Hiring a lawyer is always a little scary, because it typically means you need one – and if you need a lawyer, then you know things are bad. But going into any situation with a fearful or anxious mindset will only set yourself up to failure. Instead of thinking of a lawyer as a last resort, or the first sign of serious trouble, think of them as an indispensable legal asset in the coming days after your incident, to be consulted with and potentially asked to do more than consulting, depending mostly on how the wind blows.
Personal injury lawyers specialize in tort law, which is the portion of the law that determines what happens when several parties get into an accident, and fault must be determined. In automotive accidents, which are often the most common for personal injury cases, fault depends on whether the state is a no-fault or fault state.
In some states, your own insurance handles the costs of your injuries in an accident. In other states, you must depend on the insurance of the person who caused the accident, provided they have insurance. Otherwise, you might have to sue them.
Aside from car accidents, other ways to get injured that may warrant legal help include workplace accidents, a slip-and-fall, a pet attack, and other cases wherein you were injured by accident, in a time or fashion that puts the responsibility on someone else.
But when life throws these sorts of curveballs, it can be difficult to come up with a calm and collected rational reaction. This is especially true in cases of severe personal injury, when you may find yourself too preoccupied with pain, or in cases of great personal loss, either loss of life or loss of limb. However, getting a personal injury lawyer early can make all the difference. You should consider one when:
Injuries in a personal injury case are typically measured by the kind of injury, the estimated recovery time, and the total cost attributed to that injury – from surgery to medical costs, therapeutic procedures, and everything else attached to that injury.
If you suffered spinal damage and must rehabilitate yourself and relearn how to walk, then a personal injury lawyer can work with you to make sure that you are financially compensated to help you cope with the costs associated with the painkillers, physical therapy and more.
Aside from acute injuries, an accident can also leave you with lasting long-term damage and disability. Not only through pain, but through medical conditions created because of the accident. This is a nuisance, to be sure, but it can also keep you from seeking a job, and even cause you to lose your career or certain wages over the course of your recovery. If this is the case, then a personal injury lawyer can make the case for your compensation.
Insurance companies are supposed to compensate you if they are in any way liable for your injuries – such as in no-fault states – but they can also refuse to pay if they find some way to cast doubt on your innocence in an accident. Remember: insurance companies are armed with a team of experts and specialists.
Consider a personal injury lawyer to be an expert working on your side, with their own support network and handy list of contacts. With them, you may be able to make an insurance company budge and give you the payout you deserve.
There is no deadline for when a personal injury lawyer can be called to the scene – but there are deadlines on how useful they are going to be based on where and when in the incident you decide to call one. While a personal injury lawyer can help you immensely when you have already found yourself in the crosshairs of litigation, their primary skill is meant to help you prevent such moments, and get you the financial aid you need to recover, both financially and physically, from the incident without ever stepping a foot in the court room.
Ideally, you should call a personal injury lawyer as soon as you are sure you have an injury – one that, in the worst-case scenario, can develop into something more painful and difficult over the long-term, such as a debilitating injury. The law explicitly is designed to protect victims in a wrongdoing, and in the case of tort law, an accident allows you to demand compensation for your trouble, from either your insurance company or another party’s insurance.
But often enough, it is not a straightforward process. Sometimes, hiring a personal injury lawyer to simply help you navigate the jargon and protect you from a potential loss is a clever idea.
In every case, the only way to really get the best answer is by consulting an expert with all the details. These are a few general and very broad sets of circumstances, but that does not mean that a person should limit themselves to seeking help only when they are in these circumstances – or that a personal injury lawyer is automatically necessary because of an injury and its potential repercussions.
Personal injury lawyers are simply an option you should explore beyond an emergency point of view. They should be brought in after an accident as an asset and a legal consult, someone to speak with when you have questions, and rely on when issues arise, such as insurance company problems, or when the potential of having to take someone to court over your injury threatens to become reality.
Tort law can be difficult to navigate, and if you do not move quickly or with confidence, you may find yourself not only dealing with the stress of legal paperwork, but the stress of doing so while recovering from a long-term injury without clear financial support.
There is nothing worse than paying for years for insurance, only for it to bail out on you in the most critical moment. However, insurance companies operate to make money, not help as many people as possible, and your interests do not collide. A personal injury lawyer can simply help you uphold that there is sufficient evidence to prove your innocence and their liability. If you move quickly, you will have every chance to gain the compensation you deserve – or, in the very least the answers you need.
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