When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
According to the CDC, nearly 40 million doctor visits each year are the result of accidental injuries. The leading causes of these injuries include accidental falls, motor vehicle accidents, and unintentional poisoning. If you have been in an accident or suffered an injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, you may wonder, “do I need a lawyer?”
There is no doubt that you will receive answers if you ask your family and friends. But how do you know?
If you’re not sure, you probably do need a personal injury lawyer, and at the very least, you should talk to one to get a free case evaluation.
Below, we will cover a few factors you can use to make your final decision. If you are not sure or need help with your case, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
What Type of Cases Does a Personal Injury Attorney Take?
Personal injury lawyers work with a wide variety of cases. In general, these professionals help victims who suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence. A personal injury case may include a case against a person, or may include multiple parties or even a large corporation. Some of the cases that personal injury attorneys work with include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 12,897 serious injury crashes across the state in one recent year. Digging deeper, the report shows 3,610 fatalities and an average of one reportable crash every 56 seconds. These accidents can lead to serious injuries and are almost always the result of one of the drivers’ negligence.
Premises Liability Issues
Premises liability covers injuries that happen on someone’s private property. This can include a personal residence or a place of business. Property owners have a legal responsibility to try to ensure that their property is free of dangers. If a guest becomes injured, the owner may hold financial liability.
Examples of premises liability cases include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool accidents
- Inadequate security
Manufacturers and distributors must ensure their product is safe before it ends up in the hands of consumers. If a product causes injury or death to a user, the manufacturer and/or distributor may be responsible for the costs associated with any injuries.
Death is never easy and always difficult to understand. But when it happens because of someone else’s actions, or inaction, that person may not only face criminal charges but civil liability.
How Do I Know if I Need a Lawyer?
There are a few factors you need to look at to determine if you need a lawyer. Many lawyers offer a free initial consultation, so if you are unsure, schedule an appointment.
Typically, you must answer yes to these questions:
- Did you sustain an injury?: The basis of a personal injury case is injury. If you did not sustain an injury, you probably do not have a case. The goal of a personal injury case is to recover costs to reimburse you for your actual injuries. However, personal injury cases do not just include physical injuries. If you have suffered a psychological injury as the result of an accident, contact a personal injury attorney.
- Was the other party negligent? Negligence comes in many forms. Was the driver who hit you speeding? Did a store owner fail to clean up a spill? Did a manufacturer create a poor design? Negligence is the cornerstone of a personal injury case. If there is a disagreement over fault, you should bring on a personal injury attorney.
- Were your injuries a direct result of the other party’s negligence?: There has to be a direct tie between the other party’s actions and your injuries.
What You Can Expect of Your Attorney During a Personal Injury
So, you have determined you have a personal injury case. But do you really need a lawyer? In most cases, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, time after time, we see insurance companies offer less to unrepresented parties. Besides helping you fight for a larger settlement, a personal injury attorney can make the process easier and help take away some of your stress.
Some of the things you can expect your attorney to do include:
- Contact the insurance company and issue a settlement demand
- Gather and organize evidence
- Talk to any witnesses and health care providers
- Review your medical records
- Help you find affordable care
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Represent you in court
- Closeout and pay outstanding medical bills
- Issue your final settlement
How to Find the Right Attorney for You
If you have decided you need an attorney, you will quickly discover you have plenty of options. But, not all of them are right for you. Choosing an attorney who you feel comfortable with and has your best interest in mind can make all the difference in your case.
Here are a few things to consider before you hire an attorney:
- Location: Choose an attorney who is local to you. You do not want to have to drive an hour across town when you need to sign paperwork or have a meeting.
- Experience: Ask potential prospects how long they have been practicing law and what they specialize in. For personal injury cases, it is usually best to work with attorneys who spend the majority if not all of their time on personal injury matters. It is also a good idea to ask if they have any trial experience and if they feel comfortable taking your case to court.
- Availability: You want an attorney who has time for you. Do not be afraid to ask what an attorney’s current workload looks like and how available they will be to answer your calls or emails.
- Comfort: At the end of the day, you want to work with someone who you think will fight for you. If you just do not click with an attorney you interview, it is okay to move on.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Stand up for Your Rights
A personal injury can affect every aspect of your life. It is not something to take lightly. When you suffer an injury, you want someone by your side who will fight for you. Do not leave your future up to chance. If you need help or have questions, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.