When Should I Call a Personal Injury Attorney?

The answer is clear: as soon after a motor vehicle collision as possible. And the reasons for contacting a personal injury attorney promptly after you are injured in a motor vehicle crash are compelling:

Obtaining evidence which may control the outcome of your case. The first days after a collision offer unique opportunities to obtain important evidence you may need to prove who caused the collision and the extent of injuries you suffered for which you deserve compensation. Clifford & Raihala’s team of personal injury lawyers are experienced in promptly seeking available evidence regarding the accident and the scene of the collision. In fact, one of our personal injury attorneys gave a presentation subtitled “Tips on Early Action in Every Case” to a statewide audience of lawyers who represent injured parties. He taught those lawyers the importance of acting fast to gather photographic or video evidence of the scene, including from video cameras from nearby commercial establishments and highway or street video cameras; to obtain 911 transcripts which often provide detail not included in the police report; and to interview witnesses immediately.

Protecting you from insurance investigators. The insurance company for the driver who caused your injuries through negligence may be required to compensate you for those injuries; your own insurance company may be similarly responsible if the other driver’s insurance is inadequate to fully cover your losses. That means both insurers have interests adverse to yours. Insurance investigators and adjusters are well trained and skilled in protecting the insurance company’s money. Often, the other driver’s insurance will try to interview you as soon as possible. These so-called “interviews” are so fraught with peril for a just-injured victim that, in Wisconsin, statements taken by an insurer within 72 hours of a collision are not even admissible in court. It is reasonable, and fair, and very important that you protect your own interests by speaking with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At Clifford & Raihala, you can speak with a personal injury attorney, at no cost and with no obligation, to find out how to protect your interests. Our personal injury attorneys often can meet you at the hospital or at your home since you may be unable to travel.

Meeting legal requirements to protect your claim. In some cases, there are strict legal deadlines to take certain actions to protect your claim. If you don’t act within those deadlines, your personal injury claim may be barred. For example, if the negligent driver was operating a government-owned vehicle, you may have to file a notice of claim within a short time meeting very strict formal requirements. If you have been injured by a “phantom” vehicle – e.g., one that cuts off your lane of travel or forces you off the road, and then drives on – you will be prevented from obtaining compensation from your own insurance policy which provides “uninsured motorist ” coverage, even though you paid for that coverage, unless you file a report within 72 hours. And, you must provide notice of your claim to your insurance company within 30 days to secure that coverage. Personal injury lawyers at Clifford & Raihala will act to protect you from letting these strict deadlines bar your right to compensation.

Planning the strategy for your case. Every case is unique. Your case needs and deserves a case management plan suited to the circumstances of your case. Some law firms assign new cases to non-lawyer staff to “sign up” the new client and to “manage” the case, often just getting the accident report and medical records, notifying the adverse insurance company, and other routine steps. But, no case is “routine.” Each deserves a strategy evaluation addressing what issues might be in dispute, what sources of evidence may be available to address if not dispose of those issues, how long will information or evidence be available, and how to best obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Every client of Clifford & Raihala has one of our skilled and experienced personal injury attorneys manage every aspect of the claim from the first interview all the way to jury verdict, if necessary (usually, cases are settled before any lawsuit is filed). If your first interview with a law firm is with an investigator, an intake person, or paralegal or some other assistant – someone who is not an actual lawyer — move on. When you hire a law firm, you deserve to be represented by a lawyer, not a non-lawyer staff member.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, you have the right to compensation for all injures and losses caused by the negligence of the other driver. The personal injury lawyers at Clifford & Raihala in Madison stand ready to help you throughout Wisconsin and in Illinois to make sure you receive full and fair compensation. There is no fee unless you recover compensation. Call our personal injury attorneys at 608-257-7900 (or toll free at 888-791-8422) or click https://myjustice.com to connect right now. The consultation is free and with no obligation.