After you or a family member suffers an injury, you may ask, “When do I need a personal injury lawyer?” If your injury was due to someone else’s negligence and wasn’t your fault, and if your injury costs were substantial, you may need a personal injury lawyer immediately. Let’s say you’ve had a traffic accident and were injured. If your injury costs were significant — for medical expenses, lost salary and pain and suffering — you may need a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help guide you through the processes of gaining proper compensation for your injury losses. That may mean helping you handle questions from your insurance company’s adjuster, whose job is to minimize your claim and pay you as little as possible (despite TV ads making insurers look like friendly neighbors instead). Some people may try to recover money for their injury losses on their own. This may be hard, especially when facing a large insurance company or other business with the resources to hire lawyers and deny, delay or underpay your claim for a settlement. Indeed, big businesses and insurance companies and their legal staffs are experienced in minimizing claims for damages in injury cases. That experience and those resources would place you at a disadvantage if you attempted to deal with them by yourself. You also should know that you have no guarantee that another driver’s insurance company will pay you properly when that driver was at fault. In fact, there’s no guarantee that the other driver even has an insurance company, since many people drive illegally with no insurance. Again, you need a personal injury lawyer in such a challenging case. If the stakes or the claim are small, you may wish to represent yourself. But for any significant injury — say, a broken leg or even paralysis in an auto accident — you may need a personal injury lawyer to fight for your legal right to financial compensation for your losses. Such losses include your medical expenses and health care bills; your lost present and future salary as a result of missing work due to the injury; and your pain and suffering as a result of the injury. If you need to seek payments for such losses, then that may be a time when you need a personal injury lawyer. You especially need a personal injury lawyer if you’ve suffered a disabling injury — such as brain injury, paralysis or amputation — due to another person’s negligence, perhaps in a car wreck or due to a defective drug. In such cases, a personal injury lawyer can fight for your legal rights to financial compensation from a defendant who will try to cut that high cost. In other words, you need all the help you can get. Keep in mind that your case may go to trial, and in that event you clearly need a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in the courtroom. However, a personal injury lawyer usually can settle a case by negotiations out of court. But for this, too, you need a personal injury lawyer — and Jim Adler & Associates can provide one for you.