I believe our personal service sets us apart from the 1000s of lawfirms which advertise for "personal injury" cases. We don't just use investigators or paralegals to handle your case; at my firm I handle your case. If you can't travel, I will come to you. I will personally read through all of your relevant medical records and prepare a demand specifically taylored to your unique situation. Ultimately, I will try your case if we can't settle.
Right after a wreck the insurance company will try to get to you first. They'll want you to give a recorded statement and sign a release for them to get all of your medical records . . . DON'T DO IT! (you usually DO have a duty to talk with your insurance, however.) Please, call an attorney to handle your case.
The toughest question to answer is: (Follow the link to find out why).
From day one, I start working a case as if I am going to trial. Often when I take over a case for someone who tried to handle it themselves, I wind up doing damage control because the person has messed up something on their case. The old saying that, "He who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer!" is both funny and wise. It is easy to lose objectivity and get caught up in the emotion and "unfairness" of the situation. Your energy is better focused on getting well. Let us handle the insurance company.
To make a claim against someone for injuries, you have to show three things: (#1) Someone did something wrong which (#2) caused you (#3) injury. Many attorneys add in a fourth element of ability to pay. The “wrong” could be simple negligence or an intentional act. That wrong must be the actual cause of your damage. Of course, there is often no point suing if there is no hope of making a recovery (i.e., they have no money or insurance coverage).
Battles are often fought over “causation”. As the person bringing the claim, you have to prove that the other person CAUSED the damage. This can be tricky when there is a pre-existing condition or if you are subsequently injured. Also, sometimes doctors run a battery of unnecessary tests or misdiagnose you. It is important to hire an attorney who understands the intricacies of medico-legal issues.
Understanding the medicine is also important in discussing what the damages are. How will nerve damage affect you? What is a “radiculopathy”? What are the mechanics of a “whiplash” injury. What is the practical effect of your injuries. There is a lot more to presenting a claim than just submitting medical bills. You should hire an attorney who understands the medicine and can argue it effectively.
The other critical reason to hire an attorney is to ensure you are actually compensated. There may be sources of recovery you are unaware of such as your underinsurance policy. It may be necessary to read your insurance policies to see if your own insurance may be obligated to pay.
There are many causes of personal injury for which you are entitled to compensation. The most common one is a car wreck. Another common one is “premises liability” (or "slip and fall" cases); when you get hurt on someone else’s property, they may be responsible. Injuries by animals (dog bites, etc.) are frequent too. Medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States, but these are very specialized and expensive cases (as discussed on the medical malpractice page).