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I was injured in a car accident, is it better to have an attorney or represent myself?

When someone is injured in a car accident they often are scared and hurt. Additionally, many are often in financial distress due to loss of vehicle, missed work, and medical bills. The question often then arises, should that person hire an attorney? Most equate attorneys with extra cost from money they don't have, however, many attorneys will take car accident cases on a contingency fee basis.

A contingency fee basis means that the client does not pay the attorney fees unless that attorney recovers money (damages) on their behalf. In that arrangement, if the attorney does recover money then the attorney fees are paid to the attorney out of the damages awarded to the client via settlement or trial. Typically the contingency fee is 33 1/3 - 40 percent of the damages, however, consider that according Allstate Insurance Company's claims manual, "Represented claims settle for two-three times more than unrepresented claims." (Source: Allstate Insurance Company Claims Manual (1996), Ex. 4, p. 3). Based on that even with the attorney earning 33 1/3% - 40% the accident victim still comes out with higher damages (and more money in their pocket) than if the accident victim represented him or herself.

Additionally, an attorney may also be able to give advice and expertise on what actions should be taken and not taken at that time. The added benefit that an attorney may give in addition is that the car accident victim can continue to focus on his or her recovery and life while allowing the attorney to worry and handle the compensation issues related to the accident.

Choosing to hire an attorney is huge decision, but it is one that can very much help your injury case and take some of the stress of you during that difficult time.

Written by: Russell D. Nicolet

Russell is an attorney with Nicolet Law Office, S.C.
Nicolet Law Office, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, WI and Hudson, WI and handles car accidents and other personal injury claims. For more information call 715-377-2141 or 715-835-5959 or visit www.nicoletlaw.com or www.eauclaireinjury.com

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Hudson Office
511 2nd Street Suite 203
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-802-0872
Hudson Office

Woodbury Office
724 Bielenberg Drive
Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: 651-243-2872
Woodbury Office

Superior Office
1507 Tower Ave Suite 210B
Superior, WI 54880

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Superior Office

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Rice Lake Office

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Eau Claire, WI 54701

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Eau Claire Office

Amery Office
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Amery, WI 54001

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Amery Office

Nicolet Law Office, S.C. helps people throughout Western Wisconsin and Minnesota including; Hudson, Eau Claire, Superior, Amery, Rice Lake, Chippewa Falls, River Falls, Menomonie, Hayward, New Richmond, Spooner, Bloomer and Barron.

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