There is a precise moment in the cycle of your accident when it is time to hire a personal injury attorney. Whether you have been hurt in a car accident, sustained a dog bite, or you were injured by a negligent employee in a retail store, the first thing you should do is seek immediate medical attention. If you are able to safely take photographs of the accident scene and collect information from witnesses, then do so, but your priority should be to get to a doctor. The time to hire a personal injury attorney comes once a physician has tended to your injuries, and has declared that you are in stable condition.
Hire a Personal injury Attorney After Initial Medical Treatment, and Before You Talk to Insurance Companies
Once you have been transported from the scene of the accident and have been treated by a doctor, start looking for a personal injury attorney and hire one that best meets your needs and that you feel comfortable with. You can learn how to find a personal injury lawyer in our next article.
Keep in mind that insurance companies have legal teams and claims adjusters who immediately start evaluating the value of your claim, and their main job is to pay out as little as possible. Due to their predatory nature, it is absolutely critical to retain legal counsel from a top personal injury attorney at Jacoby and Meyers to not only level the playing field, but to stop these vulturous individuals in their tracks and present the real value of your case while demanding the compensation you deserve.
Under no circumstances should you talk to the insurance companies until first having a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies have well-trained individuals that use a number of tactics to get accident victims to make statements that don’t actually reflect the reality and severity of the accident and one’s injuries. It is especially important that you don’t give a statement over the phone or in person, and you should refrain from signing any documents.
You Should Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney Even if Your Injuries Don’t Seem Severe
All too often someone emerges from a car accident without a scratch and they feel sensations like “mild neck strain” or “muscle soreness”. In fact, some of our clients have first described symptoms compared to the way one feels after sleeping on a bed they aren’t used to, or after that first day of skiing in the new season. But these same people were later diagnosed with whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and nerve damage. No matter how you feel, get checked out by a doctor and then call a personal injury attorney. At Jacoby and Meyers we can even refer you to a physician and monitor your diagnoses and treatment. If symptoms worsen or develop in different directions, our accident attorneys will be aware and will be able to communicate with the insurance companies and negligent parties as necessary.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained form accidents, and one of the more difficult conditions to diagnose. The Mayo Clinic states that most whiplash victims begin to feel their pain a week or two after the time of the accident. This is the time frame when “stiffness” turns into “pain”. In some cases the right medication and exercises will resolve the injury. However, some accident victims develop chronic pain and other long-lasting complications–some that remain for life. This is why it is critical to see a doctor, and call a personal injury attorney right after you have been examined, as taking one wrong step can mean the difference from receiving a few thousand dollars to a few million dollars.
Most people with whiplash get better within a few weeks by following a treatment plan that includes pain medication and exercise. However, some people have chronic neck pain and other long-lasting complications.
Not All Cases Require a Personal Attorney
Not all accidents require getting a personal injury attorney to seek compensation for a loss. For example, if you were not injured and a doctor has given you a clean bill of health, there is no need for an accident lawyer. In addition, if you have minor injuries, there is no need to hire a personal injury attorney. If you are out walking in your neighborhood, and the dog next door scratches you, rips your Gucci pants, and manages to slap that Mickey Mantle rookie card out of your hand and chew it to pieces, hiring a personal injury attorney would be a waste of your money and time. Any minor scratch or scrape does not constitute a severe enough injury warranting compensation. However, deep scratches and lacerations to the body that leaves disfigurement and lasting scars would most certainly warrant contacting a personal injury attorney. As for seeking compensation for the destruction of valuable items, one would need to call a property damage lawyer since no personal injury took place.
In some situations, low value cases do not justify calling a personal injury attorney. For example, the personal injury lawyers at Jacoby and Meyers work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay your legal fee until you receive compensation. However, if your case is, let’s say, valued at $3,000, and the attorney estimates the legal fee will be anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000, then clearly an attorney is not needed as you would either break even or wind up having to pay.
You can call Jacoby and Meyers 24/7 for a free consultation and learn the value of your case, as well as the various options you have for moving forward in seeking compensation while getting honest, direct advice on what course of action will best support you and your family.
Call Our Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation and to Get the Facts
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, and you have a proper diagnosis and your doctor says you are in a stable condition, call our personal injury attorney for a free consultation. Our teams are the best in the legal field, and after researching your case along with any reports, records, and evidence, we can tell you exactly what your case is worth, and stand up to the insurance companies to ensure justice is served. Call for a no-obligation consultation and empower yourself with knowledge as you make these critical next steps.