Wondering when to call a personal injury lawyer? Here’s everything you need to know.
Whether your accident happened a few hours ago or a few weeks ago, there’s a good chance that you’ll eventually wonder whether you need to get a personal injury lawyer involved.
If you’re wondering whether it’s time to call a lawyer, the answer is yes. With free consultations and no upfront fees, there’s never a disadvantage to at least talking to an attorney about your situation – the sooner, the better.
When Do Most People Call a Lawyer?
If you’re like many of our clients, you might not think to call a lawyer right away. It often takes one of three situations for accident victims to decide they need help:
- Realizing you have serious injuries
- Feeling frustrated by all of the time-consuming tasks you now have to do
- Seeing the start of a financial hardship
When You Realize You’re Really Hurt
You don’t want to make a bigger deal out of the accident than it needs to be. We get that.
That’s why a lot of accident victims don’t call a lawyer right away. Sometimes they don’t even call a doctor.
But when the pain lingers and worsens, you find out that you’re really hurt – and that this injury isn’t something that will just go away on its own.
Whether your injuries were severe enough to send you to the ER right away or they continued to bother you for hours or days while you tried to “tough it out,” they’re serious enough that you need to do something about them.
Doctors can guide you toward physical recovery, but you’ll need the help of a lawyer to get you the compensation you need to fully be made whole again – especially if your injuries are severe enough that your life will never be the same.
When You Feel Overwhelmed
The paperwork. The phone calls. The hassle. It doesn’t take long for dealing with an accident to become overwhelming.
From the start, you’re confronted with accident and incident reports to fill out and requests – or demands – that you give a statement. But you might not even know yet what happened. You’re still so shaken that you haven’t had the chance to process the accident.
Then there are phone calls with insurance companies – theirs and yours. You have claim numbers to remember and more questions to answer. It won’t be long before the letters and forms begin arriving – envelopes upon envelopes full of them.
Even without serious injuries, the pressure all of these sudden extra tasks quickly becomes annoying. You didn’t ask for this stress, and you don’t have the time or the energy to deal with it all.
When dealing with the aftermath of the accident becomes frustrating, it’s time to get help. Our personal injury lawyers handle all of these burdens so you don’t have to. We handle the responsibility of organizing your bills and paperwork and interacting with the insurance companies involved in your claim.
We can’t change what happened to you, but we can make your life easier by taking over anything that distracts you from getting better.
When Your Family’s Finances Take a Hit
One thing’s for sure – dealing with an accident can get expensive. You might not realize just how expensive at first.
But even if you chose the smallest possible deductibles on your insurance policy, you’re looking at thousands of dollars of expenses you weren’t planning for.
- Property damage. Even if the accident was completely the other driver’s fault, you’ll have to shell out money – hundreds to thousands of dollars of it – for your car repairs, if you go through your own insurance company.And if not, you could be stuck waiting for weeks while the insurer drags its feet officially finding its own policyholder at fault.
- Medical expenses. Sure, you’ve got insurance, but it doesn’t cover everything.Besides a deductible that could range from a couple hundred bucks to a couple thousand, you’re responsible for 20 percent copays of the first $5,000 of medical bills. When your treatment goes on for weeks and months, those 20 percent copays can really add up.
- Lost wages. As if these unexpected costs weren’t bad enough, your injuries might keep you out of work — for how long, it’s impossible to say right now. Your family depends on your income, and now it’s suddenly stopped – but your bills haven’t.
A lot of accident victims only realize they need to call a personal injury lawyer when they begin to see the financial toll the accident is taking on their family. Your life is already unpredictable enough right now – when you can’t afford to sacrifice your financial stability, it’s time to get help.
When Is the Best Time to Call a Lawyer?
As soon as you begin to suspect that you might need a personal injury lawyer’s help with your case, you should act right away. Every day you wait to get an attorney involved in your case puts your claim at risk. Here’s why:
- Deadlines. Did you know that your legal rights have an expiration date? In some situations, you only have a few months to notify the entity at fault for your accident that you’re going to pursue a claim. If you wait too long to start your claim, no lawyer will be able to help you.
- Evidence. You need to prove that the other person involved is at fault for the accident. You also must prove that your injuries are as serious as you say they are. But the evidence that supports your claim might not last forever. When you wait to get an attorney involved, you’re letting evidence slip away.
- Dangerous property conditions get fixed
- Video surveillance footage is erased
- Witnesses forget the events of an accident that didn’t affect them personally
The sooner you get a lawyer involved, the sooner he or she can begin investigating your accident and gathering the evidence your case needs – before it’s too late.
- Building your case. Every accident is different. Having 25 years of experience handling personal injury claims means we have a lot of knowledge to draw from. But to give your case the individualized attention it deserves, we need time to work on it. The earlier you call, the earlier we can begin building your case for success.
Yes, contacting a lawyer is one more phone call you have to make. You’ll have one more batch of paperwork to fill out. But unlike the seemingly endless phone calls and forms from the insurance companies, getting us on your side will finally make your life easier instead of harder – and you deserve that after all you’ve been through.