When Should You Hire A Personal Injury Attorney?

Personal injury cases are common, and some can easily be solved without the help of an attorney. Many minor car accidents, for example, may lead to no injuries and minimal damage. However, there are some instances in which you should hire a personal injury attorney to help better prove your case. If you would like to know more, check out these three instances when you should hire an accident lawyer.

1. You Live in a Contributory Negligence State

If you live in a state that follows contributory negligence laws and the courts/insurance carrier is accusing you of being remotely responsible, get an attorney. In Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, your settlement is $0.00 if you are found to be at all responsible for the accident.

In most other states, you will get reimbursed as long as you are not mostly responsible (comparative negligence). Some states require you to be less than 50 percent responsible, and others state you must be less than 51 percent responsible to qualify for a settlement. A few states follow pure comparative negligence laws, which means anyone involved can seek a settlement for the portion that was not their fault.

2. The Accident Occurred in a Different State

If the accident occurred while you were in a different state, you should contact an attorney ASAP, but contact one that is located in the state in which the accident occurred. Don't wait to get back to your own state to report the accident and file a claim. You want a local attorney for several reasons.

First, they know the local laws, which is incredibly important because the court will use the laws of the state in which the accident occurred to decide your settlement. Second, they know the local court system and the people who work in it. This gives them a better starting point to negotiation vs. an out-of-state attorney that no one knows.

3. It's Hard to Prove Duty of Care and/or Negligence

You can only sue someone for a personal injury if they had a duty of care and they breached that duty of care by being negligent. Luckily, duty of care is often assumed when you drive. It's assumed that you understand you have a duty of care to drive responsibly and avoid accidents. Therefore, if negligence led to an accident and resulting injuries, you can sue.

However, if you cut through a fence to trespass onto someone's property and trip over uneven ground, you can't sue. If they invited you, however, and you tripped, you may have a case. Once the person invites you or allows you onto the property, they have accepted a duty of care. If you are struggling to prove duty of care, you need an attorney to give you your best shot.

Ideally, you won't be involved in a personal injury case, but if you are, you may need an attorney to help you fight. If you would like to know more or if you want to schedule a consultation for a personal injury you sustained, contact an attorney in your area today.