When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer - Law Offices of Owen, Patterson and Owen

When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Nov 27, 2023

Deciding when to hire a personal injury lawyer can be critical to your claim’s success. Personal injury cases are both delicate and time-sensitive, so reaching out for legal representation at the right time is key. 

From disputed liability to dealing with opposing legal teams or even government entities, personal injury cases often demand legal experience. Additionally, it is important to have an advocate in your corner who is solely focused on your best interests when facing well-represented parties, such as insurance companies or large businesses.  

Personal injury cases refer to a legal dispute between individuals in situations where one or more parties have suffered harm due to negligence, recklessness, or even intentional malice. Personal injury cases are civil matters and are handled separately from criminal cases. There are certain claims, such as assault and battery, which fall into both categories.   

In a clear-cut personal injury case, the plaintiff seeks compensation for damages caused directly or indirectly by the defendant. However, personal injury cases are rarely clear-cut. 

Is it worth hiring a personal injury attorney? A good way to find out is to contact one as soon as you are able to. Just as you should contact a healthcare professional if you are injured, it’s in your best interest to consult an attorney who will be able to advise you as to your rights, potential pitfalls, and whether you need representation.  Personal injury attorneys are usually paid through a contingent fee, meaning they are paid relative to the compensation you receive. A consultation with a legal professional can help guide you through your next steps.  

At the very least, knowing when to hire a personal injury lawyer is very important after any situation that may be the basis for a personal injury case. These aren’t limited to cases where you feel you have been wronged – personal injury cases often arise out of pure accident or unfortunate circumstances, such as automobile accidents, slip-and-falls, and pet-related accidents.  

Whether it’s a business’s fault or the result of an individual’s negligence, it’s important to remember that in any personal injury case, you will always butt heads with other parties, including insurance companies and the defendants themselves. Competent legal representation can be the difference between receiving the compensation you need to cover your medical costs and lost wages and struggling with debt after a debilitating accident. Let’s take a look at some key factors before considering when to hire a personal injury lawyer.  

Is Liability Clear in Your Case? 

The burden of proof in a civil case, such as a personal injury case, is not as intense as a criminal case – but there are still factors that might muddy your cause if you haven’t prepared a legal approach. Working with a lawyer can help you secure the documentation you need to support your claim and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to.  

To this end, personal injury lawyers will often kickstart an investigation of their own after taking on a case and will collect police reports and ample evidence to help your case once they decide to represent you. Proving who is at fault – and to what extent – is the crux of any personal injury case. In most cases, this boils down to establishing whether a duty was owed or breached, whether this inaction or misconduct caused the victim’s injuries, and the damages caused.  If you choose to delay hiring an attorney, you may lose the chance to obtain important evidence that may be lost or destroyed.

Are You Being Accused of Contributing to Your Own Injury? 

When liability isn’t clear, a common strategy is to cast doubt on the victim’s lack of fault. Personal injury cases can get complex, and legal professionals have weeks and months to pour over the details and argue over split-second decisions and complex reactions. Knowing when to hire a personal injury lawyer can help remove some of the burden of trying to deal with unfounded allegations and claims of comparative negligence.  

In the meantime, your lawyer may ask you to focus on your medical recovery, seek follow-up appointments to intervene early in cases of post-injury complications, and even seek a psychological evaluation if the accident was particularly violent or traumatic. If your injuries got worse, but you failed to seek the appropriate level of treatment after getting hurt, the complication of your wounds may be blamed on your inaction, and at least part of the causation is shifted away from the defendant.  

Are Your Damages Long-Term?  

Was the injury particularly traumatic or debilitating? Severity can alter the degree of compensation, as well as the way damages are calculated. Sometimes, it can take weeks or months for the full severity of an injury to be known. If you are wondering, “is it worth hiring a personal injury attorney”, the answer is that they can often help you achieve higher settlement amounts by highlighting long-term costs and financial burdens that you might not even be aware of yet because of your injury.  

Lawyers with experience in this matter can insist that you regularly visit your physician to establish a timeline of events in which you adequately pursued your medical recovery and received the full prognosis for your injuries. If an accident leaves you unable to pursue your current career, for example, then your situation calls for a much higher settlement than if you were forced to take a few weeks off from work.   

Are Insurers Refusing to Cooperate? 

Insurance companies have a vested interest in not paying insurance claims. To that end, they assemble teams of legal professionals to examine cases and find ways to minimize their own financial liability. Some insurers are straightforward, especially when the facts of a case are easily established. Other insurers may act in bad faith. 

Is it worth hiring a personal injury attorney when dealing with insurance companies? Absolutely. At the very least, a lawyer will tell you to minimize your personal contact with insurance companies and their representatives to limit the amount of information they can glean from you, which may strengthen their case, and weaken yours. A lawyer of your own will be able to recognize, challenge, and even file a suit in response to certain legal tactics.  

Is It Worth Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney?  

A personal injury lawyer can leverage their own experience with similar cases to help guide you through the pitfalls and challenges of pursuing a personal injury claim, and help you get the compensation you deserve, and not just the first offer you might get. Is it worth hiring a personal injury attorney? Yes, especially if the circumstances of your case mean that liability might be called into question, or when dealing with an organization or company as a defendant.   

Deciding when to hire a personal injury lawyer is a crucial step in your journey toward fair compensation and justice. Remember, the other side often has a formidable team working against you. There’s only one way to level the playing field – and that’s by hiring a team dedicated to providing comprehensive legal representation to victims in personal injury cases.  

You deserve fair compensation and someone to fight for it. Get in touch with us at the law offices of Owen, Patterson and Owen to learn about our services for victims in various personal injury cases, including motor vehicle accidents, slip/trip and fall accidents, and more.  

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