potential damages that may or may not apply to individual cases, the general categories of damages are past hospital and medical expense; future hospital and medical expense; past wage loss; future wage loss; and past and future pain, suffering, and disability. In claims such as motor vehicle accidents, property damage may also be an issue.