Facing the personal injury claim process is intimidating. Many people in this situation are dealing with a life-altering injury, have looming medical expenses, and are feeling extremely vulnerable. Knowing when to hire a personal injury lawyer might not be crystal clear.
Accidents are scary, no matter how serious they are. The legal aspects and conundrums that follow are stressful and may have life-long impacts. Personal injury attorneys represent clients
who haven’t been adequately compensated for an injury. This can be a result of long-term implications of the injury, insurers refusing to pay, complicated liability, and more.
The most important thing to remember is you are not alone. In this post, we want to discuss the key signs that indicate it’s time to seek out a trustworthy injury lawyer.
1. You’ve Got a Significant Injury that Was Not Your Fault
Most personal injury cases arise when a person suffers harm from an accident/injury – of which was not their fault. These commonly include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites, pedestrian accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and more.
The main elements that constitute a personal injury claim are:
- The damages and losses (physical, emotional, financial) suffered by the victim were due to the actions of the at-fault party.
- The at-fault party owes the victim a duty of care.
- The accused at-fault party did not meet the duty of care.
Not all injuries suffered constitute a personal injury claim. If you were fully or partly to blame for the accident – your claim might not be valid.
Additionally, you need to have numbers for the damages suffered. This includes (but is not limited to) documentation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Cost of repairing damaged property
- Incidental costs (renting a car, cab fares, hotel stays, etc.)
Seeking compensation for emotional damages can be tricky. Some traumatic experiences – like seeing a loved one die, PTSD from a car accident, or severe emotional distress resulting in sleep loss – may constitute a claim. However, anything less severe can be difficult to pursue.
2. The Liability is Muddled
Proving liability is the key to legitimizing a personal injury claim. In some cases, liability is clear cut – like if the at-fault party was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. Other scenarios might not be as simple.
The ability to prove liability depends on the evidence you have. Knowing how and where to gather it isn’t always crystal clear. If this is the situation, hiring a personal injury lawyer will be instrumental in legitimizing your claim.
The attorney will help you in finding the evidence needed to prove the at-fault party is liable for your injury. This might include gathering police reports, witness accounts, security footage (if applicable), etc.
The key in this situation is to not wait. Every day you put off finding evidence and forming a case after the accident works against you.
3. You’re Looking at a Permanent Disability
Some serious injuries can require months – or even years – of treatment. Injuries that resulted in chronic pain, paralysis, brain damage, etc. are perhaps the clearest indication of when to hire a personal injury lawyer.
Personal injuries of this nature result in extremely high medical bills for an extended period of time. Additionally, insurance policies may only cover a certain amount of the costs. These scenarios can result in the victim having to cover the expenses of their recovery.
If you’ve suffered a serious injury (of which was not your fault) and are looking at a permanent disability, you should NEVER have to cover these expenses out-of-pocket. A personal injury attorney will help you understand what you are entitled to. Moreover, they will work with the insurance companies to earn the maximum compensation for your damages.
4. Your Insurance Provider Isn’t Covering the Damages Adequately
Insurance is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – obstacles in personal injury cases. There are all kinds of factors that come into play in a settlement.
Most importantly is the severity of the issue. In states where the insurance of the at-fault party is responsible for covering medical bills, treatment for minor injuries – like bumps and bruises – might not meet the limit of the policy.
To echo our last point, personal injuries that require extensive medical care tend to get tricky. Insurance policies are filled with loopholes buried in fine print. If your insurer, or the insurer of the liable party, provides a settlement that doesn’t meet the costs of recovery, it’s time to consult a professional.
Personal injury attorneys specialize in negotiating with insurance companies to fight for better compensation. Experiencing ANY issues with insurance is the clearest sign of when to hire a personal injury lawyer.
5. You’re Not Being Compensated for Lost Wages
A survey conducted back in 2020 – at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic – found that 63% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. Not being able to work is one of the biggest (and most detrimental) collateral damages in personal injury cases.
Some injuries can potentially put you out of work for weeks – or even months. Your path to seeking compensation for lost wages depends on a couple of factors.
For one, if you are injured on the job, your next move is to file for workers’ compensation benefits. A successful claim should replace two-thirds of your wages, in addition to coverage for medical care. In the unfortunate situation that you lose function in part of your body, you might be eligible for payment – depending on which part of your body was affected.
Two, if you are unable to work due to an injury caused by a different party – another person, organization, or company – you may have a personal injury claim. Ideally, the at-fault party’s insurance will cover your lost wages. If the parties aren’t able to come to a settlement, the issue may be taken to trial.
Recovery of lost wages is not something most Americans can afford to compromise on. If you fall into this category, don’t waste any time in booking a consultation with an injury lawyer.
The Next Move
Personal injury is a very, very broad aspect of the law. These five signs barely crack the surface of understanding when to hire a personal injury lawyer. To come full circle, you are never alone after an injury.
The best personal injury attorneys got into this line of work with a genuine compassion for human beings. Trustworthy professionals know victims are likely in this situation for the first time. And most offer FREE consultations to assess the situation.
That is how we operate at Midwest Injury Lawyers.
Our mission is to help injured victims recover the compensation they deserve for their damages.
For questions or concerns, give us a call at 312-786-5881, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a message online. Even if your situation doesn’t meet the requirements of the law – or we’re not the perfect firm for your claim – we are happy to point you in the right direction.