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When Does an Injury Require a Lawyer?

Injury is a scary word for everyone. No matter how the sentence ends, when someone hears “I was injured in…” or “I was injured by…” they fear the worst. Injury feels so much stronger than the word “hurt.” It feels official, and it feels long term.

But when is an injury not just an unfortunate accident? When is an injury someone’s fault?

For most of us, it’s a difficult idea to define. There are obvious examples we can see easily: a car runs a red light and hits a pedestrian, that driver is guilty. Two drivers speeding and not paying attention hit each other, both are at fault.

But when it comes to the gray area in between, we can struggle to know what to do and who to assign guilt to, and that can lead to some very unfortunate consequences.

Because, if you are involved in an accident and you make the wrong call, you may end up costing yourself and others time and money. If you go forward with a lawsuit when one isn’t warranted, you’ve wasted hours and money of yours and the other party (as well as the lawyers) on a pointless case. If you don’t pursue a lawsuit when someone is guilty, you may have massive medical bills and pain and suffering that could be compensated that never will be.

Because it is difficult to make these choices, it is often wise to bring a lawyer in to consider the case for you and to give you advice. This area of law is called “personal injury” and many lawyers will hear out your situation and give you some initial advice for free. (In fact, many lawyers will take your case for free and simply take their fees from whatever you win in court, if you do win, otherwise, they too don’t get paid.)

Personal injury can cover a wide variety of cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, workers’ compensation, premises liability, products liability, and medical malpractice.

Each of those areas is vast and complicated in its own right, but the general concept of each should be clear. The first two categories refer to automotive-based accidents, and can cover anything from the person hit on the bicycle by the driver going through a red, to a tipped over semi truck that causes an accident, and much in between. Workers’ compensation involves accidents on the job, while premises and product liability are about the safety of locations and objects that might have caused injury due to some form of negligence. Medical malpractice occurs when doctors and other health professionals cause injury or death by making avoidable mistakes.

With each of these, most cases fall into the gray area that is hard to decide from a layman’s perspective. If you’ve been harmed in one of these ways, or know someone who has, look for a lawyer to consider your case. Injury may be a scary word, but a scarier thought is going through life with an injury that others should have paid for.