Wondering if you should call a Rhode Island lawyer after your injury or accident? The answer may surprise you.
Injured in an accident? You’re not alone. According to the CDC, unintentional injuries result in an astounding 30 million visits to the emergency room each year.
After you assess your health situation, one of the first questions on your mind following an accident might be whether or not you should engage a Rhode Island attorney. The answer might surprise you…
You should always seek professional advice from an attorney after an accident. This is true regardless if you think you have a case or if you’re going to file a claim or lawsuit.
With over 30 years of experience in Rhode Island law, we’ve never seen a person regret getting a professional opinion following a personal injury incident. From slips and falls to auto accidents and everything in between, what you don’t know can hurt you.
Here are the top five reasons to discuss your car accident or personal injury with a Rhode Island lawyer:
Reason #1: Time is of the Essence
The timeline of what you do after your accident is critical to your case. The most important factor is your health and wellbeing. If you’re injured, seek immediate medical attention. Doing so ensures proper medical records and helps when the time comes to file a case.
After caring for your health, the next best step is to book a consultation with a lawyer. There are important, time-sensitive deadlines for filing a claim that you don’t want to miss.
One of the worst parts of our job is having to tell someone that they’re unable to receive compensation because they either missed a deadline or worse, completely missed the window to file.
Whether you’re planning on filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, get the ball rolling as quickly as possible.
Reason #2: Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Have An Attorney
In most cases, the last thing your insurance adjuster wants is for you to seek and, ultimately retain, legal counsel. It’s important to remember that although your insurance adjuster is assigned to your case, they’re acting on behalf of their employer. Their goal is to minimize the time and cost associated with your case and ensure they pay you the least possible amount.
Lengthy court processes and associated fees can decimate your insurance companies bottom line. Insurance adjusters are the companies first line of defense against having to reach into their pockets. By stalling or delaying meeting with an attorney, you run the risk of falling victim to this trap.
Another insurance adjuster tactic is to offer you a quick payout or what they deem a “fair” settlement. Accepting this settlement is rarely a good move. Resist the temptation to cash in quick, without consulting a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer is your key to receiving the best possible settlement.
Reason #3: Your Damages Are Often Larger Than You Think
In the days following your accident, you won’t necessarily know how intense your recovery process will be. It can be difficult to discern your limitations and gauge how your injury will impact everyday life.
Unfortunately, the recovery process rarely follows a straight line. This is another reason to decline the insurance adjuster’s quick settlement offer. It’s also one of the top reasons to work with a skilled lawyer. With over 30 years of practice, we’re experts in helping clients recover damages for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, lost wages, and medical expenses. We’ll do the same for you.
Reason #4: Determining Liability Is Complex
Determining who’s at fault in an accident is no easy task. Several factors are at play in deciding liability including, your personal account, statements from witnesses and police, and photographs.
In 2004, The Law Office of Carl P. DeLuca was retained to appeal a Rhode Island judge’s decision in a motor vehicle accident case. At the time, the law only deemed photographs sufficient evidence if accompanied by expert testimony.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court sided with us, and as a result, the Rhode Island law changed. Now, photographs of damage to vehicles involved in a motor vehicle accident are allowed as evidence without the testimony of an expert.
When it comes to assigning liability, Rhode Island is a pure comparative negligence state. Pure comparative negligence means that even if you’re partially at fault in the accident, you may be entitled to collect a portion of the damages.
Accidents that occur at intersections or those resulting from a car pulling out of a parking lot are prime examples of when pure comparative negligence comes into play. Even if you’re at fault for 80% of the accident, you could still be entitled to 20% of compensation.
An experienced attorney is crucial in helping you prove your case. You’ll have the expertise you need by your side, citing references to cases and controlling statutes that support your position.
Reason #5: You Don’t Have To Accept Your Settlement Offer
Though this reason is last in our list, it’s one of the most important reasons to speak with an attorney. Most cases settle out of court, which means the defendant or his insurance company is likely to offer you a settlement. As we stated earlier, your insurance adjuster’s primary objective is to ensure you collect as little as possible.
Often, you’ll receive what’s deemed a “fair” settlement by your insurance adjuster. These adjusters represent their employers best interest and know how to negotiate to win. The first settlement offer you hear is likely a lowball offer. A skilled attorney will help you understand if the settlement is fair and determine whether or not you should settle at all.
If you remember only one point in this article, let it be this:
Once you settle, you give up your right to sue or receive further compensation—forever. A personal injury attorney will help you through the process, so you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
We often hear from people who are stuck paying bills resulting from an accident someone else carelessly caused. Several factors contribute to this, including:
– Missing a critical deadline to file a claim or suit in time
– Filing a claim or lawsuit against the wrong parties
– Suing for the wrong damages
– Accepting a low settlement offer
Once you accept a settlement offer, you are banned from suing again. Losing your case as a result of improperly presenting it also prohibits you from taking further action.
You only have one chance to recover damages and lost wages as a result of your injury. Let us help you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
Call or text 401 384-0355