We’ve all seen the personal injury billboards along the road and ads on television asking you to call if you’ve been involved in an accident, but most of us never stop to think that we’d be the ones injured and in serious need of help. No one likes to imagine what would happen if they were involved in a tragic event but making the right decisions should this occur could make the difference in the outcome of your case.
Personal injury (PI) claims vary and can apply to a wide range of circumstances. The most common type of personal injury case involves an auto accident. In others, you may have been injured in a slip and fall, bitten by someone else’s dog, or seriously hurt by a defective product. Here are several questions you can ask yourself to better determine whether it’s time to hire a PI attorney.
How Serious is Your Injury?
If you have a minor injury, you may not need a lawyer. It’s possible that, with a few scratches or bruises, you may be able to seek one-time medical care and have your bills paid by the insurance company without any problems. If you have more serious issues or pain that lasts for more than a few days, however, you may want to think about speaking with a personal injury attorney.
When injuries require extensive medical treatment such as hospitalization, surgery, chiropractic treatment, and even physical therapy, an insurance company may be more reluctant to pay because of the potential for mounting damages. Not only will the medical bills add up, but there is also a good chance that you will have lost wages and possible pain and suffering. When cases have significant loss potential, you may want to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney.
Was Your Injury Caused by Another Party?
If there is even a chance that your injuries were caused by the negligent actions of another party, it’s a good idea to speak with a qualified accident attorney as soon as possible. Proving fault in a legal case can be a complex matter, and most parties aren’t willing to open their wallets even when negligence is clear. An experienced attorney can investigate your case and gather the evidence necessary to present the strongest claim possible when it comes time to either settle or stand in front of a jury.
Are You Being Contacted by an Insurance Company?
You may believe that contact from an insurance company is a good sign, but this is not necessarily the case. Insurance companies hire claims representatives and adjusters whose sole purpose is to reduce the company’s losses from filed claims. They accomplish this by figuring out ways to deny claims or minimize the amount that must be paid if the claim is accepted.
If you are contacted by an insurance company, there is a good chance that they will ask you to give a recorded or sworn statement about your accident or loss. The information that you provide could be used against you to deny liability for a claim. Another thing that you may be asked to do is give a release for records, which allows these representatives to dig through your past. If they can show that you have a previous accident or prior medical condition, they may use these facts in their favor.
Even when you are dealing with your own insurance company, things may not be as they seem. The questions asked are meant to minimize losses instead of maximizing the payout on your case. If you are being contacted by an insurance company about your claim, you should avoid giving statements or signing a release and let them know that you plan to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Is Anyone Disputing Your Version of Events or Refusing to Pay?
If anyone disputes that an accident happened the way you say or refuses to pay for the damages that you’ve suffered, you should seek legal counsel without delay. Unreasonable delays in the claims process are common tactics to discourage you in the hopes that you will give up the fight. Don’t. A personal injury attorney understands these underhanded tactics, can get you access to the care and services you need, and will continue to advocate for your rights.
Speak with an Experienced San Diego Personal Injury Attorney Now
If you have a personal injury case, you may be able to collect damages from the parties responsible for your losses. A qualified personal injury attorney will not only protect your rights but do everything possible to pursue those parties to get you the compensation you deserve.
At Garmo & Garmo, LLP, we have handled thousands of cases yet treat each client as someone who is uniquely entitled to the best legal representation possible. Contact our office today at (619) 441-2500 or online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.