When Is the Best Time to Hire a Lawyer in Burlington, Vermont?

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Burlington, VT Personal Injury Lawyer

When you are hurt or harmed by someone else's negligence, it's natural to want the wrongdoer to pay. Serious injury and tragic loss often compel people to seek out legal remedies. While we understand you may not be excited about the prospect of working with an attorney, there must be a reason why you're researching when to hire a lawyer. Burlington area residents have many options when it comes to their choices for personal injury lawyers, and we understand that. This article will demonstrate why Morgan & Morgan Law Firm is your best option and under what circumstances you should reach out to us.

While we wish you had never been given a reason to hire a personal injury lawyer, sometimes life just doesn't work out that way. Here is our advice on when to hire a lawyer in Burlington, Vermont.

When You've Been Hurt

When you get hurt, you might look for a personal injury lawyer because that's what we specialize in, personal injury claims. Most times, people seek out help when they've gotten seriously injured or lost someone tragically in an accident. We recommend you talk to a lawyer quickly under these circumstances. However, even if you have minor injuries or aren't sure you're hurt, it's still a good idea to talk to a lawyer. Many times minor injuries can create long-term issues.

Even if you think you are partially responsible for your injuries, Vermont negligence laws follow the principle of modified comparative negligence. This means even if you have some fault, you still have the right to pursue compensation unless you are 51 percent or more responsible for the accident. If you are 50 percent or less responsible, you still have a valid claim.

As for timing, we always recommend talking to one of our personal injury lawyers as quickly as possible after being hurt in an accident or after being harmed by someone else's negligence. The quicker we can get on a case, the better chances we have of preserving valuable evidence and conducting a thorough investigation. Time is of the essence when pursuing legal claims. The more time we have, the more opportunity we have to maximize your compensation.

When You File an Insurance Claim

The next best time to hire a lawyer is when you file an insurance claim, even if you're filing with your own insurance company. At this juncture, you're trying to get compensated for your accident, and you're at your most vulnerable. Insurance companies know this and use it to work against you. Yes, even your own insurance company. 

We believe it's critical to have an attorney represent you, especially before talking to the other party's insurance adjusters. Many people don't understand how hard insurance companies work to minimize payouts. When people file claims, this affects their bottom line, so they will use tactics to reduce their financial obligations.

Often, the other party's insurance company will reach out initially with either a lowball offer, or they will want to interview you in an attempt to get you to slip up and claim partial responsibility. This is a fault-finding expedition. It would be best if you never talked to them without the advice of an attorney. We can help prepare you for the interview to ensure you don't make any statement that will hurt your chances of compensation.

We don't recommend that you take the first offer, especially if you haven't yet figured out how much your medical costs will be. For example, say your injury will require rehabilitation or future surgeries to correct. If the offer doesn't cover that and you take it, you sign away any chances of further compensation. When an insurance company comes to you right away with an offer, this often means they understand their policyholder is liable for the accident. They are trying to get you off their books for as little as possible.

When you have a lawyer negotiating on your behalf, the insurance company will understand that you mean business. Frequently, our lawyers can get you fair compensation through reputation alone. Morgan & Morgan Law Firm is highly respected in the insurance industry and also highly feared because of our track record. 

We've successfully negotiated tens of thousands of cases. With that kind of experience comes a great deal of clarity on how to proceed with new cases. Personal injury law is the bedrock of our law firm, and we've been protecting victims' rights for over 35 years now. 

When an Insurance Company Denies Your Claim

If you have a valid claim and the insurance company denies your claim, you're likely to need the help of a lawyer to get it sorted out. As previously stated, insurance companies don't like to pay out on claims. When they deny your claim, they are signaling they don't think you'll stand up for yourself. 

Insurance companies can deny claims for various reasons. It may be for something as trivial as a missing piece of information. Don't expect them to help you out here either. However, legitimate insurance companies will give a reason as to why the claim is being denied. Some less legitimate insurance companies will operate in bad faith, meaning they use tactics like stalling, threatening, or failing to conduct an investigation. Bad faith insurance tactics could make you eligible for even more compensation because it is illegal.

When you work with our personal injury lawyers, we will make sure you're not being taken advantage of by anyone. If necessary, we'll take the insurance company or the policyholder to court to make them pay what you're owed.

When an Insurance Company Doesn't Play Fair

When you receive a settlement offer that doesn't seem fair, it probably isn't. Never assume an insurance company is going to treat you fairly. However, just because your claim is denied or the offer is too low doesn't mean you can't fight back. You don't have to accept their grounds for refusal or a lowball offer if your claim is legitimate.

We can review all the elements of your claim, including the reasoning behind their decision. We look for violations and other aspects of the claim that may have been overlooked or misinterpreted. 

When You Discover an Injury That Was Caused a Long Time Ago

Some injuries aren't apparent right away. For example, mesothelioma can take between 20-50 years to show up after a victim is exposed to asbestos. Other examples of injuries that may take a long time to become apparent are exposure to toxic chemicals, faulty medical device implantations, and even childhood sexual abuse. While there are statutes of limitation, depending on your specific circumstances, there may be ways around it with Vermont's "discovery rule." 

The state recognizes that some injuries cannot be detected right away. The legal remedy is the discovery rule which means the clock doesn't start to tick until you discover or reasonably should have discovered the injury. For this reason, it's important to talk to one of our attorneys so we can evaluate whether you still have a right to pursue compensation.

Before You Run Out of Time

Vermont's statute of limitations for personal injury cases is just three years from the time the injury occurred or when you discovered your injury or reasonably should have. If the statute of limitation has expired, there is virtually no way to get compensated. Personal injury claims against any government entity have additional time restrictions.

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Morgan & Morgan

  • What Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Do for Me?

    First and foremost, we are all about protecting our client's rights. If you suspect someone else is responsible for your injury, you have the right to be compensated. When we represent you, we will work to do the following:

    Locating and preserving evidence - Whether your injury was caused by an accident or incident, there is sure to be evidence left behind. When we go to work for you, we will work tirelessly to locate and preserve this evidence. That's why it's so important to contact us quickly, so evidence doesn't "disappear" or get "altered." We can work to collect any video, eyewitness statements, police records, medical records, logs, cell phone location records, etc., to build a compelling claim on your behalf.

    Identifying liable party(s) - Sometimes, there may be multiple liable parties for your personal injuries. It's our job to identify them, and frequently, the evidence leads us to them. When it comes to injuries that were caused by a business, there may be several parties to look at for liability. For example, in a commercial trucking accident, we could look at the driver, the trucking company, the parts manufacturer, and the company that loads the cargo. Not all personal injury claims have a clear-cut liable party, or you may not even realize there are other parties you could go after.

    Protect you from the insurance company and their lawyers - When you've been injured, we understand the last thing you want to do is deal with the headache and anxiety of dealing with people who don't have your best interests at heart. Our lawyers will step in and do the negotiating for you, but in the end, it's always you who has the final say. We believe you should be healing and recovering instead of going through the hassle of negotiating on your own.

    Representing you in court - Our personal injury lawyers are not shy of the courtroom. While most cases are successfully negotiated out of court, insurance companies sometimes won't play ball. When that happens, we don't just settle for less than what the claim is worth so we can move on to the next. Instead, we will fight for your rights using a judge and jury. Our trial cases often result in up to twenty times more compensation than what was offered pre-trial. 

    If you still have questions concerning when to hire a lawyer, Burlington personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan are ready to help. We understand that each claim is unique and personal. Because of this, we strive to make sure each of our clients feels heard, respected, and legally represented at the highest possible standard. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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