Litigation can be a bit like chess. No, it is not a game, but it is a strategic, mentally challenging and often complex practice that requires forethought, hard work and the ability to act immediately and wisely. Each case is different, and for those who have never been injured by another in the past, it may be difficult to plan next moves. Add to the mix the confusion associated with many more serious injuries, having to deal with rehabilitation and hospital bills, making up for lost time at work and dealing with the personal stresses that sudden injuries can put on entire families.
For this reason, many wonder if they should hire a personal injury lawyer who knows the rules and what each piece, from pawn to king, can do to get you the best results when seeking justice of a serious personal injury claim. Well, as each case is unique and poses its own unique challenges, it is not easy to say without understanding the circumstances of the injury. However, you and your family can pose a few important questions to yourself and make your own judgment call on hiring a competent, thorough and professional to help provide you quality representation.
Is it time to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Before making the decision of hiring a personal injury lawyer to handle your case, make sure you ask yourself these questions:
- How serious are my injuries?: Not all personal injury cases are the same largely due to the fact that not all injuries are the same. From simple bumps and bruises to catastrophic, traumatic brain injuries, the seriousness of an injury must be considered. Intuitively, the more serious an injury is, the more expensive and long standing the recovery can be – and not just in terms of financial impact (though that is certainly not to be understated), but also emotional and social losses that can be incurred. If your injuries require extended hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation or result in permanent damage, whether mental or physical, you should most certainly hire a personal injury lawyer to ensure you receive fair and justified compensation – not just what the insurance company is willing to pay.
- Is there a dispute?: Many people try to avoid conflict at all costs. Fighting for something, even if you are in the right, can be stressful and uncomfortable. When an insurance company throws its best lawyers behind attempting to diminish your personal injury claims, it can be as frustrating as it is frightening. Even the sweetest-talking insurance representative can be hiding dubious intentions behind their placid demeanor. Do not be fooled. We recommend hiring a personal injury lawyer before speaking to anyone to ensure that your words will not be twisted, taken out of context and weaponized against your case. If there is even hint of a coming dispute, it is time for professional help. And please remember to not provide a recorded statement with an insurance representative without first consulting with an attorney.
- Are you experienced in the litigation process?: Though many have never been in the position to fight for a claim or see the inside of a courtroom, some have, and can adequately hold their own. By all means, if you are a student of the law and have a deep enough understanding of what you are owed based on the law of the land, you can take on your case without professional help. However, we would still recommend the oversight that can only come from a well-practiced litigation team.
- Who is at fault?: Unfortunately, the negligence of others is often the cause of serious, even life-threatening, injuries. Whether it was a car accident caused by a distracted driver or a slip-and-fall incident caused by insufficient warning signage on a wet department store floor, you will want a team of personal injury lawyers in your corner to collect evidence and secure fault in your case.
Part of the chess-like strategy required for your personal injury case is understanding when you are outmatched. Though a personal injury case can seem, well, personal, professional help is often needed in order to match the litigious might of big businesses and unsympathetic insurance companies. You should not be expected to have to fight for your claim alone against odds like that. Additionally, insurance companies have no qualms about rushing you to make a settlement of a claim, even while you are still recovering from the shock of injury.
Even if you do not seek the help of a lawyer immediately, we strongly recommend you acquire as much evidence at the time of the accident, seek immediate medical attention even if you believe your injuries to be minor and do not talk about the accident to anyone before you have recovered from the initial shock of the injury.
At Wieland Hilado & DeLattre, we have a passion for helping ordinary people who have been victimized by the negligence of others. Though the choice to hire a personal injury lawyer lands squarely in your lap, we urge you to consider the aforementioned questions before taking on a claim alone. Our team is here to help and have no problem fighting for you, if necessary.