Every part of the personal injury process is difficult. From the initial injury, recovery, getting the money you deserve and more, every single step can be hard. Moreover, they can be hard on you as well as everyone else that cares about you. One question that we’re often asked is: “when should I call a personal injury attorney?” There’s a short answer to this, and a longer one. When you do decide to call an attorney, however, we’ll be glad to talk to you at the LA Injury Group
The easy answer for “when do I contact a personal injury attorney” is: “as soon as possible after the injury.” Now, there are some limits to this. You do not want to take it too far. We certainly aren’t suggesting that you contact an attorney while you lie hurt and wounded before the police and EMTs get there, or anything like that. The most important thing is, as ever, your health. Wait until you have a moment, and then reach out to get an attorney.
Many of our clients call us from hospitals, or they have their family members do it. Even then, you don’t have to do it quite that quickly. Sure, that can help, but you don’t have to. A large portion of our clients call us once they’ve returned home, or once they’ve been released from the hospital so that we can set up an initial consultation. Another time that people contact us is after they’ve been contacted by an insurance claims adjuster.
That can be a very important time to reach out to a law firm because you don’t want to deal with the insurance claims adjuster too much on your own. Sure, they may seem friendly, and most genuinely area. They’re great at talking to people and making you feel good. And, after having been injured or in a car crash or something, that can seem quite welcoming. Who wouldn’t want to make a new friend after having been through a genuinely harrowing, terrifying experience?
The problem is that the insurance claims adjuster isn’t there just to be your friend; they’re there to make more money for the insurance company. Unfortunately, the way that they make that money is to make sure that you take less for your injuries. We always encourage everyone, whether they sign with us or not, to keep that in mind when dealing with the insurance company. As long as you know they’re going to be there to make sure you get less money, you can be appropriately prepared.
For the insurance claims adjuster, there is no “right” time for you to call a personal injury attorney. In fact, they never want you to contact an attorney, period. Instead, they want you to listen to them. This makes sense because an attorney would tell a client not to listen just to the insurance company. The adjuster knows that, when they’re talking to someone who’s been injured in an accident and doesn’t have an attorney, the adjuster always has the advantage. Indeed, how could they not?
The insurance company adjuster does this for a living. They know insurance, injuries, accidents, settlements and the law. This isn’t a one-time thing for them; this is how they make a living. This is what they’ve been trained to do. Compare that to the knowledge that someone who’s just been injured in an accident has: they probably have never dealt with anything like this before in their lives. They might have done some internet research or talked to friends and family who have been through something similar before, but that’s probably it. They’ll be at an incredible disadvantage in any discussion with the insurance claims adjuster.
Of course, that doesn’t even include the emotional state of someone who’s just been through an awful injury. Sure, most people are remarkably resilient, able to do amazing things, but it’s impossible to say that the injury wouldn’t affect a person’s emotional health. A person who’s just been through a terrible accident, with no education or training, simply won’t be able to get the best deal possible out of an insurance claims adjuster. It literally cannot happen.
Often, when people ask us “when should I contact an attorney,” they aren’t referring specifically to an amount of time. Instead, they’re referring to how hurt someone has to be, or if it’s worth it to do so. There are certain times that you should absolutely get an attorney to take your case, simply to give yourself the best chance to get as much compensation as you deserve.
However, no matter what we say in this blog or any other, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to an attorney. If you re-read this and think: “I don’t know. I’m not sure if I have a case or not, I still want to reach out” then do it. You should. Here at the LA Injury Group, we offer free consultations. These aren’t “free” in the sense of “you sign up for free, and then we tack on all kinds of hidden costs or something.” No, these are genuinely and truly free consultations.
So, if you reach out to us for a consultation and, after listening to your situation and talking to you for a bit, we say that we really don’t see how you have a case, that’s the worst that can happen. There’s literally no downside to reaching out to a law firm. Contrast that with, by the way, the downside to not reaching out to a law firm.
Then, you could have a strong case, and not really know it. You might have to pay for all of your medical bills yourself, or through your insurance, when you could’ve had them paid for you. Additionally, if you need any rehab from your injuries, you might be on the hook for that as well. The sheer amount of money, in terms of compensation, rehab, and just cash, that you could potentially leave on the table by not even contacting a personal injury law firm is staggering. That’s why we always recommend contacting an attorney if you think there’s even a slight chance you could have a case.
We recommend that someone contacts us when they’ve been injured potentially through the fault of someone else. Maybe you were in a car accident, perhaps you fell down the stairs in a store, or maybe you were hurt by a defective product. If you’re hurt or otherwise injured, and you think it was the fault of someone else, then you deserve to be heard by a personal injury attorney. We can’t tell you how many times someone has reached out to us for a free consultation, starting their phone call with something like: “I really don’t think I have a case, but…” only to find that they had a great case, ending with them receiving plenty of compensation for everything that they’ve been through.
That part of it is easy. You can always contact us and we’ll set up a free consultation. Some people get a bit worried about the free consultation, thinking that they have to prepare a lot for it or something. That’s not the case. All you have to do is reach out to us, and tell us your story. That’s it. We’re always glad to talk to people about everything that they’ve been through. That’s where the road to getting all of the compensation that you deserve for your injuries starts. When we say that we’re a “personal injury law firm,” that means that we have attorneys to deal with a case like yours. Give us a call at (818) 240-1800 today.