When should you hire an attorney after a personal injury accident? If you have suffered injuries or damages in a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, truck accident or similar injury it is important that you hire an attorney as soon as possible. You should also hire an attorney if your insurance company is playing hardball or is not treating you in a fair manner.
In California, each year, hundreds are killed and thousands are injured in car accidents. While many injured victims may be eligible to receive compensation from the at-fault parties, there is so much that is not known about how and when to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is where an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.
When Should You Hire an Attorney After a Personal Injury Accident?
It is important to remember that insurance companies might begin to work on a personal injury accident, such as a car accident claim, right away. Insurance companies play all sorts of games including trying to pass the blame in order to minimize their payout. When you are ready to meet with an attorney be sure to first read our guide on 10 questions to ask a personal injury lawyer. Here are some of the scenarios in which you should hire an injury accident attorney:
You Suffered Injuries or Damages
If you were involved in a minor car accident and escaped injuries during a dog attack, slip and fall, etc, count yourself fortunate. You probably do not need a lawyer. But, in other circumstances – particularly in a case where you suffered injuries, sought medical treatment or took time off work – speaking right away with a car accident lawyer is the best way to protect your rights and receive compensation for your losses.
It Is Possible That Someone Else's Negligence or Wrongdoing Caused or Contributed to The Accident.
If you believe that someone else's actions may have played a role in your injury accident, it is important that you hire an attorney to represent you. Even if you believe your case may be straight forward, there is a lot of evidence that must be collected and presented in a coherent manner in order to be successful.
The Insurance Company Is Acting in Bad Faith.
Do not enter into a settlement or any type of agreement before speaking with a lawyer. After an accident, it is difficult to have a clear understanding of what your accident and injuries will cost you in the short and long term. You need an experienced lawyer to help you analyze the scope and extent of your damages. The insurance company might pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement. If you are experiencing this predicament, it is imperative that you speak with a car accident lawyer right away.
You Have Suffered Catastrophic Injuries.
Serous injury accidents have the potential to result in injuries that are severe and permanent. This could mean being unable to work or earn a livelihood. It could also mean that you may need lifelong nursing care and equipment. You may need to modify your home to make it more accessible. All these costs could add up. An experienced lawyer can help you secure a fair settlement in such cases.
Your Accident Involved a Governmental Entity
If your accident involved negligence on the part of a governmental entity, there may be added layers and challenges to your case. For example, if you were in a car accident that was caused by a dangerous or defective roadway, you may have a claim against the governmental agency such as the city, which was responsible for designing and maintaining that roadway. Under California Government Code Section 911.2, any personal injury claim against a governmental entity must be filed within 180 days of the incident.
You Lost a Loved One in the Accident.
If you lost a loved one in a catastrophic accident, you may have the right to seek compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. You may be able to receive compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship.
How Do You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
When it comes to hiring a personal injury attorney, it is best to find attorneys who are licensed to practice in California and work in your region. You can locate lawyers over the Internet, through review sites, contacting the state bar association or asking your friends or family members for recommendations. When you have a shortlist of attorneys you would like to reach out to, set up appointments to meet them face-to-face.
The majority of accident lawyers offer free consultations. During this consultation, you can share details of your case and ask crucial questions including whether the attorney has experience working on cases similar to yours. Prepare a list of questions with you including:
- What is your case worth?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of your case?
- How long the attorney has practiced law?
- What is their track record of success with cases such as yours?
- What will be your level of involvement in the process?
- What will the attorney and this process cost you?
- How will they keep you posted about the progress of your case?
It is also a good idea to ask for testimonials from past clients who have retained the law firm. Once you select the attorney you wish to work with, they will provide you some documents to sign. Read these documents carefully and sign them only after you understand the terms of the agreement.
Get the Representation You Deserve
If you have been injured in a car accident or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident, the experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys at the Vaziri Law Group Personal Injury Attorneys can provide you with more information about pursuing your legal rights. Call us for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.