At what point should you begin your search for personal injury lawyers? Should you do so immediately after an injury? Or is there a period afterward where it tends to make more sense?
Today we're going to help answer that question as well as review the reasoning behind the answer. With that information in hand, you'll better know how to approach an injury case if you ever think you have one.
The Sooner, the Better
The short answer to this sort of inquiry is that it's almost always best to contact a personal injury attorney early. In fact, delaying too much on getting a lawyer could even ruin your case.
While you might worry about costs, your lawyer is going to have to do more or less the same work regardless of when you hire them. The issue is that some of that work gets harder over time.
This is where timeliness becomes important. It's very easy to sabotage a personal injury case if you don't have an expert advising you on what to do. If you say the wrong thing or miss the wrong deadline, your case could be DOA.
A personal injury court case is a sensitive thing and is often won or lost before anything comes to trial. Key for both sides is going to be gathering evidence supporting or detracting from the claims being made.
The issue is that the average person is not equipped for this task on their own. Meanwhile, unlike a criminal case, the impotence is mainly going to be on you (and your representation) to do that gathering, rather than the police.
Don't underestimate what it is a personal injury lawyer does. There is a great deal of complicated work ahead. You need a lawyer to help you do it and you'll want that help soon if you hope to get the best result for your case.
You're Navigating a Legal Minefield
Personal injury claims are complex. That said, at a very basic level, two things need to occur for the case to go in your favor.
First, they must prove the defendant is liable for what happened. Are they, as far as the law is concerned, responsible for your injury?
Second, your lawyer must prove the extent of the damages that occurred. While proving liability will land you some payout, it is proving the damages to you, physically and emotionally, that decide its amount.
By extension, your opposition is trying to disprove their liability and downplay the extent of the damages you received. The issue many people run into is not realizing what can help them do this.
Regardless of how valid your claims may be, certain things can make your case much harder. For example, if you can be quoted discussing how your injuries "aren't so bad" it can do real harm even if you were only being polite.
Contacting a lawyer immediately will allow you to be coached on some of the common ways the suing party stumbles in this regard. They'll make sure you are more deliberate in your words and actions leading up to your case.
If this sounds underhanded, remember that you're not being coached to lie. Your lawyer is only going to help make sure you don't tank your case.
Personal Injury Lawyers Can Focus
If you've been injured, especially bad enough that you can't work or otherwise want to sue, the chances are good you need someone in your court sooner rather than later.
Preparing for a personal injury case doesn't only take legal expertise but a substantial time commitment. There will be a good deal of research and the previously mentioned evidence gathering that needs to occur.
Beyond the fact most people don't have the knowledge to fully perform these tasks, an injured person also probably can't focus on them. Either you'll still need to go to work or you're so hurt that it will be hard to do much anyway.
A lawyer can "handle the hard part," so to speak, but only if you've hired one on. They can also answer questions and concerns from the position of an expert, often answering in minutes what would take much longer looking it up online.
Lawyers Bring Needed Expertise
The odds are quite high that you are not proficient in personal injury law. The vast majority of the public isn't and it's a complex field even if you decide to look into it as it becomes more relevant to you.
For a trained lawyer, personal injury claims may very well be something they've dealt with dozens or more times before. You need that expertise as soon as possible to have the best chance of winning your case.
If you choose a lawyer who specializes in injury cases, then you gain access to someone whose job is to get you justice. They've gone to college for it and have years of training in the skills you now need.
While one can argue the legal system is sometimes too complicated, and that argument has its merits, you're in the system you're in. For the purposes of your case, you need someone who can navigate that complexity.
Hesitation Kills Cases
Personal injury lawyers know that one of the worst things for a case is a delay. It makes your situation look like you don't find it urgent as the defendant has time to cover up or distort important details.
That's why it's important to contact a lawyer, which is something we can help with. If you live near any of the four Daniel Stark offices, we can review your case for free and help get you started on the best path forward.