When Do I Need to Hire a Serious Injury Lawyer?
According to the CDC, there are about 130 million emergency room visits across the US annually. If you were injured as a result of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
A serious injury lawyer can help you reach a settlement and get coverage for medical bills, lost wages, and more. Read on to learn when you need to hire an attorney after being injured in an auto accident.
What Is a Serious Injury?
A serious injury is usually defined as physical trauma to the body by an external force. These bodily injuries typically need immediate medical treatment and can create a substantial risk of death or cause permanent disfigurement or disability.
Types of Serious Car Accident Injuries
There are many forms that a “serious injury” may take. You also may have lost function entirely or require lifelong medical care.
Substantial Risk of Death
Many serious injury cases arise because the victim was at risk of death. Examples may include comatose victims, those who were severely burned, or those that sustained many broken bones. Traumatic brain injury and severe brain damage also qualify as a substantial risk of death.
Protracted and Obvious Disfigurement
Burns, severe cuts, loss of body parts, and permanent scarring can lead to visible disfigurement. This can severely impact a victim’s quality of life. You may be entitled to compensation for discrimination you face and the ramifications of a disability.
Loss of a Body Part or Mental Faculty
Amputations are the loss of a limb, finger, or toe after an incident. This traumatic experience can lead to many psychiatric disorders that impair your quality of life and require hospitalization. Many people with serious injuries lose a limb or have impaired cognitive function after a brain injury.
Impaired Function in a Body Part of Mental Faculty
Some serious injury patients do not need an amputation or 24/7 care because of mental faculty loss. They may instead become paralyzed or mentally disabled. Even if the person can still care for themselves, they are usually entitled to serious injury compensation.
When Do You Need to Hire a Serious Injury Lawyer?
California is an at-fault state. This means that the at-fault party must cover the injuries of the victims. The person at fault is responsible rather than the state.
California also uses comparative negligence to reduce the damages that a plaintiff can get from an at-fault party after an injury. There are degrees of negligence. When a victim was 40% at fault and the defendant was 60% at fault, the defendant will be responsible for 60% of the damages.
Serious injury lawyers aim to get clients the maximum compensation available for permanent loss of wages, permanent disability, and loss of quality of life are some unique possibilities. This is usually higher compensation than a victim would receive in less severe cases.
If you meet the criteria for a serious injury case, you need to hire an attorney to assist you.
Many serious injury attorneys specialize in the aftermath of car and truck accidents. This makes sense considering that vehicle collisions can cause head injuries, burns from fire, broken bones, and other types of full-body injuries.
Types of Accidents that Commonly Cause Serious Injuries
There are many accident types that often lead to serious injuries:
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Road rage/aggressive driving
All of these activities pose unique threats to others on the road.
What If You Are Unsure if You Have a Serious Injury Case?
All serious injury cases look different. Some people have severe physical disabilities after a collision. These people may have lost limbs, sustained burns, or experienced nerve damage leading to loss of feeling in particular areas of the body.
Others will have no physical damage but will be left with mental and psychological issues. Brain damage leading to memory loss is possible, as is impaired motor function. PTSD also can qualify as a serious injury in some cases.
Since no two serious injury cases are identical, it’s best to contact an attorney when in doubt. They can help you determine whether you qualify for serious injury representation.
If you do not, they can still assist you by opening up an auto accident lawsuit. You likely will qualify for some fair compensation regardless of whether your case qualifies as a “serious injury.”
Why Not Represent Yourself?
If you are physically and mentally able to do so, you may initially like the prospect of representing yourself during the litigation process. However, this is a bad idea for several reasons.
First and foremost, you have undergone a recent trauma. You likely have a lot of emotions regarding the experience that will cloud your memory and reactions. You also may have a condition like PTSD post-collision.
It’s understandable that this may inhibit your ability to represent yourself when negotiating with an insurance company. Insurance companies/adjusters can take advantage of accident victims by playing to their heightened emotions.
Additionally, most healthy people do not know what “fair compensation” entails, let alone how to get it from an insurance agent. A lawyer knows what compensation you are due and how to talk to insurance professionals in order to get it.
How Can You Choose a Serious Injury Attorney?
Hiring an attorney is essential, but it can be challenging to choose a serious injury lawyer. First, consider looking at attorneys that specialize in serious injury cases. Check to see whether or not they also specialize in car crash law – this could also help you post-collision.
Once you find a personal injury lawyer that works for you, make sure that they have a quality educational background and 10+ years of experience. Once you know that, reach out and schedule a consultation.
Schedule an Attorney Consultation Today
Hiring a serious injury lawyer may sound like a challenging process. However, it is a necessary one so that you can get a fair and just settlement after an auto accident.
When you work with Alpha Accident Lawyers, you get the best possible representation without needing to perform much work. We’re committed to helping you come up with a plan for your case and achieve a settlement. Contact us to discuss your individual situation and begin negotiations.