If you or a loved one is injured, you may not know where to turn. Your first priority should be recovery. However, once the hospital bills start to arrive, or the insurance company calls, you may start to feel overwhelmed. Dealing with an injury claim can be a full-time job, and you may not have the time or energy to deal with everything on your own. You may want to contact an attorney to handle the injury claim, but are unsure when or how to find the right lawyer for your case.
Even if you don't know if you have a valid claim, there are a number of reasons why you may want to contact an attorney immediately after you are injured due to someone else's negligence. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney will make sure your claim is filed in time, all responsible defendants are identified, negotiate the best settlement offer, and fight for you all the way, until you get the compensation and fair treatment you deserve.
When to Contact an Attorney?
If you are at all unsure of whether you should talk to an attorney, you should err on the side of caution. With a free consultation, you have nothing to lose. However, if you don't contact a lawyer, you may have a lot to lose. You may be left with tens of thousands in medical bills, lost wages, lost income, and serious harm to you and your family.
Many people don't think they have a legal claim, and blame themselves for the injury, or think it was just an accident. However, in many of these cases, someone's negligent actions may have caused or exacerbated the injury. Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you identify whether you may have a claim, often times, with no out-of-pocket cost to you.
Ask yourself about the events that led up to the injury or incident, and you may soon realize you have a better case than you initially thought.
Who may be responsible for my injuries?
Very few injuries occur in a total vacuum. Someone else or some entity is usually involved. Think about a simple trip and fall on the sidewalk. If there was an uneven sidewalk, someone likely knew about that dangerous defect, and should have understood that it could lead to a slip and fall injury. If the dangerous sidewalk is part of city property, they may have known about the problem, and failed to fix it. If the dangerous feature caused your injury, the city should be held liable.
As another example, a bicycle messenger may run a stop sign, and knock you over. Even if they take responsibility, they may tell you they have no money and no insurance to pay for your injuries. After going to the hospital to have your injuries treated, you may think you have no real claim for damages, since the bicycle messenger doesn't have any money. However, if the messenger was working when the injury occurred, his employer may be held liable for the employee's negligence. The employer will likely be insured, and have the resources to compensate your for your injury, even if the employee cannot.
What events led up to the incident?
Many injuries occur in the blink of an eye. It may be difficult to recall exactly what happened leading up to the incident. It may be a good idea to try and write down what happened, soon after the injury. Taking photos and video on your smartphone can help you record evidence of the scene of the injury, including the time, date, location, and other helpful information for your case. This can also help your attorney when you decide to file a claim for your injuries.
How have you been affected?
After an injury incident, you may think your damages are limited to your physical injuries. This may have resulted in medical bills for your treatment and pain management, but you may have suffered in other ways that are not so obvious. Emotional pain can be just as costly as physical pain, and can require additional services such as mental health counseling. If someone caused your injury, they should compensate you not only for your medical bills, but for the pain and suffering you've endured as well.
Injuries can impact all aspects of your life, including the way you interact with your friends and family, and your enjoyment of life. You may have also missed days off of work. In some cases, injuries may mean that you are limited in what jobs you can take on, limiting you in your future earning capacity. All of these injuries can really add up, and the person responsible should be the one who pays for the damages they caused.
Should you contact a lawyer?
If you think you may have a claim, or if you are unsure whether you may have a claim, you should contact an attorney as soon as you are able to. In some cases, there may be a time limit to when you can file your claim. For claims involving state or city agencies, such as SEPTA, you may have to file a notice of your claim within 6 months of the incident or accident. If you wait too long, your claim may be automatically denied.
Contact Your Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys
If you were injured and don't know if you should contact an attorney, err on the side of caution. With a free consultation, your personal injury attorney will be able to advise you on your claim at no cost to you. Contact the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian to get the help you need to file your case, and get the compensation you deserve. Our experienced attorneys have years of experience handling personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Contact our office today.