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When to Call a Lawyer: Hurt During the Holidays
If you or someone you know has already been critically hurt in an accident, there’s a chance that you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney.
Kinds of Holiday Accidents
Whether due to travel or otherwise, there are many reasons that accidents can happen over the holiday season. Holiday accidents can include slip and falls, car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, defective product injuries, and others. Although these incidents can happen at any time, your exposure risk is higher during the holidays with more people off of work and out and about. Many people are also focused on getting to their destinations quickly, which can mean they’re distracted and more likely to wind up in an accident.
Even when you do everything possible to decrease your accident risk such as adding extra time for road trips, taking less traveled roads, and doing proper maintenance on your vehicle, you can’t be sure that every other driver is taking the same care. This means you could end up critically hurt.
5 Signs to Call a Lawyer
You might not always need an attorney, but you also don’t want to end up in a situation dealing with complex legal concerns if that could have been avoided. Read on to learn more about some of the situations in which it’s smart to contact an attorney. If you get hurt over the holidays, you should contact a lawyer now for an evaluation of your case.
#1 You’re Really Hurt
Some minor accidents leave behind little to no injuries. In those cases, you can probably handle dealing with the car insurance company and your doctor on your own. However, if you are noticing that you have serious symptoms and might not be able to return to work or have to give up on certain activities you enjoyed pre-accident, this could mean you might want to call a lawyer. There are a few different circumstances in which it’s in your best interests to contact an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer.
If your doctor has already informed you that you will have long lasting injuries, this is a clear sign that you need to contact an attorney. Getting hurt over the holidays can lead to consequences that extend far beyond the holiday season, and you might need to have an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you with filing a legal claim in those situations.
#2 The Insurance Company Won’t Help You
The first line of defense after a holiday accident is probably to file a claim with your insurance carrier. It can be very frustrating to learn as an accident victim that your insurance company does not have your best interest in mind. Far too many car accident victims discover that their insurance company is difficult to deal with or refuses to communicate with them effectively. In these circumstances, it can be very helpful to have an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle the aspect of communication. If the insurance company has been ignoring you up to this point or has been delaying or denying your claim, you might be able to fast-track the resolution of your case by having an experienced personal injury attorney step in. Personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in working directly with these insurance companies and can often spot when they are unnecessarily dragging things on we're giving you misinformation. Furthermore, in the event that you have a bad faith claim against the insurance company, you'll have to already have an existing relationship with a civil litigation attorney.
#3 There Are Multiple Liable Parties
If you get hurt over the holidays, your immediate course of action is to seek medical treatment. But what happens after that fact involves an investigation of the accident scene to determine who could be held liable. In most simple accidents, there is an at-fault party and an injured party. However, if multiple Vehicles were involved or if you have claims against multiple entities, you might have a personal injury claim filed against all of them. As an accident victim, it can be difficult for you to identify these liable parties and to determine the best way to proceed with a legal claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you when you get hurt over the holidays by determining these liable parties and by crafting a compelling claim against them. For example, imagine that you were hurt in a serious truck accident.
You might have a claim directly against the truck driver who was operating the vehicle at the time of the accident. Perhaps your personal injury lawyer, however, discovers that there was defective equipment inside the truck and that the supervisor of the truck driver should have known this during regular maintenance checks. In these circumstances, your personal injury claim can go from one against the truck driver one against three different entities.
Make sure that you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to conduct a full investigation of your individual accident to understand these complex liability issues. If you know that you have a claim against multiple entities, you want to have a lawyer who has handled situations like this before.
#4 You’re Being Accused of Causing the Accident
Post-accident, you might assume that the facts are relatively clear to you. You were hurt in an accident because someone else was negligent and irresponsible. But what happens if the other party involved accuses you of causing the accident either partially or fully? If you're in this situation, you need to understand your State's rules regarding the fault. Certain states have laws about comparative fault that could reduce your ability to recover damages based on the percentage of fault you are assigned in the court. You need to be prepared to respond to this extensively with the help of a personal injury lawyer if you get hurt over the holidays.
You’ll need a lawyer who can help you find the evidence to refute this so that you can protect your own legal rights. It’s a serious matter when someone else says you’re responsible for the accident, and if you don’t know what to expect, this could change the course of your entire legal claim.
#5 You’re Not Sure What to Do Next
Even knowing all of the aspects of likely holiday accidents can leave you with many questions when you are the one hurt on the side of the road. It can be difficult to figure out the extenuating circumstances of your injuries and how this will impact your life in the future, which is a big reason to contact an inexperienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. It is especially important to contact a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in the state in which you were injured if you traveled outside of your home state for the holiday season. You'll need to understand all of the possible ramifications of your various personal injury claim types and the statute of limitations that applies to put a cap on the period of time after an accident after which you are able to file a claim. Of course, as a non-resident, you might not know the specific laws that apply.
Most accident victims don't realize until several days or weeks after the accident has occurred how their life will be shaped. Some of them assume that the fact of filing a personal injury claim or working with a car insurance company will be easy. They can come as an unfortunate surprise to realize that your case is actually much more complicated than you expect, which makes it the perfect opportunity to reach out to call a lawyer if you are hurt during the holidays. You might be tempted to try to go back to work and simply give your body some time to recover, but you could be missing out on important conversation that you're entitled to as a victim as a result of this accident. Don't wait too long to get the support that you need from an experienced attorney, as this might be your only opportunity to get payments for your medical bills and get the support that you need to put this accident behind you.
What to Look for in a Lawyer
Now that you know when to call a lawyer if you're hurt during the holidays, it's important to understand that not every personal injury lawyer is created equal. While many of them will have similar education, you want to look at their background in the number of cases they have handled recently that are similar to yours. You also have the right to choose an attorney who makes you feel confident in their ability to handle your case, so you want to ask about recent cases they have handled and whether those ended in settlement or in trial. The right lawyer will make you feel comfortable during this initial consultation and have a sense of compassion for how your life has been changed because you were hurt during the holidays.
If you’ve already been hurt during the holidays and are concerned about when to call a lawyer, you can contact the experts at Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to see your options and get started.