Personal injuries lead to a variety of issues.
Medical coverage (Personal Injury Protection or PIP) is mandatory with liability insurance policies, and this coverage can create as many problems as benefits. The insurance adjusters often interpret what injury is “caused” by the collision more narrowly than injured parties, and even more narrowly than treating doctors. This can result in the need to secure legal assistance.
Resolving the personal injury claim creates a host of issues. Liability can be complicated, and involve statutes and customs. Even when the case is just a matter of damages, there can be problems. The insurance adjusters would like to resolve the claim as quickly as possible, essentially evaluating the injury as one which will resolve quickly. Since this may—or may not—occur, the injured party is generally better off to wait and see if the injury does resolve quickly. Often, injuries arise some time after the event giving rise to the claim.
Evaluating the case and the injury is difficult as well. Most injured parties are not experienced in placing a dollar value on injuries. Even if they were, they do not have the perspective of an individual viewing the case objectively, and with the experience of watching hundreds of cases be settled, or put before arbitrators or juries.
The insurance adjuster may have some experience evaluating claims (although today, either claims committees and/or computers are playing increasing roles, and adjusters often follow a matrix or guideline designed to increase insurance company profits), he is paid to look after the interest of the insurance company, not yours.
Personal injury cases can be handled on a contingent fee case, so attorney fees (1) depend upon the amount recovered, i.e. no attorney fee if there is no recovery, and increasing attorney fees as your recovery increases; and (2) are not due until the cases is concluded and the money paid.