When to Call a Lawyer
April 5, 2014
If you have been injured in a car crash or similar unfortunate event, and it wasn't your fault, you might wonder if and when you should call a personal injury lawyer. Just yesterday I got a call from a woman who was injured last February. She wasn't fully recovered by any means, and it does not look like she will fully recover any time in the future. With serious injuries like that, a phone call to an attorney right after the fact is usually a good idea.
Immediately after someone is injured, if the defendant is an insurance company or large corporation, they immediately begin collecting facts regarding the incident. They take statements from everyone involved, they may even have an investigator visit the scene and take photographs. They do this because they know that memories fade over time, and accident scenes may change. It is vital (and they understand this) to collect the information as soon as possible after the event.
An injured person should take heed of this. There is a reason why this is being done, and you, as the injured person or as the injured person's family, need to protect yourselves by doing the same thing.
It doesn't cost anything to call me or a qualified personal injury lawyer and talk to us on the phone, trade emails, or come into the office. I probably talk to 10 people about their cases and only accept two or three of those. I don't mind giving free advice. One of the reasons I got into this business was because I wanted to help people. Sometimes the best advice I can give someone is that they don't have a case that has enough merit to proceed. That way they can focus on other things and move on with their lives.
Earlier this morning I had to email a woman and tell her that she had no case. She tripped over a chair that was in plain sight at a department store in Phoenix. The chair was positioned behind a supporting pillar, and she came around the corner, not looking where she was going, and tripped over it. She did sustain some broken bones and was reasonably seriously injured, but damages are just part of the case. The other part is liability, and without liability damages don't matter.
If, on the other hand, the case does have merit, or might have merit sometime in the future, it's good to get involved from the beginning, rather than waiting months or (worse yet) years. You won't know for sure if you have a case until you talk to someone like me who has been in this business for 30+ years. All of this knowledge is free, so why not ask?