When To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
There was an accident. You sustained an injury, and the accident was not your fault. Incidents like this can leave you with stress and uncertainty about the future, particularly if the insurance carriers involved are insistent that you take a quick and seemingly underwhelming settlement. There is so much at stake. Now might be the time to consider hiring a personal injury lawyer in California.
While individual circumstances will usually dictate the right time to hire a personal injury lawyer, it is generally better to consult with and hire an attorney sooner rather than later so they have the time necessary to use every legal advantage in your favor.
5 Good Reasons to Consider Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Below are five scenarios that can indicate it’s time to get a professional legal advocate on your side.
1. Claim Management
It can be overwhelming trying to manage a personal injury claim while dealing with the pain and disability of your injuries. The additional stress from trying to handle an accident claim can interfere with the ability to heal and cause prolonged suffering.
Stacks of medical bills, appointments with different treatment providers, endless insurance company forms, and pressure to accept a settlement from insurance company representatives can be too much to deal with.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer at Curtis Legal Group, you hire our whole legal team – and we will be ready to step in and take over all aspects of the claim, leaving you able to focus on healing. Based on knowledge and experience, your attorney may also recommend you get treatment from medical professionals that can be most helpful for your injuries and your claim.
A personal injury lawyer will be able to determine whether an insurance company is willing to negotiate a reasonable settlement or if it is time to file a lawsuit.
2. Fault is an Issue
There may be times when fault for an accident is so clear there is no question about who is responsible and no issue as to liability. But there are also times when it is not as clear who caused an accident, and an injured person may be accused of causing and/or contributing to their own injuries.
In California, an injured person who is found to be partially at fault for causing their accident can still recover damages for personal injuries; however, any recovery will be proportionately reduced by your own assigned percentage of fault.
It will be critical to use all available legal means to minimize any of your own potential liability, as it directly impacts the amount of compensation that can be recovered.
3. Legal Complexity
Depending on how the accident happened and who was involved, there can be multiple insurance companies to deal with and numerous legal issues that need to be resolved. Legal representation is almost a must when there are so many complex variables. Any party that does not have a lawyer is at a potentially sizable disadvantage against persons represented by experienced attorneys.
4. Injuries are Serious
The more serious the injury, the more damage that may result and the more compensation an injured person may be entitled to receive. Injuries to the brain or spinal cord can cause severe and permanent damage that requires a lifetime of care.
Convincing an insurance company adjuster and/or a judge or jury of the extent of the injuries and the corresponding damage requires both medical and legal knowledge and an understanding of the kinds of information that have legal significance with regard to the claimed injuries.
There is only one opportunity to be compensated for personal injuries resulting from an accident. Settling for less compensation than is adequate for severe injuries can leave a claimant without needed resources in the future.
5. You Need Legal Help
The insurance company you are dealing with either has attorneys on staff or uses outsourced legal services to review their claims. The average claimant does not have a working knowledge of the applicable laws or the claims settlement process so they start off at a tremendous disadvantage when dealing with an insurer or another responsible party.
Since insurance companies know claimants not represented by a lawyer are operating at a distinct disadvantage, they will use it to their advantage in settlement negotiations.
Dealing with legal matters requires knowing and understanding the laws and how they work, and most people don’t have more than a vague awareness. Injured persons may have the right to struggle on their own, but it usually means they are less likely to achieve the best possible outcome.
Choosing the Right Attorney
Deciding to hire a personal injury attorney is only the first part of a two-part process. After deciding to hire a lawyer, you have to find the right lawyer to hire. So how do you decide which law firm is the one you want to work with?
A personal recommendation can be a good place to start, but even then, some additional research is important. If you type in ‘injury lawyer near me’ into a search engine, you will get pages of results containing law firms all claiming to be able to get you the best results. Narrowing the results will help you sort through the many possibilities. Here’s how:
- Set geographic parameters for your search. In most cases, it makes sense to search for attorneys in the area you live or work. Sometimes it’s appropriate to select a lawyer in the area where an accident occurred. Curtis Legal Group is a Northern California Personal Injury Law Firm and has offices in multiple cities in Northern California. So whether you need a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento, an injury attorney in Fresno, a Modesto personal injury lawyer or a Stockton Personal Injury Attorney, Curtis Legal Group has you covered.
- Look at the content on a law firm’s website. Do they handle the type of injury claim you have? Is the information provided helpful and easy to understand? Do you feel they are appropriately qualified to handle your case?
- Read client reviews. Has this attorney or law firm achieved successful results for other clients? Are they easy to work with? Do their tactics and methods align with your values?
- Schedule a consultation. Very often, personal injury lawyers will offer a free consultation to potential clients in order to evaluate their legal claims. Curtis Legal group offers free consultations to all personal injury claimants. This is a valuable opportunity to preview an attorney and get information about your case and the legal process itself without an obligation to hire the lawyer if the relationship is not a good fit.
The right time to hire a personal injury lawyer is when you realize the value of having a professional advocate fighting for your rights.
Attorneys are trained to help people resolve legal problems. They know how to operate efficiently within a system that most non-attorneys are not familiar with. A bit of follow-up research will help to determine the attorney that is right for your circumstances.