After you are injured in an accident and the initial shock wears off, it is only natural to start wondering whether you will be able to recover for the losses you have experienced. While the only way to be certain whether you have a case is to have your accident reviewed by an experienced lawyer, here are three indications that you are legally entitled to recovery.
You Have Suffered an Injury?
Accidents that do not cause injury are not legally actionable, and lawyers have a name for negligence that does not result in damages: “negligence in the air.” Just because someone is acting negligently does not mean that you will be able to recover damages – you need to establish that you have suffered an injury. In this context, “injury” can mean a number of things including emotional harm, property damage, financial loss, and actual physical injury.
Insurance Companies are Contacting You with Settlement Offers.
If an insurance company contacts you after an accident offering you money, it is a safe bet that you have a personal injury claim. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and do not offer accident victims money out of the goodness of their corporate hearts. Importantly, DO NOT ACCEPT AN INSURANCE COMPANY OFFER BEFORE SPEAKING TO AN ATTORNEY. It is notoriously difficult to accurately assess the value of a personal injury claim, and non-lawyers often significantly undervalue the amount that they would be able to recover if they were to go to court. As a result, if you accept an offer without first speaking to an attorney, you may end up recovering substantially less compensation that you would have had you retained a lawyer.
If the At-Fault Party has Retained Legal Counsel.
Let’s say that you were rear-ended by a delivery truck and that the driver gave you his business name and assured you that his or her company would cover the damage to your vehicle. When you try and contact this business, you are quickly told to address any communication regarding the incident to an attorney. This defensive posturing is almost certainly a sign that the other party expects you to file a claim. On the other hand, it may mean that they are considering filing a claim against you. In either case, it is critical to retain a lawyer when you learn that the other party to your accident has done the same.
If you have been involved in an accident, you should retain an attorney immediately. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call Torgenson Law today at (602) 759-0012.