The process of recovering damages after an accident can be complicated and stressful, and you might wonder when you should start involving a personal injury lawyer. In most cases, it’s recommended that you get legal help, even if it’s nothing more than a quick consultation on whether you have a case.
When You Need an Attorney
Some of the following situations will most likely warrant the help of a personal injury attorney.
I you’ve suffered injuries that are obviously severe or that result in long-term disability or distress, you’ll likely need an attorney. Not only can you recover the (likely substantial) costs of those injuries in damages, but you could also collect pain and suffering damages as well. In order to make sure your expenses are covered, you’ll need an attorney.
Multiple parties involved
If multiple parties were involved in the accident, figuring out liability (i.e. who’s responsible) can get complicated. For instance, in a product liability case, the liability might rest with the vendor, the manufacturer, the engineering team, or a licensee somewhere in the chain. Figuring out who is responsible requires experience with these cases.
As another example, in a vehicle accident where both you and the other driver were at fault, the matter of who was more negligent could be a matter of debate. In these cases, you’ll absolutely want an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you.
The insurance company is uncooperative
The higher the damages, the more likely it will be that the insurance company will offer an insufficient settlement or simply refuse to cooperate at all. If that’s the case in your situation, you need an attorney to put pressure on them.
When You Might Not Need One
There are a few cases in which you might not need an attorney. However, it’s typically recommended to at least consult with a lawyer before making that decision.
You suffered no injuries
If you suffered no injuries from the accident, then you likely won’t recover any damages for it. However, make sure you clear that with a trusted doctor first. In some cases, an injury may not seem severe, but it could cause problems later on.
Damages from your injuries would be negligible
If the damages from your case would be small, hiring an attorney won’t typically be worth it, especially if it seems like it will go to small claims court. A free consultation with an attorney can let you know whether a case is worth the cost of their time.
You’re offered a fair settlement
If the insurance company offers you a fair settlement that will cover most or all of your damages (both short-term and long-term), it’s typically worthwhile to accept and forego a lawsuit. Again, consulting with a lawyer can let you know whether that’s wise or not.
Best Time to Contact Your Attorney
Whether you feel you need one or not, the best time to contact a personal injury attorney is as soon as possible. Personal injury cases have a statute of limitations in place, meaning you can only pursue damages for a certain period of time after the accident. In addition, you want to act while the evidence is clear—it will decay over time.
To talk to a personal injury attorney about your case, contact us at Hart David Carson LLP for a free consultation.