Why Should I Speak to a Lawyer After I Have Been Injured?
Let’s clarify this: Not only should you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after being injured, but you should speak to a lawyer before speaking to anyone else involved, and even if you think your injuries are minor. Here are a few key reasons why:
- Insurance companies look for reasons not to pay. If you speak to an insurance company without a lawyer’s advice, you risk saying something the company can use as an excuse not to pay you, or to pay you less than the amount to which you’d otherwise be entitled. In many cases, this tactic is masked as an over-eagerness to settle quickly; the sooner they get you to agree to a settlement amount, the less they believe the amount will be – and once you agree to an amount, it is difficult to change later. Always talk to an attorney before speaking to the other party’s insurance company, and defer to your lawyer before accepting any settlement offer.
- The extent of your injuries may not be evident immediately. You may feel fine now, but accidents often cause internal injuries that may not be apparent until hours or days after the event. If you don’t seek medical attention or otherwise give the injuring party reason to believe you’re okay when you really aren’t, it makes it more difficult to claim damages later. We recommend getting checked out by a doctor as soon as possible after an accident, followed by consulting an attorney to know your rights in case other medical complications emerge.
- The other party might try to sue you. Many clients who get injured in an accident are surprised to discover, ironically, that the injuring party actually tries to file a suit or countersuit against them, claiming some sort of damage or negligence that led to the accident. Hiring an attorney not only serves as a deterrent to this sort of behavior, but it also gets a legal professional in your corner right away, bettering your chances both in or out of court.