There are 39 million injuries that need medical attention in the US each year. If you find yourself needing medical help for an injury that wasn’t your fault, you could receive financial damages.
You could try to do this on your own, or you could get the assistance of a personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help you with your claim and receive a fair settlement.
When does it make sense to hire an attorney? Read this guide to find out.
1. You Were Injured in an Accident
There are many types of accidents that require medical attention. Slips and falls, car accidents, product malfunctions, and other incidents often cause injuries.
You’re stuck with a pile of medical bills and you may have lost income. You don’t have to suffer alone.
You can recover those costs in a personal injury case. See an attorney, even if you aren’t sure if you have a case or not.
2. The Claim Involves the Government
A regular personal injury case is one thing. One that involves the government is a whole different story.
If you have a personal injury claim against a government agency, you need to have a personal injury attorney. Government agencies usually aren’t held liable, but there are some ways around that.
For instance, if you sustained an injury using public transportation, you might be able to make a claim.
3. Medical Negligence Caused You Harm
Medical negligence involves a different set of legal skills. You have to be able to show that your injuries were a result of a healthcare practitioner’s negligence.
There are four aspects of negligence that have to be present in a case. They are duty to care, breach of duty, direct causation, and damages.
A personal injury attorney will tell you if these elements are present.
4. You’re Held Partially Responsible for an Accident
States have different laws regarding personal injury cases. Two that you need to be familiar with are contributory negligence and comparative negligence.
Contributory negligence says that if you’re partially responsible for the incident, you can’t receive any damages. Comparative negligence holds you partially responsible, but you only get a percentage of damages.
In that case, let’s say that you have a $10,000 settlement. If you’re found to be 60% at fault, you only get 40% of the damages. That turns a $10,000 settlement in to $4,000.
You need a personal injury attorney to counter those claims and fight for your best interests.
5. Injured at Work
Did you suffer an injury on the job? That turns your personal injury case into a worker’s compensation case.
This is an area of personal injury law that requires a certain level of expertise. Your employer doesn’t want to make a worker’s comp claim because the insurance premium could go up. Insurance companies usually don’t want to pay claims.
You could find yourself fighting a war on two fronts. Your best bet is to have someone fight for your interests. Find a personal injury attorney that specializes in worker’s compensation cases.
6. You Received a Settlement Offer
Did you receive a settlement offer from the insurance company? If you got an offer shortly after the incident, it might be too good to be true.
The insurance company could give you a lowball offer and hope that you take it. You could be entitled to more money and not even know it.
A personal injury lawyer weighs all of the details of your case. They know how much your case is really worth and will fight for that.
7. Your Claim Was Denied
You really don’t want to wait for a denial to contact a personal injury lawyer. You should reach out to an attorney as soon as the accident happens.
If you’re at the point when you were denied, it’s not too late to ask for help. Reach out to an attorney and see if you can appeal the claim. Once you get an attorney involved, you’re likely to see a settlement and for more money.
Choosing a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Case
Look up personal injury attorneys in your area. You’ll quickly learn that there are a lot of personal injury lawyers near you.
Don’t pick the first one that you see in search results for “best attorney near me.” You want to interview 3-5 personal injury lawyers to find the right fit for your case.
Personal injury lawyers should offer a consultation. Attorneys use this to evaluate your case. You should use this as an interview to hire the attorney.
Your first job is to gather as much information and documentation about your case as possible. The attorneys need to review your case to make an accurate assessment.
The most important documents include police reports, medical reports, and medical bills. You’ll also want to bring pay stubs to show how much money you could have earned during recovery.
Even though most cases settle out of court, check to see if the attorney is an experienced trial attorney, like these personal injury lawyers.
Make sure that you fully understand the attorney’s fees. Personal injury attorneys are paid when you receive a settlement. Be clear on the percentage of the settlement the attorney gets.
You should also ask what the attorney’s fees are if they don’t win your case.
The Best Time to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
When should you hire a personal injury attorney? The best time to hire a lawyer is shortly after an incident that injured you.
Whether you were hurt at work or in a car accident, you could receive financial damages. A personal injury lawyer helps you with your claim and get more money.
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