In short, you should call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident of any type. For example, the at-fault party in a car crash will likely notify their insurance company right away, who will then try to get in contact with you to discuss what happened. It is in your best interest to speak with a lawyer before giving a statement to an insurance company. This is just one of many examples of why a legal representative can and should be contacted sometime within the first few days after an accident, at the hospital, as soon as you get home, OR even at the accident scene itself.
Furthermore, if you are unsure altogether when it is appropriate to get a lawyer involved, here are some circumstances in which it is critical to have someone on your side protecting your legal rights. Learn more:
Five Circumstances In Which It’s Imperative You Call a Lawyer
Many accident victims may be initially reluctant to seek legal representation. In some cases, you might be in a minor fender bender with no injuries, therefore, the situation can be handled without help. In others, you might have more extensive damages in which it is not just in your best interest but absolutely imperative that you get a lawyer involved.
1. When the Accident Caused Serious Injury or Wrongful Death
Put simply, the bigger the injury, the bigger the amount you need — AND the bigger the complications. Accidents that cause serious bodily injury or death can result in one or multiple complex lawsuits involving countless moving parts. There is no room for chance when a lifetime of pain, suffering, and bills are on the line.
Whether it is a truck accident, defective product, or an accident on someone else’s property, some people are injured so badly that their earning capacity is impacted for life. If you were hurt and can’t return to work in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to call a lawyer to make sure you receive the total amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
2. When the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim or Engages in Bad Faith Tactics
Insurance companies rely on the fact that most people are unaware of the complicated laws and procedures in a personal injury claim. They take advantage of peoples’ lack of legal knowledge to offer low settlements or outright deny legitimate claims. If you are unable to secure a settlement offer on your own or if negotiations with the insurance company have broken down, a lawyer can help get what you are owed.
There is also a chance that the insurance company is engaged in bad faith insurance tactics, such as delaying claims in order to beat you into submission. In these cases, you will need assistance from a lawyer to stand up against the bullies.
3. When Multiple Parties Were Involved or Liability Is Not Clear
An accident that involves multiple parties with no single one holding sole liability is one of the most complicated personal injury cases you can face — especially when there are injuries involved. Your settlement offer could be reduced or decreased to nothing because of your proportional fault for the accident or, worse, you could be blamed entirely by someone else’s insurance.
Consulting with a personal injury lawyer will give you the best chance at keeping your liability low, defending yourself, and more or less not getting stuck with the bill. A lawyer will have the experience necessary to deal with multiple parties including all other drivers, their insurance companies, and their lawyers.
4. When Pursuing a Claim Against a Large Company
While it’s true that many personal injury cases are cut and dry in that one driver is up against a negligent driver’s insurance company, there are many cases where you may need to pursue action against a large company for their wrongdoing. For example, if you were injured in a truck accident, you may need to bring a legal case against the trucking company that employed the driver. Or if you were hurt by a defective product, you may need to seek compensation from the manufacturer in order to cover your medical expenses.
It can be intimidating facing a large company alone. They have the money and the power to hire aggressive insurance companies with equally aggressive lawyers. You need to call a lawyer who can put you on a level playing field with them.
5. When Any Significant Amount of Time Has Passed
After an accident, the adrenaline is pumping and you may not discover the full extent of your injuries right away. Furthermore, some disabilities do not make themselves known until years after the accident occurred.
Whether it is a few short months or numerous, the insurance company may try to claim that your injuries were caused by something other than the accident in order to get out of paying. If you fear that your claim could be in jeopardy because too much time has passed since the accident, you need to call a lawyer.
Every state has a statute of limitations in which you must follow. For Missouri, five years is the standard time limit to file a lawsuit, so a lawyer can ensure that you comply with all procedural requirements related to your case and don’t miss any critical deadlines such as this.
Personal Injury Lawyer | The Hayden Law Firm
If you have been in an accident and it meets one of the circumstances above, do not hesitate to call a lawyer as soon as possible contact us or call St. Louis personal injury lawyer Amanda Hayden at (314) 480-3100 for a free, no-risk consultation