Do You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney For Your Case?
As a high-volume personal injury firm, we get asked by potential clients all the time whether or not they actually need our services. In other words, “Do I need a personal injury lawyer?” As with most generalities, it’s hard to answer that question absolutely–there are numerous factors to be considered.
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As a general rule of thumb, anyone who has been injured or otherwise suffered an injustice can benefit from an attorney’s help, and that goes beyond the field of personal injury. If someone assaulted your grandmother, or stole your identity and ruined your credit, or drove a car into your house, you’d probably consider finding legal counsel. Why is it any different when you’ve been injured?
Now, this is just a general sentiment, as of course, not every single incident will require a lawyer’s help. We can’t tell you exactly when you may or may not need assistance, but the best guideline we can offer is that the more severe the injuries, the more important it is to retain an attorney. Before you talk to a lawyer, however, you should probably consider a few things on your own.
Have You Sustained Severe Injuries?
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If you are injured to the extent that it requires significant treatment, then you should definitely seek an attorney. The purpose of a suit is to recover compensation, and if you’ve undergone treatment and missed work at all, then you already have the beginnings of a case. If you’ve suffered any of the following, an attorney will most likely be able to help:
- Burns, cuts, or lacerations
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue (muscle, ligament, tendon) damage
- Concussion or whiplash
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back injury
- Partial or full paralysis
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One of the biggest factors in terms of analyzing injuries is the required recovery time. Insurance companies will study this when calculating the worth of your injuries, as a longer-lasting ailment will require more treatment, medication, and more overall costs.
Is the At-Fault Party for the Accident Easily Determined?
You may have heard the expression “it takes two to tango”–the same can be said for lawsuits, as you must have somebody to file against in order to proceed. Keep in mind, however, that states have different laws regarding accidents and liability. Some jurisdictions are known as “fault” states, meaning that you can only file suit against the individual at fault for the accident, no one else. This may seem rather obvious, but different states say otherwise.
Determining liability is usually pretty straightforward for vehicle accidents specifically. Even if the other driver hit and ran, we are likely to identify that person based on photos, surveillance footage, or witnesses. Other accidents, however, may not be so simple. Imagine a 10-car pileup or a slippery floor in the middle of a mall. If there’s any way to identify a guilty party, an attorney can help you. If it is impossible to assign blame, then you likely don’t have a claim in the first place.
Has the Insurance Company Acted in Bad Faith?
If no one has told you this before, let us be the first: your insurance company does not always act in your best interest, no matter what they say about protection and security. If your insurer refuses to cooperate with a straightforward claim, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to fight against them in order to recover what was yours in the first place. A large percentage of personal injury attorneys also have experience in insurance defense, and so they will cut through all of their typical tricks. Bad faith claims are more common than we’d like to admit.
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Every case is unique, and we strongly encourage potential clients to explore their legal options before signing a retainer agreement. You will need to consider other factors such as your patience (cases take months, at least) and your desire to relinquish some of your money, as attorneys help you recover about 3x as much as you would on your own, but they also take a fee of at least 33 percent.
If you have further questions or just want to explore the options available to you, contact Van Law Firm’s trusted staff of personal injury attorneys today. In just about a decade thus far, we’ve cemented ourselves as one of the fastest-growing firms in the country. If you don’t believe us, just read any of our 500+ 5-star reviews. Call the office nearest you now to learn more.
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