In the hours immediately following a serious car crash causing injury to your child, you admittedly have a world of details to consider even as you worry about your child’s well-being. However, one critical detail you must not overlook in the chaos: Select a trustworthy and experienced personal injury attorney now, as soon as possible, to represent your family’s interests. Aside from immediate healthcare decisions for your child, choosing a lawyer may be one of the most important choices you make.
Why You Need a Lawyer NOW
Many accident victims (and parents of younger victims) presume that they don’t need to think about hiring an attorney until it’s time to start thinking about compensation—after dealing with medical issues and resuming some semblance of normal life. However, the sooner you involve a qualified attorney, the better your chances of developing a strong case and receiving all the compensation to which your child is entitled. Some specific reasons to consider hiring an attorney as soon as possible:
- Physical evidence begins to fade immediately after the accident. The evidence can make or break your case, having a direct impact on the amount of your settlement. An attorney can get to work immediately preserving the forensic evidence (e.g., vehicle damage, evidence at the scene) so your case doesn’t get weakened while you focus on family matters.
- The attorney stays on top of the legal piece for you. In the throes of dealing with an injured child, you’re not thinking about the legal matters surrounding your case—what paperwork you need to save, forms to fill out, documenting the accident, etc. A good attorney covers these details for you while providing important reminders along the way so the legal side of your case doesn’t get muddled.
- The medical bills won’t wait. The wheels of justice turn slowly, and your medical bills will likely come due long before a settlement is reached. If you’re unable to foot these bills while waiting for your day in court, your finances and your credit could be impacted severely.
Tips for Recruiting a Good Attorney
- Ask friends and family for referrals. Ask people in your circle who have dealt with personal injuries—whom did they hire to represent them, and were they happy with the outcome?
- Look for an attorney with prior experience. Has the lawyer handled child injury cases? What is his track record of success, both in and out of the courtroom?
- Avoid sensational advertising and “ambulance chasers.” Just because you recognize an attorney from a TV ad, that doesn’t make him competent. Look at actual results and reputation first and foremost.
- Choose someone you’re personally comfortable with. Litigation can be a long-haul, and emotional along the way. Make sure that you are comfortable with your attorney; you communicate well-together. Look for an attorney who promptly returns phone calls and answers any questions you may have.