A while ago, I got into an accident that really messed me up. Since then, I’ve been trying to get back on my feet. The person who caused the accident was really sorry (and I think afraid of being sued), and helped me with my medical bills. However, I don’t feel that they’re helping enough, so I’ve started to wonder if I should sue. I’ve been talking to my friend, whose dad is a personal injury lawyer, and he thinks I have a case. I also checked out some stuff online and asked Reddit about it, and it seems like maybe I do. However, I also feel a bit bad about the fact that I already have a deal worked out with this person, and I’m not sure how that affects the legal stuff. Can you help?
No, we can’t, and your friends-with-lawyer-dads or armchair internet attorneys can’t help you, either. The only person who can help you is a qualified lawyer, and that is who you need to see as soon as possible.
Sure, there is plenty of valuable legal information online. Columns like us can tell you about the basics of personal injury law, which says that a successful personal injury lawsuit has to show that someone’s negligence caused an accident, and that the accident directly caused the damages that you incurred.
However, there is so much more to any specific personal injury case than this general prescription, which is why you need advice tailored to your specific situation. You need to have a back-and-forth session, in which an expert can ask you for more information and look at relevant documents, such as medical bills and police reports, and you can explain your options.
We do mean an expert in the field; specifically, an attorney. Giving legal advice is generally understood as a form of practicing law, which means it’s technically illegal for non-lawyers. Anyone can explain things or offer legal information, but once you cross that fuzzy line into “advice,” you must be a lawyer. Lawyers and clients have a very special type of relationship, governed by specific laws, including malpractice laws, so you won’t find many lawyers who are eager to hand out legal advice on the internet to strangers. In short, the sources you’ve turned to for legal advice on this issue so far are unreliable, at best. At worst, they could be dangerous sources in which to place your trust.
You situation sounds very complicated. It also seems as if it’s been ongoing for a while now. That makes it even more important than normal that you act fast. Time is of the essence when it comes to personal injury lawsuits, according to a group of California personal injury lawyers, so it’s vital that you find an attorney and set up a consultation quickly. Bring relevant documents and be prepared to explain your situation clearly and concisely.
Only a lawyer can tell you what options you have in your particular situation. In the future, you would be wise to be a bit more discerning when it comes to your sources of legal advice. If you think you might need legal advice, turn to a lawyer right away. Things will only get worse and messier if you put it off, especially if you consult with unqualified people and try to make legal deals of your own in the interim! Good luck.
“People do not win people fights. Lawyers do.” - Norman Ralph Augustine