Do you know the best time to retain a personal injury attorney? Obviously, it makes little sense to retain the services of a personal injury attorney before you are hurt – that is just a waste of your time and resources. Similarly, trying to hire an attorney on the eve of a settlement negotiation session or trial will not end well. Is there a “perfect” time to hire a personal injury attorney, however? Hiring an attorney too early in your case or before your case begins to develop may mean that you pay for legal services and advice that is premature. Hiring a personal injury lawyer too late in your case means that even if the attorney does take on your case, there may be little he or she may be able to do to affect the outcome of your personal injury case. How does one determine that “perfect” time to seek out legal representation.
Seek Qualified Legal Counsel to Protect Your Legal Rights
Once an injury accident such as a medical mistake, slip and fall, or injury caused by a defective product, legal counsel should be consulted as soon as possible if there is any chance the incident was caused by someone else’s careless or reckless mistake. You should do this as soon as possible so that you understand early what your legal rights are and have the most time to decide what actions you wish to take to protect or exercise your rights.
At this early stage, you may not wish to retain an attorney after speaking with one and learning your rights: your attorney may, for example, suggest that your likelihood of recovery is small or that an insurance claim may be the more appropriate avenue through which to obtain compensation for your injuries. However, knowing what your options are soon after the injury accident can help you feel more in control of your situation and your future.
Retain an Attorney Early
One thing you and your attorney should discuss during your initial meeting is the complexity of your case and the type of evidence that may be necessary to prove your claims. Reports, correspondence, and other business records may require that you take prompt action – and, hence, may require you to hire an attorney sooner rather than later. Some items of evidence like business reports, security footage, and other similar things may become lost or deleted if too much time passes between your accident and when you and/or your attorney take steps to preserve them. Generally speaking, there are no consequences – and nothing that can be done – if a business has no reason to know a document or other item is needed for a lawsuit and deletes or destroys that document or item in accordance with its own policies. In some cases, these documents and items can be destroyed as soon as 30 days after the event.
It’s Time to Retain a Personal Injury Lawyer if You Feel Overwhelmed or Lost
Some personal injury victims may choose to try to handle their case themselves initially. When a settlement is not forthcoming or an insurance claim is denied, however, panic can set in. When panic does set in, some personal injury victims “freeze” or engage in a frenzy of activity designed to regain control of their situation – often making their cases more complicated in the process. Instead of this, if you initially try to handle your case yourself but find yourself confused or lost, it is best to contact an attorney right away. The earlier an attorney steps in to help you with your case, then (generally) the more the attorney can do to change the momentum in the case to your favor.
Discuss a Settlement with an Attorney
Before you hire an attorney, the person or company responsible for your injuries may offer you a settlement as a way of resolving your case. There is nothing that requires you to have retained an attorney in order to receive a settlement offer: in fact, the clearer it is that the other person or company is responsible for your injuries, the more likely it is that you will receive a settlement offer sooner rather than later. When you do receive such an offer, it may be time to visit your personal injury lawyer to discuss the offer.
Settlement can be a good way to resolve a personal injury case because the injury victim is given a sum of money as compensation without having to go through a trial. Because the at-fault party is agreeing to pay this sum, the victim usually receives the compensation significantly sooner than he or she would if the case went to trial before a judge or jury. However, settlement agreements can have their drawbacks as well. Typically, the amount of compensation offered in a settlement is less than what could be obtained at trial. Moreover, there is almost never any way for the victim to accept a settlement and then turn around the sue the person or company later if the amount paid to the victim under the settlement is not enough to fully address all of the victim’s injuries.
While the decision of whether to accept a settlement rests entirely with you, having a trained legal perspective on the matter may help you make a more confident decision as to what is best for you. This can, in turn, provide you and your family with greater peace of mind as you move forward from your personal injury accident.
Speak with Parker Waichman LLP Anytime About Your Personal Injury Case
Whether you or your loved one have just been injured or you attempted to reach a settlement with the at-fault party in your case but were unsuccessful, Parker Waichman LLP prides itself on its ability to provide excellent representation and advice to personal injury victims no matter where your lawsuit is at procedurally. Speak with Parker Waichman LLP’s team of experienced personal injury lawyers today by dialing 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation
Have you or a loved one suffered a serious injury due to an accident?Click To Get A Free Case Review