Had an injury that wasn’t your fault? You might need an accident attorney

Health and safety practices are, by and large, stringently enforced, but sometimes oversights, negligence and can lead to accidents.

The results of such accidents can include hospitalisation, medical costs, lost working hours and, of course, the physical and emotional toll of being injured. Some employers offer sick pay, but if the accident is not the fault of the employee, then why should they lose out on benefits, as well as the opportunity to remain in work?

What can you do if this happens, and what qualifies for a legal case?

According to law specialists WardBlawg[1], “Some of the most common types of injury claim in America include accidents at work (where you’d sue your employer / their insurer), road traffic accident claims (where you’d sue the driver responsible for your accident / their insurer), slips / falls in public places and medical malpractice. There are, of course, many other types of accident claims, some of which are very niche and for which specialist types of personal injury lawyers should be considered.”

Upon having an accident at work, for example, there are three basic steps, as recommended by Roddy Tyrrell, publisher of Lawyer.ie & Principal of Tyrrell Solicitors[2]:

  • Seek medical assistance
  • Report the incident
  • Seek legal advice

It’s worth noting that no legal proceeding is a quick or instantly lucrative pursuit, however, sometimes things need to be taken that step further. Having a clear plan and the right information to hand can make all the difference when choosing the most qualified person to fight your case.

An Accident Attorney aka Personal Injury Lawyer can help

There are a number of key factors to consider when looking for assistance after an injury. Enjuris[3], a site which specialises in personal injury guides (and even offer a free ebook on the subject) provide a superb initial checklist, which every potential client should consult before embarking on a potential legal situation.

They advise against choosing your accident attorney based on heavy TV, billboard or bus shelter advertising, instead urging potential clients to seek out the websites of possible representation and reading carefully through them.

In an interview with the site, Mack Babcock, a workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney in Denver, Colorado, said “In my experience, the more reputable lawyers are putting their efforts into providing value before they even meet you through the information they publish online. I would recommend you take some time to read through an attorney’s website to get a sense of who they are and then reach out.”

Based in part on the Enjuris top tips[4], here are the main points to consider before you choose an accident attorney.

Ask around to see if friends or family can refer you to someone – A personal recommendation can make all the difference when it comes to sensitive matters such as accountancy and law. These are, after all, your most private affairs, so it’s vital that you trust the professional who will be handling them. Make sure to check in with people you know to see if any of them have had a similar situation.

Don’t be afraid to talk about fees – It’s best to get an estimate, or at least broach the topic of fees when it comes to taking on an attorney. Don’t hope for the best and wait for the bill. Make sure that all costs and potential fees are highlighted from the very beginning.

Look for suitable attorneys online – Doing some solid research online is easier than ever. With a little savvy, or the assistance of someone you trust, it won’t take long to locate a suitable legal representative. There’s even a site which specifically highlights the top 100 personal injury attorneys[5] in your area.

Follow your instinct – Sometimes, if something doesn’t seem right, it’s for a reason. Don’t feel obliged to go with the first attorney you speak with. Wait until you find someone who truly understands your situation, and is willing to get fully behind you.

Verify your legal representative’s qualifications – Make sure that the person who you’re entrusting with your case is properly qualified and permitted to practice law in your area. Be vigilant and thorough.

Ensure that your chosen attorney will handle your case personally – No one wants to be passed on to the intern to deal with, so make sure in those initial meetings that the attorney with whom you liaise is also the one who will be handling your case.

In short, be informed and be careful!

 

  1. According to law specialists WardBlawg
  2. Tyrrell Solicitors
  3. Enjuris
  4. Enjuris top tips
  5. 100 personal injury attorneys