Do I need a personal injury attorney to represent me?
Dennis Black, Medford Personal Injury Attorney
Dennis Black, managing partner at Black Chapman Petersen & Stevens with offices in Portland, Medford, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Bandon, Oregon and Yreka, California speaks about retaining a personal injury attorney.
A lot of people don’t actually need a lawyer to represent them. I have come to realize that after over thirty years of working for people who have been injured, that nobody gets in an auto accident or gets injured some other way and says yippee I get to go hire a personal injury lawyer now. I use to take that personally myself, when I was a younger man, and now I understand that we do add a layer of problems to people’s lives. It is more appointments they have to go to another institution, a law firm in this instance, that they have to deal with, and if it can be avoided on a simple case, we often recommend to people that they don’t need to hire us. Its sort of like doing your taxes. A lot of people buy TurboTax and they’re willing to pull out their hair for a weekend and go through their paperwork and do it themselves. Other people want to hand it over to a professional to get the job done and that’s the route they choose to go. For people with simple uncomplicated claims where the injuries aren’t too serious, it is really a matter of personal choice, as long as the insurance company is willing to deal with them, which they aren’t always. But the one time when people do need a lawyer is when everything’s on the line. When their livelihood is threatened, by their injuries, in other words they are not going to be able to get back to work at the job where they’ve earned their living and they are wondering how they are going to be able to support themselves and their family for the rest of their working life. Or if they need ongoing medical care, sometimes lifetime medical care, those people all need lawyers, because they are up against an industry that employs thousands of competent hardworking people who are there forty hours a week to make sure that people’s claims are either denied or minimized. People who are injured to that extent always need a professional on their side.