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Missouri Sunset

When Should You Hire a St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyer?

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Posted on April 2, 2024

No one starts an ordinary day expecting to end it in an emergency room or hospital bed, but unexpected injuries can occur at any time. When you suffer a preventable injury that only happened due to an individual or business entity’s negligence, it’s even more distressing knowing your pain and suffering could have been avoided if someone else had taken reasonable care. If the injury causes significant economic and non-economic damages like medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering, you can recover financial compensation through a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.

How do you know when you should hire an injury lawyer? Learn more from the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at The Floyd Law Firm.

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

When a person acts in a careless or reckless manner, such as a driver who runs a red light and causes an accident, or a store owner who fails to fix a leaky cooler causing a slip-and-fall hazard, their actions are negligent. If a negligent action causes you an injury with damages like medical costs and lost wages, you have a right to file a claim against the appropriate insurance policy. In the above examples, the claim would be against the at-fault party’s auto insurance after an accident or property liability insurance after a fall. Sadly, insurance companies commonly protect their profits at the injury victim’s expense. They have a variety of ways to undervalue claims, including assigning the victim a portion of the blame for the accident, claiming their medical treatment isn’t necessary, or denying their client’s liability.

Personal injury claims are complicated and require ample evidence of the at-fault party’s negligence and liability. A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer anticipates common insurance company actions and safeguards their client’s best interests throughout every step of the claim process.

It’s always the best practice to hire a personal injury lawyer after an accident and before talking to insurance representatives.

when to hire a personal injury attorney

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help My Case?

As the injury victim in a personal injury case, you become the plaintiff in the process. The person or business that caused your injury is the defendant. As these terms suggest, this is a legal process in which you, as the injury victim, must prove the defendant’s liability through a preponderance of the evidence. This means you must show that it’s more likely than not that the defendant caused your injury. A personal injury lawyer does the following:

  • Investigates all aspects of the injury by visiting the scene, reading the police report or accident report, viewing photos or videos of the incident, deposing eyewitnesses, and consulting with experts like accident and injury reconstruction specialists
  • Documents compelling evidence of the at-fault party’s liability by meeting the four elements of negligence showing that the defendant had a duty of care to take reasonable measures to prevent causing injury, they breached this duty, their breach of duty caused an injury, and the injury victim suffered damages from the injury
  • Sends an evidence-backed demand package to the appropriate insurer with a carefully calculated list of your damages like past and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering compensation
  • Negotiates with the insurance adjuster to seek the largest possible amount of compensation available to you
  • Files a lawsuit within Missouri’s statute of limitations for personal injury if the insurance company fails to offer an acceptable settlement amount
  • Litigates assertively on your behalf in court should the case require a lawsuit to maximize your chances of obtaining the largest possible jury verdict awarding you compensation for your damages

A good personal injury lawyer doesn’t charge a fee unless and until they secure your compensation or win your case. Your initial case consultation is free so you have nothing to lose. This contingency-based payment method also incentivizes the attorney to recover the maximum compensation possible in your claim.