Auto accidents can be disorienting, to say the least. Once the initial shock has worn off, injuries have been treated, and the proper information exchanged, victims can begin putting their lives back together. That might mean dealing with an ever-growing stack of medical bills. And if the accident leaves the victim unable to work, the loss of wages can compound the problem.
At this point, the victim might be asking himself, "Do I need a lawyer?"
Unfortunately, the best answer we can give you to that question is, “Maybe.”
Why You May Hesitate to Call a Lawyer
For many, the prospect of hiring an attorney fills them with apprehension. They might be intimidated by meeting with a lawyer, someone who argues in court and doesn't back down from confrontation. Lawyers also have a specialized education in the finer points of law and understand complex legal issues. Many people fear that they will not be able to understand an attorney and will have trouble communicating with one. Others might feel a stigma associated with "suing" and the unethical, predatory image sometimes associated with lawyers. Many people are concerned about what it will cost to hire an attorney.
Why You Should Not Hesitate
The truth is, without consulting with an attorney, you won’t know for sure whether your accident claim needs one. That is why you should overcome your concerns and contact an attorney, especially if you answer "yes" to one or more of the following questions:
- Did someone else cause the accident?
- Were you riding as a passenger with the driver who caused the accident?
- Were you partly to blame for the accident?
- Were you injured?
- Have you seen a doctor for your injuries?
- Have you avoided treatment because you don't have health insurance?
- Has a doctor refused to see you about your injuries?
- Are you confused because you didn't have auto insurance?
- Were you walking or riding a bike when you were struck by a vehicle?
- Are you calling on behalf of a friend or family member?
- Were you working at the time of the accident?
- Has the insurance company denied your claim?
Victims often rely on the opinions of friends and family when deciding whether to contact an attorney, without receiving any actual legal advice. Most attorneys, however, offer free consultations, so potential clients are under no financial obligation just to discuss their options.
Even if you decide not to hire an attorney, you should at least call one to discuss the legal merits of your case and ensure you don't do anything to damage the potential value of your claim.
Be Selective When Hiring an Attorney
A common assumption is that personal injury attorneys will represent anyone who has been in an accident. That is absolutely untrue. Most high-quality firms are very selective about the cases they accept and the clients they represent. Most law firms reject more cases than they accept.
If you've been injured, you deserve to speak to an attorney who understands your needs and can treat you with all due kindness and respect. When in doubt, contacting an attorney can help protect your rights.
If you're debating whether to hire a lawyer, contact the experienced Indiana injury law firm of Keller & Keller. One of our qualified attorneys will provide a free consultation to help you decide.