If something or someone caused you mental or physical pain, you might be wondering if you should hire a personal injury lawyer. You may have been in a car accident where someone else was at fault. Perhaps a health care professional didn’t follow guidelines during treatment or a property owner exposed you to danger. In this article, we’ll look at reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer. We’ll also explain why you shouldn’t put off seeking help in a personal injury case.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Severe or Long-Term Injuries
Even if the party responsible stands by your hospital bed and promises to provide whatever you need, you should call a personal injury lawyer if your injuries are long-term or permanently disabling. When you’re severely injured, you have enough to process without having to think through the rest of your life.
Our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience working with clients in Tyler, Shreveport and Longview. Over the years we’ve come to know what medical experts provide top-notch care and also serve as good witnesses if your case goes to trial.
Psychological Impact of Injury
A long-term injury is one that lasts for a year or more. A permanent injury is one that disables you for life. The Injury Severity Score evaluates trauma severity on a six-point scale. The psychological impact is harder to assess.
Doctors might take X-rays, run scans and perform tests to evaluate your skeleton, muscles, nerves and internal organs. Gradually they form a picture of the damage you incurred. However, your emotions and mental processes might be just as fractured. What’s harder to see is how you’re coping emotionally. It’s normal to experience the following:
- Sadness, hopelessness or depression
- Anger and frustration
- Irritability and impatience with those providing care
- Appetite changes and sleep disturbances
- Crying or emotional outbursts
An injury is isolating, so you may feel lonely and like no one else understands. While you’re dealing with new medication, physical therapy and an altered lifestyle, you also have to process the psychological repercussions.
Medical tests and scans don’t show the psychological impact of personal injury. You can’t put that on a scale of one to ten. You’re not at your best mentally, so it’s important to have an expert on your side. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help calculate what your injuries are worth.
Financial Impact of Severe or Long-Term Injury
The financial impact of a severe or long-term injury isn’t just about when or if you can go back to work. There’s also more to it than just paying your doctor bills.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) publishes research, reviews and editorials on health-related issues. They studied trauma patients between 16 and 45 years of age injured severely enough to receive care at trauma centers. When JAMA reviewed one-year treatment charges they found “traumatic injuries rank among the most costly of conditions.”
The need for ongoing medical care is only part of the expense. Individuals might require direct services like vocational rehabilitation, adapted vehicles, mental health support, prosthetic appliances, in-home care or other support. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help calculate damages according to:
- the types of services needed
- How long you could require care
- The level of financial resources available to pay for your care
Talk to a Lawyer When You’re Not Sure About Injury Severity
A low-speed car accident or a minor slip and fall can still damage your body in ways that aren’t apparent at first. You don’t have to be severely injured to have a case. It’s a good idea to talk to an attorney even when what happened seems minor.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Insurance Carrier Discussions
Sometimes people have a car wreck or incur an injury on someone else’s property and the situation is clear-cut. The person at fault didn’t mean to do it and they’re sorry they injured you. They have adequate insurance coverage and you receive what you feel is adequate compensation.
If that were what happened to you, you probably wouldn’t be reading this page. You’re researching when to hire a personal injury lawyer because things have gotten tricky.
Sometimes people skip the lawyer. You can file a personal injury claim yourself. People reason doing so will save on legal fees. If you had a car accident, you’ll deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If incorrect healthcare treatment caused the injury, you’ll contact the doctor’s medical malpractice insurer. For premises liability cases, contact occurs between you and home or property owner’s insurance agency.
Those companies hire experts to investigate your case, but they aren’t on your side. Their job is to keep your case out of court and pay as little as possible. If you file a lawsuit the company will have to pay legal fees on top of whatever damages the court might award.
Insurance adjusters will weigh some of the same factors the court takes into account:
- The medical bills and costs you’ve already been billed as well as what you might need in the future
- How much money you lost from being off work
- The pain and suffering you experienced
- Whether you experienced emotional distress
Usually, they use a formula to decide what the insurance company should offer. Their goal is to pay as little as possible. It’s what they do for a living.
What we do for a living is represent the victims. We take your rights seriously, and our priority is pursuing a fair settlement.
When Insurance Won’t Pay
Sometimes negotiations break down or the insurance company refuses to pay. While it’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer right after your injury, it isn’t too late until the statute of limitations runs out. Most of the time in Texas that occurs two years after the date you incurred the injury.
Insurance Bad Faith is when insurance companies are dishonest. If they deny your claim without giving a reason, fail to conduct a timely and complete investigation, make threats or misrepresent the law, they could be held accountable.
If Multiple Parties are Involved, Find a Personal Injury Lawyer
When more than one party might be liable for your injuries, you need a professional on your side. If more than one person was hurt or mulitple parties contributed to what happened, things get complicated fast. There might only be so much settlement money to pay damages. Multiple insurance companies might each bring their own expert.
Talk to a Lawyer if You Think You’re Partly at Fault
Liability isn’t always one-sided. Sometimes the injured defendant was partly at fault for what happened. If that’s you, don’t automatically assume you just have to live with what happened. You should still call a personal injury lawyer. Comparative fault is an important concept in personal injury cases that often allows victims to still receive some compensation.
We’ll Review Your Case for Free
It won’t cost you anything to talk to a member of our team. In fact, if you don’t receive a settlement you don’t owe us anything, ever. We only charge you if we are successful in obtaining a recovery for you. Schedule your free consultation today.