The aftermath of an injury can be stressful and difficult. If your injury is serious you may be dealing with the medical community to get proper medical treatment, you may be losing wages, and you may have other damages and inconveniences in your life for both you and your family.
If your injury was caused by the fault of another person, you may also have to decide whether or not you should seek the advice of an attorney.
One thing to remember when deciding whether or not to consult with an attorney after an injury, is that most personal injury attorneys, and the injury attorneys at Pentlarge Law Group, do not charge for a consultation to determine whether or not we can help you. In addition, if we think we can help you and take your case, we do not charge any money up front. Rather, we work on a contingency fee agreement, and only get paid for our time if we make a recovery for you. If we decide that we cannot help you and do not take your case, there is never a charge for the consultation, regardless of how much time we have spent with you.
Many injured people think the decision about whether or not they should hire an attorney is merely a financial decision. It is not. Here are the things we recommend you consider:
1. Will the attorney take the case on contingent fee bases (we always do).
2. Will the attorney charge me any money up front (we never do).
3. Do I want to handle the legal issues myself, or would I rather have an attorney handle them for me?
4. Will the experience of an attorney help me prove my case and obtain a better recovery?
Of course, every injured person wants to know whether or not they will end up with more money in their pocket if they hire an attorney or if they handle it themselves. No attorney can guarantee that, after you take into consideration their fee, you will end up with more in your pocket than if you handled the matter yourself. However, at Pentlarge Law Group, it is our experience that the more serious your injuries, the larger your losses, or the more complex your case, the more likely it is that you will receive more in compensation, even after paying your attorney’s fees, than you would receive if you handled the matter on your own.
At Pentlarge Law Group it is our opinion that if your case is simple, or only involves minor injuries, and if you are willing to do some research and perform the work in a serious and professional manner yourself, you may not necessarily need an attorney. However, the more serious your injuries, the greater your losses, or the more complex your case, you should seriously consider retaining an attorney. At Pentlarge Law Group we can help you evaluate your case in a free consultation, answer all of your questions, and tell you our opinions in a fair and honest way. There is never a charge for this consultation. We never pressure you to retain us.
In serious injury cases or cases involving large losses or damages or complex issues, it may be very important for you to retain an attorney immediately. The reason for this is that the attorney may want to perform an immediate investigation to help preserve the facts that are important to the case about things such as liability, causation, and injuries. The attorney may also want to make sure to provide the insurance company with adequate information immediately following the accident to allow the insurance company to appreciate the seriousness of the case. This is often a very important factor in allowing your attorney to get a fair resolution of your case at a later date.
You should also consider the Statute of Limitations. (See our blog on Statute of Limitations.) You must either settle your case against the person causing your injury, or file a lawsuit against them, within 2 years of the date your accident occurs. An attorney can help you settle your case or file the lawsuit prior to the expiration of the Statute of Limitations. If you fail to settle your case or file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, your rights against the party causing your injury may be forever lost. In cases where you might hire a lawyer, it is important not to wait until the last minute to hire a lawyer. Lawyers are less likely to take your case if a long period of time has passed since the accident or the statute of limitations is quickly approaching. The statute of limitations for most personal injury is 2 years. However, there are different time limitations for different types of cases and you should always seek the advice of an attorney about the applicable statute of limitations of your case.
If we think we can help you and are willing to take your case the decision is yours. You do not have to hire us or any other attorney. We still will not charge for our consultation. However, if you decide you want to hire us, we will sign a fee agreement setting forth the terms of our contingent fee representation.
It is difficult in a short blog to discuss all of the issues that might come up when you consider whether or not you should retain an attorney after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured, feel free to call us, or send a web contact from the many locations on our website to do so, to discuss your case. After you contact us, we will determine whether or not it is appropriate to set up a free in-office consultation. We are here to help injured Alaskans.