Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beyond a Band-aid®: When to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney

Q: How do I know if I need a personal injury attorney?

People get hurt every day in accidents that are not their fault on the roads, at work, while shopping, at school, or anywhere at all. If you’ve been injured as a result of the negligent, reckless or intentional actions of another person, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. Depending on your particular situation, you could be entitled to compensation for things like medical bills, property damage, lost income, future medical bills related to your injuries, pain and suffering and more.

But not every scrape rises to the level of a personal injury lawsuit or even requires a lawyer’s involvement. So how do you know when it’s time to call an attorney?

The Band-aid® test may help. If you—reasonably-- didn’t seek medical attention, have a minor scrape or bruise, the pain or discomfort doesn’t last more than a day or two, and you’re able to work and perform without compromise as you normally do, you might not need a personal attorney. But if you have been treated for your injuries by a medical doctor, hospital, chiropractor, physical therapist, plastic surgeon, or other medical professional, you should consult with a lawyer. In addition, some injuries aren’t detectable immediately and may emerge several days later, so seek medical attention and an attorney’s advice if that should happen.

The telephone test can also help you decide if you should call a personal injury lawyer. Is someone contacting you? That’s a big clue. If an insurance company representative is calling you—whether they’re from your own insurance company or the other side’s-- you should ideally call an attorney before making any statements to an insurance representative. Insurance agents are in the business to pay you as little as they can in a settlement and may try to get you to make statements that hurt your ability to recover or sue. Experienced personal injury attorneys are on-call 24/7 specifically to help you avoid making damaging statements at or immediately after an accident that may negatively impact the compensation you can recover for your injuries. They will be your voice and get involved in the investigation so that critical evidence and witness statements are preserved to help bolster your claim.

If you don’t call an attorney immediately after the incident, you should at least do so before accepting any settlement offer from an insurance company. Again, they are in business to pay you as little as possible and often make quick offers that look tempting. Sometimes, the offer may be fair, but you won’t know for sure if you’re entitled to more money unless an attorney reviews the particulars of your case.

Still not sure when to call? Then call anyway since it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s best to err on the side of caution and be told you either have no case or should take the insurance company’s settlement offer, rather than risk assessing the claim yourself only to find you would have been entitled to far more compensation than you received.

If you have been injured by the actions of another, the Goldstein Law Firm, in Bronx, New York offers a free consultation. Find out if you have a claim and maximize the amount of compensation you can recover. Call 718-239-0239 or contact us here.

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