When Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Sep 22, 2023 | Personal Injury

A personal injury attorney is an attorney who specializes in obtaining compensation for individuals who have suffered physical, emotional or financial harm due to the negligence or intentional wrongful actions of another person, company, or government agency.

It’s in your best interest to consult a personal injury lawyer if you have been injured in an accident caused by someone’s actions or inactions – especially if the accident resulted in any of the situations listed below.

  • You sustained serious injuries, including broken bones, brain trauma, third- and fourth-degree burns, and spinal cord damage, that require extensive medical care, hospitalization, surgery, or long-term rehabilitation
  • You have incurred medical bills that exceed a few dollars
  • You have lost wages because you’re unable to work due to your injuries
  • You experienced physical and emotional suffering, including frequent headaches, back pain, intense distress, depression, and feelings of worthlessness
  • Your property, including your car, home, phone, or other electronic devices, was extensively damaged in the accident
  • The individual or entity responsible for your injuries is denying liability. To be compensated after an accident, you must demonstrate that the party at fault’s conduct caused you to be hurt, which might be difficult for you to prove on your own

Working with a competent personal injury attorney, you can perform an in-depth probe to identify the cause of your injuries and establish a defendant’s liability.

  • Your personal injury claim has been denied by an insurer. If the person or entity who caused you to be injured is insured, you might have to file a claim seeking compensation with their insurance company.

Insurance firms don’t stay profitable by compensating every claim they receive. So, it’s not uncommon for insurers to act in bad faith and refuse to compensate accident victims or pay them significantly less than their injuries are worth.

In the above situations, you would likely need a personal injury lawyer to help you get compensation for economic and non-economic damages from the negligent entity or their insurer, such as medical bills incurred for treating your injuries, lost income (current and future if you’re unable to return to work), property damage repair or replacement costs, pain and suffering, and funeral and burial expenses, if an accident resulted in the death of a loved one.

The attorney could also seek punitive damages – which are rarely awarded in personal injury claims – to penalize a defendant whose behavior is regarded as gross misconduct and stop them from acting in the same manner in the future.

What Are Examples of Cases When You Would Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

Personal injury attorneys deal with a wide range of cases involving injuries or death caused by someone’s willful wrongdoing or negligence.

Some of the most common cases handled by the experienced personal injury attorneys at Gallagher Krich, APC, include:

  • Auto Accidents

These include car, truck, bus, motorcycle and Uber accidents that leave you with injuries and other damages.

Personal injury claims involving automobile accidents are the most common in the United States, and the defendant in these cases is frequently the negligent driver, for example, a drunk or speeding driver. A third party, such as an insurer, may be held accountable for the driver’s careless acts as well.

  • Slip and Fall Accidents

Property owners are required by law to keep their properties free of potentially hazardous conditions.

So, if you fall and seriously injure yourself while visiting a business premise or someone’s home due to a wet or slippery floor, worn carpet, uneven surfaces, poor lighting or other conditions that make the property unsafe, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the property whose negligence caused you harm.

  • Product Liability Injury Cases

Normally, such cases entail suing a product designer, manufacturer, distributor or seller for injuries sustained while using their product correctly. To win a product liability case, your personal injury lawyer must demonstrate that the product was dangerous for human use or machinery was faulty. 

Such disputes may also arise if a specific party fails to notify you about the potential risks of using their product. For example, if a pharmaceutical company knows and fails to warn you that their drug can cause liver damage and you suffer liver problems as a result of using it, you may claim compensation.

Learn more about product liability cases in our comprehensive article on the three main types of product liability claims.

  • Medical Malpractice Personal Injury Lawsuits

Healthcare providers including doctors, nurses, surgeons, hospitals and nursing homes have a responsibility to provide their patients with the medical services they need to treat their illnesses.

If a healthcare worker administers treatment that falls below the acceptable standard of care for a particular disease or is negligent – causing a patient to die, be critically ill or sustain other sorts of harm – this is considered medical malpractice, and they should be held accountable for their reckless conduct.

Prescription drug errors, failure to diagnose major diseases such as cancer, premature hospital discharge, and leaving medical instruments in a patient’s body during surgery are all examples of scenarios that could result in a medical malpractice personal injury lawsuit.

What is the Cost of a Personal Injury Attorney?

Even when they’re aware they need one, many Americans put off contacting a personal injury lawyer after an accident because they believe they can’t pay for one.

With huge medical bills and lost income because you’re missing work after being involved in a serious accident, we understand why the cost of hiring an attorney would concern you. However, unlike criminal or corporate attorneys — who would require a retainer of several thousand dollars to take your case — most personal injury lawyers bill on a contingency basis.

That means they’ll bear all costs associated with your lawsuit and only get their money back if they succeed in getting you compensation for your injuries and other damages.

So, not having money should not stop you from getting the help of a personal injury attorney to ensure the negligent party whose actions resulted in your harm pays for it.

In most states, including California, after a personal injury settlement is paid, an attorney takes on average 33% as contingency fees to cover their expenses for handling your case.

When you engage a personal injury attorney, be sure to ask them how much they’ll charge you for your case. Their fee is frequently based on whether your case settles quickly or goes to trial. Although you can negotiate a percentage with the lawyer, a personal injury claim that proceeds to court will likely have a higher contingency fee.

Call Our California Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Did someone’s misconduct or negligence cause you or a member of your family harm? Contact Gallagher Krich, APC, at (858) 926-5797 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation and personal injury case assessment.

Our attorneys have more than 30 years of combined legal expertise handling personal injury cases and a solid track record of securing our clients the maximum amount of money possible for their losses.

When you get in touch with us, we’ll look into your accident in great detail to gather the information we need to create a strong personal injury case and fight tooth and nail to get you the financial compensation you deserve. If a defendant or their insurer won’t agree to a fair settlement, we won’t hesitate to take your case to trial.

For us, after your injury, your recovery is what matters the most. Call us today so you may concentrate on getting better while we take care of your legal issues.

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Thomas F. Gallagher, Esq.


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tom [at] tomgallagherlaw.com

Troy B. Krich, Esq.


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troy [at] tomgallagherlaw.com

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