If you have been involved in an accident where the other driver is obviously at fault and your injuries really are minor and you only require a few trips to the doctor for check-ups, then you probably do not need an attorney. You can send your medical records and bills to the other person’s carrier and they might give you a fair settlement. The important part here is to get prompt medical care and make sure you tell your doctor all of your complaints and symptoms to document and treat your injury. If your symptoms get worse or change, go back to the doctor and tell him or her that the symptoms have changed. If there is no change and you get better in a few weeks, good for you. You can probably settle your case on your own. If your injuries are severe, then you probably do need an attorney right a way.
Problems arise when you think your injuries are minor but you just don’t get better. The truth is the difference between the pain you feel with a simple sprained neck or back and the pain you feel with a herniated disc that needs surgery is initially Zero. Nothing. Nada. Zip. The only difference is that the sprain gets better in a few months and the herniated disc doesn’t. Maybe a month after the accident you start to feel a little bit of tingling in your fingers. Maybe your arm feels weak or you start dropping things. The pain continues and the numbness and tingling in your fingers grows. Soon you have a real problem. Now what do you do? Get a lawyer fast! If your injuries become significant, you need an attorney. Most people have no experience with evaluating what their claim is worth. Most have no idea if and when they are entitled to future medical care or future pain and suffering. Experienced personal injury attorneys have years of real life experience evaluating all kinds of injuries.
Again, I can’t stress enough the importance of getting prompt care and documenting your complaints. Insurance companies and, ultimately juries, require proof that the auto accident caused your injuries. If you have gotten medical care promptly, your doctor can prepare a report that shows that the auto accident is the most likely cause of your injuries, your need for medical care and any other damages. However, if you do not get immediate care and instead, you wait four or five months to seek medical care, your doctor might be very hesitant or refuse to write a report saying the subject auto accident caused your injury. If that happens an attorney might not even want your case at all. The simple fact is a plaintiff has the burden of proof. You must prove each and every element or part of your claim or you will not get a recovery from an insurance company or win in court.