IMPORTANCE OF RETAINING A LAWYER SOON AFTER AN INJURY OR A WRONGFUL DEATH

September 8, 2011

As a lawyer who has represented the injured and those who have lost loved ones due to the negligence or fault of others, I am very cognizant of the shock, grief, anger and pain felt by every injured party and their loved ones. I can't tell you how many times I have been contacted by an injured person or a family member asking me a question about a possible case months or even years after the event took place. I have learned through experience, that the best way to serve oneself or a loved one, is to get a lawyer involved in the case as early as possible so that the attorney can retain whatever experts have to be retained, preserve evidence, talk to witnesses and make sure that if there is a valid claim to be brought, it can be brought with the evidence necessary to obtain the best possible result.

Helping The Descendants Of An Explosion Victim

Let me give you an example. In 2010 our firm was retained by two young women from Maine whose dad was in the intensive care/burn unit at the Orlando Regional Medical Center as a result of being severely burned in an LP gas explosion. People close to the daughters had told them that the best way to help their dad even though they were grieving and in shock would be to hire a lawyer who could investigate the claim early on and preserve the evidence. Reluctantly, the daughters called us and spoke to my partner and myself over the phone and decided to retain us.

We immediately went into action and found a renowned expert who would meet us at the scene and go through the debris and rubble in an effort to find the cause or causes of the explosion. Our firm and this expert made arrangements to meet with the Fire Marshall, adjusters and experts from the condominium association, a unit owner, and the LP gas company within 48 hours of being hired.

Preserving Evidence Early

A comprehensive examination of everything was conducted with ALL PARTIES PRESENT. This was very important because you never want to have an issue regarding tampering with evidence or the chain of custody of evidence. In this particular case, it became even more important, because not only was the whole scene inspected by each party, but photographed as well, all at the same time. Within 2 days following this inspection, evidence at the scene was tampered with. Had we not been able to do the inspection early on, the end result of the case might have been different. Because we were able to conduct the inspection early on, we were able to settle this case with all parties for a very substantial sum within 14 months of the explosion.

The message of this blog post is quite simple: insurance companies and people that have caused harm or loss of life to you or your loved ones are gathering evidence and testimony, sometimes immediately upon the occurrence happening. Many large insurance companies, especially those representing interstate trucking companies and airlines, have "go teams" on standby who immediately go to the scene when the vehicles are still present to document the scene, speak to witnesses and "preserve evidence." The injured party or the family of someone who has lost a loved one, needs to be represented in those situations as well.

Don't Feel Guilty About Hiring A Lawyer Immediately

Frankly, people are concerned that their friends, neighbors and other family members will think that they are "in it just for the money." Nothing could be further from the truth. What the insurance companies and big business have tried to instill is a feeling of "guilt", arguing that instead of someone worrying about their recovery or the death of their loved one, they sought out counsel.

The reason why the insurance industry and big business promotes this falsehood is because they don't want an "even playing field". They want to have the investigation done and completed before the Plaintiff ever gets started. Don't allow that to happen. As hard as it may be and as painful as it may be, as soon as you can after a tragedy, pick up the phone and speak to a qualified trial lawyer. Question the lawyer about his/her expertise with the type of case. Interview them either in person (preferably) or over the phone. Don't be afraid to retain them because it's "too soon" or because you are afraid of what other people may think. Retain a law firm as soon as possible because when the dust settles, fair compensation is what the law allows. Insurance companies and big business will not fairly and adequately compensate you or a loved one unless they are forced to do so.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of others, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling personal injury and wrongful death cases. The Miami Dade County Wrongful Death Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano has throughout the years represented many clients involved in serious personal injuries and wrongful death cases. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.