Automobile accidents are fairly common occurrences in the United States. Many are simply fender-benders, and outside of some damaged metal, no one is seriously injured. Most drivers are respectful of the law, and if they strike another vehicle, they will cooperate and exchange insurance information and take responsibility.
How Do You Know When to Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm?
You may have seen ads for a personal injury attorney around town, but you either thought you would never need one yourself or that they were unnecessary in general. The truth is, most people truly don’t understand exactly what’s involved in a personal injury claim and how working with an attorney can not only help but also may be a critical step to getting you the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in an accident and you’re asking yourself, “Do I need an attorney for a personal injury claim?” or, “How can a personal injury attorney help me with my case?” it’s time to get your facts straight. From our offices in St. Louis, Missouri, our team at The Law Office of Steve Slough is proud to help accident victims around the area, including St. Louis County, St. Charles County, and Madison County, Missouri, as well as those located in St. Clair County, Illinois. We have the compassion, knowledge, and resources to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Common Personal Injuries
Accidental injuries can happen to anyone in nearly any situation. No matter how careful and cautious you are in life, you can never fully account for others’ negligence or unexpected hazards. At our firm, we have experience helping accident victims process claims for a variety of reasons:
slip and fall accidents
drunk driving accidents
premises liability claims (when you’re injured on someone else’s property)
product liability claims (such as a defective consumer product)
snow, water & ice injuries
Knowing When to Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm
After an injury—even a minor one—you may be wondering “When should I contact a personal injury attorney?” While it’s true that not every incident requires the aid of an attorney, you may be surprised at what one can do for you. However, there are a few basic questions you should ask yourself before you get started.
Is Missouri a fault or no-fault state?
One of the first steps to understanding anytime you’ve been injured and are in need of compensation is whether your state is considered an “at-fault” or a “no-fault” state. For car accidents, Missouri is an at-fault state. This means that whoever caused the accident is also the one legally responsible for paying any damages that occurred due to their negligence. You’ll have to file a claim with the at-fault driver and begin negotiations with an insurance adjuster to win compensation. If you’re unsure about this process, it is vital to contact a lawyer.
Are my injuries serious?
After an accident, you should seek medical attention immediately, even if you think your injuries are minor. Only by consulting with a doctor will you understand the full extent of your injuries which can negatively impact your life for months or even years after the accident, and you need to be sure all your expenses are covered. This includes all medical care, rehabilitation services, and related expenses like current and future lost wages.
Am I unsure about my options?
Most people aren’t prepared for the amount of time and work it takes to file and follow up on a personal injury claim. Working with a local lawyer can reduce your stress level and help you understand what your choices are.
Do I need help dealing with insurance?
In most cases, an insurance adjuster will call you within a day or two of your accident and want to talk to you about your experience. They are trying to wrap up your claim as quickly as possible and get you to agree to a low-ball settlement. You may feel pressure to make a statement or to agree to their initial offer, but you shouldn’t do this. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf and ensure you aren’t pressured into taking actions that could negatively affect your claim.
Do I need help to prove negligence?
Establishing proof of negligence on the part of the other party is not easy and requires meticulous documentation and evidence. Your lawyer can help you gather and organize this evidence and use it to maximize your final settlement.
Things to Ask a Personal Injury Attorney
Before you hire an attorney, you’ll need to ensure you’re working with a reputable firm that’ll be responsive to your needs. You can help determine this by finding out a few key facts first.
What should I ask a personal injury attorney?
What kind of experience do you have working on cases like mine?
Who will I be in regular contact with regarding my case?
Are you willing to take my case all the way to trial?
What’s your fee structure?
How will you work to get my full compensation?
Get the Detailed Legal Guidance You Deserve
If you’d like to learn more about how a personal injury attorney can help you during this difficult time, contact us at The Law Office of Steve Slough in St. Louis, Missouri. Our team will provide assistance while keeping your best interests in mind during these challenging times.
Unfortunately, car crashes happen far more frequently that anyone would like, and every day accident victims are forced to begin the long and often complicated process of addressing their injuries and seeking compensation for their expenses.
You set out on a sunny morning to go shopping or have lunch with friends, and all of a sudden, another car plows into you. Your car is damaged, and you’re jostled about and suffer injuries. It’s not your fault, but you still must deal with the property damage and your own injuries.