Some people will know right from the start that their case requires an attorney, but many attempt to cope with the aftermath of an injury on their own, only seeking out a lawyer when it becomes clear that an insurer will not pay their claim. If you have been involved in an accident, there are a few factors you can use to determine whether you should hire a personal injury attorney.
How Victims Can Tell When an Injury Case Requires a Lawyer
In general, it is best to consult a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury. A fast response allows important evidence to be preserved and ensures that the victim can file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. Involving a lawyer early on also allows the attorney to protect you at each phase of the claim.
You may benefit from an attorney’s representation if:
- Your injury has changed how you live your life. If your injury required hospitalization, surgery, time away from work, or resulted in permanent scarring or disability, you will likely need an attorney to get you the full value of your claim. You should also seek an attorney’s advice if the accident resulted in someone’s death or involved extensive property damage.
- Someone else could be responsible for your injury. If someone’s actions directly led to your injury, a personal injury attorney can walk you through the legal steps to establish negligence in an injury case.
- An insurance company is refusing to pay. If your insurer is denying payment for your injury costs, has offered a low settlement, or is unreasonably delaying payment of your claim, an attorney can act on your behalf throughout the claims process.
- An insurance representative has requested more information. Insurance companies often use underhanded tactics to deny or undervalue injury claims, including getting victims to supply evidence that can be used against them. If your insurer has requested access to your medical records or asked you to give a recorded statement, it is likely that you have a valid injury claim—and you should speak to a lawyer before responding to an insurer’s requests.
- You are not comfortable representing yourself. Victims who represent themselves may be asked to supply evidence, calculate the value of their losses, negotiate their own settlement amounts, and perform other legally-binding duties to resolve their claims. An attorney can ensure that this is done correctly, getting you the compensation you need now as well as in the future.
Our lawyers take injury cases on a contingency basis and offer free consultations to victims—so there really is no downside to getting an attorney’s advice soon after an accident. Simply fill out the short contact form on this page to schedule an appointment, or download your FREE copy of our book, When the Rules of the Road Get Broken: A Guide to Illinois Car Wreck Cases.