PI might stand for “private investigator” on your favorite crime drama, but when it comes to you or a loved one being seriously injured in an accident, these initials stand for “personal injury,” and the person who can help you obtain proper restitution is a PI lawyer.
What Is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury involves bodily harm. In most cases, the harm has been caused by the negligence of another. Common types of personal injury claims include vehicle accidents (car, truck or motorcycle), slip and fall claims, workplace (including agriculture) injuries, medical malpractice, product liability, and premises liability (where a person is injured on another’s property).
Hire an Attorney As Soon As Possible
Overall, it’s best to hire a PI lawyer sooner rather than later. As time passes, critical facts about the accident or your injury can be forgotten. A personal injury attorney can help investigate the accident scene and ensure you properly document your injury. A PI lawyer can also help you work through the legal process, consult with medical experts, and communicate with any insurance companies investigating the claim. A PI lawyer will advise you on how much information to reveal, either to others, including friends, or on social media.
You should also be aware of the statute of limitations for personal injury. This is the deadline by which you must file a claim. Generally, in Georgia, you have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit.
The Time to Hire a PI Lawyer
But how do you know if you should hire a personal injury attorney? A number of factors are involved in that decision:
- How serious was the accident? If your injury was significant, and you suffered anything from broken bones to paralysis, you should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer and evaluating whether to file a claim. A personal injury attorney can help seek restitution for medical expenses and also help evaluate future medical needs, particularly if you were hospitalized or required surgery, rehabilitation, or physical therapy. The more serious the injuries the more likely it is the other side will blame you or your loved one for the wreck – even if it would appear clear to most people the wreck was not your fault. It is imperative you quickly hire a lawyer who will document the scene and collect all the evidence necessary to fight back against the other side’s often baseless defenses.
If you were in a car accident, consider the damage to your car, whether you or any passengers required medical care, and whether anyone had to miss work due to the accident. If anyone required medical care or the damage was more than a fender bender, consider contacting a PI attorney to discuss your options. If no one was hurt, then you may be able to handle the claim on your own.
- Is it clear who was at fault? If it’s not readily apparent who is liable for your injury, then contacting a PI lawyer can help determine the proper party. In a car crash, even with a detailed accident report, it can sometimes be difficult to determine exactly who was negligent and therefore at fault. In a truck accident, faulty maintenance or a manufacturing issue can also play a role in the accident and determine who is responsible.
- Have you been contacted by insurance representatives? If it’s clear who was responsible for your injury, in all likelihood that person has contacted their insurer, and you are going to receive a call from an adjuster. The adjuster is likely to ask for all medical records and your statement, and will probably also ask you to sign a release allowing access to your medical history. It’s important to contact a PI lawyer before signing anything or releasing information to the adjuster. The insurance representative is looking for preexisting conditions or any other issue to argue a reduction in your injury claim. The representative may claim to have your best interests at heart and discourage you from hiring an attorney. Remember: the insurance adjuster represents the at-fault party and has a goal to pay out as little money as possible.
Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Team at The King Firm
If you or someone you love was injured in an accident where another party was negligent, you might be eligible for compensation. At The King Firm, our team has the experience and knowledge necessary to pursue the best possible results in your case. Contact us today at 229-515-8585 for a free case consultation.