Woman wondering if her personal injury case is big enough to hire an attorney

Being involved in an accident is never easy. In the aftermath, particularly when you have been injured, it can be difficult to determine where to turn for help. Wondering, “Is my case big enough to get an attorney involved?” is a worthwhile consideration.

Every accident is different in severity, personal impact, and long-term consequences. However, generally speaking, working directly with an insurance company without an attorney can be suitable for minor injuries. An injury could be defined as minor when no more than one doctor visit is required and the injured person heals up quickly within a week or two.  When you sustain a serious injury—one that will require both immediate and ongoing care, prevent you from working, and come with substantial discomfort—it is always a good idea to talk to an attorney.

If you have a minor injury, it may not make economic sense to hire an attorney and pay attorney fees from your settlement.  If you have a more serious injury, the balance changes and it usually makes economic sense to hire an attorney, i.e., you will come out money ahead by hiring an attorney.  

Insurance companies are infamous for making lowball settlement offers to the seriously injured. Without legal assistance, you have no way of fighting back and seeking the full compensation you deserve.

For more than half a century, Fuller & Fuller, Attorneys PLLC has helped victims of life-altering injuries in Olympia, Tacoma, and surrounding areas of Washington get justice. If you have been seriously or even catastrophically injured in an accident, we are here to listen to your story, assess your personal injury claim, and help you determine what next steps are your best option.

To schedule your FREE consultation, please contact Fuller & Fuller today. We serve Tacoma, Olympia, Tumwater, Lakewood, Centralia, Shelton, Puyallup, and all nearby Washington communities.

What Is a Personal Injury?

Any injury you sustain in an accident is a personal injury. Many of these, however, are relatively minor and can often be handled without an attorney. These include:

  • Superficial Wounds. Bruises, scrapes, and minor cuts heal relatively quickly and might not require medical treatment beyond basic first aid.
  • Sprains and Strains: Injuries to ligaments and muscles that resolve within a week and don’t require treatment, such as a course of physical therapy or chiropractic care.
  • Short-Term Emotional Distress. Traumatic events can lead to temporary emotional and psychological disturbances, that resolve quickly within a week or two and do not require treatment.

Generally speaking, minor injuries do not disrupt your usual routine for more than a few days, have limited medical costs, and do little to no long-term physical or psychological damage. As such, you probably will not come out money ahead by having a personal injury attorney.

Unlike minor injuries, serious injuries have the potential to be life-altering, with significant implications for your future health, well-being, and financial security. These include:

  • Whiplash and sprain and strain injuries. Strain injuries are common in accidents.  Sometimes, they take weeks or months – or even years – to heal.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Concussions. TBIs can lead to cognitive, motor, and emotional impairments. The road to recovery is often long and never guaranteed.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI). Victims of SCI might face partial or complete paralysis, necessitating life-long care and adaptations. Several of the complications that accompany SCI can be fatal.
  • Severe Burns. Third-, fourth-, and fifth-degree burns can lead to infection, scarring, and disfigurement. Burns might require grafting surgeries and extended rehabilitation.
  • Fractures and Broken Bones. Especially when involving major bones or multiple fractures, these injuries can demand surgeries, prolonged therapy, and might lead to chronic pain or mobility issues.
  • Injuries to Teeth, Eyes, or Ears.  Accident trauma can damage or break teeth, damage eyes, and also cause damage to the ear, such as ringing in the ear or tinnitus.
  • Long-Term Emotional and Psychological Trauma. Some accidents leave deep psychological scars, leading to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety, which can require long-term therapy, inpatient hospitalization, and ongoing medication.

The implications of serious injuries stretch far beyond the immediate aftermath of an accident. They can result in exorbitant medical bills, extended periods away from work, and permanent disability. The impact on your quality of life—both physically and emotionally—can be profound. These injuries demand the attention of an experienced and dedicated personal injury lawyer who can accurately calculate damages and fight for the total compensation you are due.

Can I Rely On Insurance?

Insurance is a safety net designed to cover medical expenses and other losses resulting from accidents. It is important to remember, however, that insurance companies are for-profit corporations that have enjoyed large profits over the past several years. They do not make these profits by paying large settlements to victims of serious injury.

When it comes to catastrophic injuries, insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts, offering far less compensation than is actually needed to cover all the damages sustained. They might try to settle quickly by offering an amount that seems high, but will ultimately fail to cover long-term treatment, lost wages, and issues like pain and suffering.

When you sustain a life-altering injury in an accident, you will likely require more compensation than insurance is willing to provide without a fight. Having a lawyer on your side helps to ensure you are prepared and protected throughout. 

You should consider seeking legal advice if you have:

  • Experienced Significant Medical Expenses Following an Accident
  • Faced Potential Long-Term Health Implications Due to an Injury
  • Missed Work or Foresee a Prolonged Absence from Work
  • Experienced Significant Physical and/or Emotional Discomfort
  • Encountered Challenges in Dealing With Insurance Companies

Personal injury lawyer Marya Fuller understands how a severe injury can impact every aspect of a person’s life. As a specialist in accident and injury law, she has the experience necessary to thoroughly evaluate your damages and determine the true value of your claim, which may include:

Economic Damages

  • Current and ongoing medical expenses
  • Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Assistive technologies
  • Household help

Economic damages include anything with a fixed or calculable financial value. They cover anything related to your injury that results in monetary losses.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Forced Changes to Lifestyle
  • Loss of Enjoyment in Life
  • Physical Pain
  • Emotional Distress

Non-economic damages do not have an easily calculable economic worth. These are damages that are best sought with the help of a personal injury lawyer. When your injury has profound emotional and physical consequences, these damages can provide the compensation needed to make necessary adjustments more tolerable.

Each case is different. During your complimentary case review, we will carefully evaluate your personal injury claim, discuss available damages, and help you decide if legal action is best in your situation.

Why Choose Us for Your Personal Injury Claim?

For half a century, Fuller & Fuller, has been an important resource for individuals who have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence. Our firm’s foundation rests on the dedication and passion of spouses Herbert and Carol Fuller, who began this journey in 1972. Today, their daughter, attorney Marya Fuller, with her expertise and commitment, continues our mission.

Having lived in Olympia most of her life, Marya has an intimate connection to its people and their needs. As one of the few attorneys with over three decades of experience in personal injury law, she has earned a reputation for her tireless pursuit of justice and ability to obtain fair compensation for our clients.

At Fuller & Fuller, we treat you like family. That’s not just a tagline. It’s a commitment that reflects our firm’s values and history. We operate on a contingency basis, meaning we do not collect legal fees until your claim has been satisfactorily resolved. When we take your case, we fight for comprehensive compensation, helping to ensure that our fees do not impact your finances.

Our commitment is to help clients get fair and full compensation for serious injuries. Thoughtful, thorough, compassionate, and effective, we are here to listen, provide carefully weighed legal advice, and assist you in collecting the compensation you need to make the best recovery possible.

Contact Fuller & Fuller for a FREE and Informative Consultation

Call Fuller & Fuller at (800) 570-4878 to schedule your FREE and confidential case review at our Tacoma or Olympia office. Marya Fuller is here to carefully evaluate your claim and help you determine if your case is big enough to get an attorney involved.

by Fuller & Fuller Attorneys at Law
Last updated on - Originally published on

Posted in: Personal Injury