When you are injured by someone else’s negligence, do you need an personal injury attorney? Although Plaintiffs’ attorneys make their money by representing injured persons, you may not need an attorney just because you are injured by someone else’s negligence.
The first thing you should be aware of when determining whether you need personal injury lawyer, is the statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit against anyone at fault for your injuries. This means if you are going to file a lawsuit, you must do it by the deadline imposed by the statute of limitations, or else you will probably lose the chance to file a lawsuit against anyone, and at that point, you will likely lose the chance to recover money for your injury. You need to know by when you must make the decision to hire an attorney.
Most states will give you at least two years from the date of an injury to file a lawsuit in connection with that injury. That gives you substantial opportunity to assess your own situation. For example, if you are 25 years old, in great health, and slipped and fell on a patch of ice at a restaurant causing you to sustain a bruise on the skin over your right hip, you may be able to file a lawsuit for that injury. But if the injury is limited to a bruise, and you incurred no medical expense in connection with the injury, and after a few days of being sore you are fine, you probably do not need an attorney, as you really do not have much to collect in the way of damages. And after several months of feeling no effects of the fall, although you still have time to file a lawsuit, you probably do not need to get an attorney, nor file a lawsuit.
Even if you end up with a trip to the emergency room, and a few chiropractor appointments after a car crash which is due to someone else’s fault, you may not need an attorney. Realistically speaking, if the crash is clearly the other driver’s fault, and you feel completely healed after a few weeks of treatment, you probably do not need further treatment, and probably do not need an attorney, especially if as the statute of limitations draws close to expiring, you are feeling no repercussions of the accident.
But if you are 85 years old, slip on the same ice, and break your hip, you are going to have somewhat substantial monetary damages, and may have some substantial damages due to the difficulties you, as an 85 year old, may experience in recovering from the injury. In that case, you probably need an attorney to represent you against an insurance company which is probably going to offer you a small amount of money to get you to quickly settle the claim for less than it really should be worth, if they offer anything to you at all.
You and your doctor are the best sources of information for you to come up with the information necessary to determine if you need an attorney. If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, and continue to have some lingering medical issues your doctor believes may have been caused by the accident, it may be time to call a personal injury attorney.