Have you been in a car accident? It might be time to call an accident claim lawyer, also called a personal injury lawyer.
Why? Because a personal injury attorney is the one who defends you if you’ve been injured as a result of negligence.
If you’ve been in an accident, here are five signs that it’s time to call an attorney.
1. Injuries (That Aren’t Minor)
What’s the first sign that you need to call a personal injury law firm like Chester Law Group?
Injuries as a result of an accident. Specifically, injuries that aren’t minor.
Generally, the severity of your personal injuries (and thus the form of your claim) is measured based on three criteria:
- Type of injuries
- Length of recovery time
- Current and future medical costs associated with these injuries
As a rule, you’re looking at two classes of injuries: short-term or temporarily disabling injuries, and long-term or permanently disabling injuries.
Short-term injuries may cost you time off work or prevent you from being able to complete certain tasks, but they resolve themselves without issue given the proper treatment.
An injury is considered long-term if it lasts for a year or more. This is not necessarily the same thing as a permanently disabling injury, which disables you for life, though they may overlap.
Proving that an injury is long-term or permanently disabling is a tricky business. In these cases, your attorney will need to consult with every medical professional you’ve seen and take a close look at your medical records related to the injury. They may need your medical professionals present during legal proceedings.
If you’re facing a long-term injury, it’s important to carefully track all your related medical visits and hold onto relevant documents. This will make things easier for your lawyer in the long run.
This isn’t just related to car accidents–personal injury lawyers can cover other injury cases, like slip and fall accidents or work injuries. The trick is to find one who specializes in your specific type of injury.
2. There was Alcohol Involved
Regardless of the type of injury, you should call a bodily injury lawyer if alcohol was involved in the accident.
Alcohol is one of the easiest ways to prove fault in a personal injury case, whether you were injured as a result of someone else drinking or if you were drinking and caused injury to someone else.
This is especially true if you’ve been arrested for a DUI.
Depending on your injuries, or the injuries you inflicted on the other person, there could be jail time or probation, never mind the steep cost of footing someone else’s medical bills.
Don’t waste time. Call an attorney.
3. Disputed Liability
On the other hand, in accidents that are less clear-cut, you still need to call an attorney. In fact, an attorney is crucial to ensuring that the case turns out in your favor.
In other words, these are cases where it’s more difficult to establish negligence, which means it’s more difficult to establish who was at fault.
Insurance companies will always try to avoid paying out claims where they can, which means they seek to prove that the policyholder was not at fault (and thus the company doesn’t need to pay your damages claim).
This can be done a variety of ways. A common example is the insurance company claiming that the victim doesn’t have enough proof of the other party’s fault. If you waited to seek medical treatment, they can also use this against you.
When this happens, you need an attorney to help you. They can aid you in gathering the necessary evidence and documentation and help you argue your case in court if needed.
4. You Aren’t Getting Paid for Missed Work
Sometimes, you may not be fighting the other person’s insurance at all. Instead, you’re fighting your own employer.
This is especially true of injuries that require you to take time off of work to recover. Maybe you work in a job where you’re on your feet a lot, or even an office job that requires you to sit all day and your injury won’t allow it.
Either way, you’re missing wages for an extended period of time, and the bills have only gotten more expensive with your medical bills.
If you were injured at work, this is a workers compensation claim. In most states, employers are required to have workers compensation insurance. This is a trade-off: if your employer has workers comp, you get paid if you were injured at work regardless of fault, but you cannot sue your employer for damages.
It’s scary to stand up to your boss–after all, they’re the one giving you your paycheck. This is why you need a lawyer on your side. They can argue on your behalf to ensure you’re treated fairly and make sure the whole process goes smoothly for everyone.
5. Refusal to Pay
This sounds like the same thing as a disputed liability, but it’s actually a different issue entirely.
When we talk about a refusal to pay, we’re talking about a situation where an insurance company outright refuses to make a fair settlement offer, or any settlement offer at all, regardless of who was at fault.
As we’ve said, insurance companies like to avoid paying damage claims when they can, and they’re more accustomed to cases like this than you are. When an insurance company stonewalls you, you need a lawyer to make sure you’re properly defending yourself.
Find the Right Personal Injury Attorney for You
Do any of these situations apply to you?
If so, it’s time to get in touch with a personal injury attorney. Chances are, you’re scared and overwhelmed–you need someone to fight for you.
We help you find the right firm for your needs, whether you’re looking for a car wreck attorney, a slip and fall attorney, or a workers comp attorney. Click here to browse our list of business providers. You can also narrow your search by ZIP code to make sure you find a lawyer in your area.