Personal Injury -- Plaintiff Law
When to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
One of your first questions when injured, whether due to a motor vehicle accident, a defective product, or medical malpractice, might be when you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
It's easy to become overwhelmed when you suffer a personal injury because there are so many things to consider and so many details that need your attention.
Of course, the most immediate concern is getting medical treatment for your injury. Sometimes an injury can be treated quickly. However, more severe injuries may need ongoing treatment, possibly leaving you in a lot of pain.
Injuries can also mean medical bills quickly piling up and lost wages if your injury means you can no longer work. In some cases, the accident may have also resulted in expensive property damage.
If the accident resulted in the death of a loved one, in addition to the devastating loss, there may be unplanned expenses for medical care or funeral costs.
While you may have health insurance, disability insurance to cover the lost wages, and car insurance, it's common for insurance agencies to contest the nature and severity of your injuries or damages. It's also possible your insurance company may refuse to compensate you for your losses at all.
Some people will try to manage these insurance claims on their own. But this area of the law is complicated. You may want to consider seeking advice from a personal injury attorney before deciding to handle any claim on your own.
There are many benefits to hiring an attorney as soon as possible after your injury occurs.
The insurance companies of parties involved in the personal injury claim are likely to start asking questions immediately. Remember, the insurance company's goal is to save money by offering the lowest settlement amount, if they offer any amount at all.
The police may also be involved in investigating your accident. Arguing with your insurance company and having to field calls and questions from the police may overwhelm you. If you are focusing your energy on healing from your injury, you'll appreciate having these issues taken care of on your behalf.
Knowing you have an experienced attorney representing your best interests will take the pressure off of you. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side also will ensure that you don't say something to the insurance company or police that could later hurt your chances of recovering compensation.
You also safeguard your interests by hiring a personal injury lawyer if anyone was seriously injured or even died in the accident. In these instances, your lawyer's job is to determine and prove who was at fault. They also could represent you, if you may be at fault, face criminal charges ,or civil consequences.
Although the law does not require you to have an attorney to handle your personal injury case, it's always best to at least consult with one before deciding to handle matters on your own. Even a seemingly minor injury can turn into a more serious matter.
You can expect honesty from a reputable personal injury attorney during your initial consultation. The attorney might advise you to take an offered settlement or to handle the initial stages of the negotiations yourself. If you are comfortable doing so and the case does not involve a significant injury or monetary loss, then it could be to your advantage to avoid the expense of an attorney.
While the final choice is up to you, if fault is disputed — or there were serious injuries or monetary losses — then it is usually beneficial to seek the advice of a qualified attorney as soon possible.