As you scan the shelves for your favorite breakfast cereal, your foot slips in a puddle of liquid, and your grocery basket goes flying into the air. As you hit the ground, you feel a sharp pain in your hip as you lay there for a moment in shock.
Accidents happen, and grocery stores are not always liable for falls that happen in their store. But, what if your slip and fall was due to a spill employees knew about and failed to mop up in a timely manner?
If the store employees knew or reasonably should have known about the spill, failed to clean it up, and you were hurt as a result, the store is responsible for the damages that you suffered. Car accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, or medical malpractice are all events that may force you to one day seek the help of a personal injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach.
When is the right time to call a personal injury attorney? And who would be the right fit for your case?
1. When should I hire a PI lawyer?
In a case like the supermarket fall above, it is a good idea to find a PI lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will need to gather evidence to prove that the store was on notice, that they failed to clean up, and that you fell as a result of their negligence. Over time, witnesses disappear and memories fade, and, the longer you wait, the more time that the store has to prepare for the potential lawsuit.
If you walked away from the supermarket slip with barely a bruise, hiring a PI lawyer may not pay off. However, if you ended up in the emergency room undergoing hip surgery, that’s a different story.
You should consider hiring a PI lawyer if:
- An individual or company’s negligence caused your injuries.
- You have long-term, serious injuries.
- You have significant medical bills.
- You have ongoing psychological issues as a result of the accident.
In situations where you will need a personal injury attorney, it is always a good idea to find one and retain them quickly.
2. What can a PI attorney do for me?
You’ll probably have your hands full with doctor visits, prescription refills, insurance paperwork, and family issues following a serious injury.
When you find yourself overwhelmed by insurance companies, paperwork, medical issues, and the stress of losing time at work while trying to pay your bills, a PI attorney can take some of the pressure off by:
- Determining how much your insurance claim is worth.
- Answering your questions.
- Gathering the evidence you will need for your claim.
- Negotiating with insurance companies.
- Negotiating with an opposing attorney.
- Drafting demand letters and court pleadings.
- Keeping you informed about your case.
Facing insurance company representatives or insurance defense counsel alone can be intimidating and frustrating. Your claim may be denied or, if an offer is made, the offer is likely to be significantly less than the actual value of your case. Finding a PI attorney who knows the law, who knows how to handle insurance companies, and who insurance companies know will take a case to trial can ease your stress and give you some peace of mind when you most need it.
3. How do I find a PI attorney?
Most people will find a PI lawyer that they are comfortable with through word of mouth. Talk to your friends and family and ask them which lawyers they have used in the past and who they were satisfied with.
If you have worked with other attorneys in the past, even if they do not handle personal injury cases, ask them who they recommend as the best Myrtle Beach attorney to handle your case. If you live out of state and have a local attorney in your hometown, ask them to help you research and choose the best lawyer for your case.
You can call the bar association or visit their website at scbar.org, but be aware that their referral service will refer you to the next attorney on the list without reference to that attorney’s qualifications or reputation.
Without question, the best way for you to choose the best Myrtle Beach attorney for your case is to schedule consultations with attorneys that you have chosen, meet with them, and form your own opinion about whether they are a good fit for you and your case.
4. Who is the right PI attorney for my case?
Meeting lawyers and talking to them in person will give you a better understanding about the attorney that you simply can’t get when you speak over the phone or online. Although several people may recommend a particular attorney, you just don’t know if the attorney is someone that you can trust with your case until you meet with them yourself.
When you meet face-to-face, does the attorney listen to your story, or do they talk the entire time without listening to what you have to say? Do they seem to care about you and your case, or do you walk away feeling like a case-number and a dollar sign? Do you feel like you will be valued as a client of the attorney?
Talk about your goals. Keep in mind that, if your goals are not reasonable, the attorney has an obligation to be truthful with you. If they disagree, that may not mean that they are the wrong lawyer for you. Although some attorneys may tell you what you want to hear, you may need an attorney who can confidently speak the truth to you.
5. Which questions should you ask before hiring a PI attorney?
Once you’ve explained the details of your case, your PI attorney should, at a minimum, be able to answer the following questions to your satisfaction before you make a final decision:
- Do you regularly handle PI cases?
- Do you regularly handle PI cases like mine?
- What were the outcomes of PI cases like mine that you’ve previously handled?
- How long should I expect it to take before my case comes to a resolution?
- How many PI cases have you tried to a jury?
- What can I expect for you to do for me?
- How do you determine fees?
- How can I get in touch with you?
- How long should I expect a response to take if you are in court or unavailable?
If the attorney you are interviewing has experience with cases like yours, including trial experience, you are on the right track.
If you are also comfortable with the fees and costs, confident that the attorney will communicate with you and answer your questions, and comfortable with their personality, you have probably found the right PI attorney for you and your case.
Do You Need a PI Lawyer in Myrtle Beach SC?
Whether it is a car accident injury or a supermarket slip and fall, if you have been injured because of another person or company’s negligence we want to help.
If you’re looking for a PI lawyer in the Myrtle Beach, Conway, Charleston, or Columbia, SC areas, give us a call at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to schedule an in-person consultation.