Injured women with attorney

Knowing When to Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm 

Stiberth, Scarlati & Boudreau, LLC  July 5, 2024

When life knocks you down, you need a helping hand. If you've been injured in an accident and are trying hard to get justice and compensation, a personal injury attorney is that much needed helping hand.  

At Stiberth, Scarlati & Boudreau, we will help you understand when and why you need a personal injury attorney. Let's begin. 

Defining Personal Injury 

Personal injury involves any harm that happens to you because of someone else's negligence. This could include car accidents, slips and falls, or medical malpractice. In personal injury cases, the harm can be physical, emotional, or even financial.  

Physical injuries might include broken bones, burns, or traumatic brain injuries. Emotional injuries encompass psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Financial injuries are often related to the cost of medical treatment, loss of income, and other expenses directly resulting from the injury.  

Personal injury laws help victims get the compensation they deserve. They cover immediate harm, long-term impacts, and future needs arising from the injury. Hiring a personal injury attorney early in the process will ensure that all aspects are considered when pursuing your claim for compensation. 

But how do you know when it's time to seek legal help? 

The Importance of Timely Action 

Timing is crucial when dealing with personal injury cases. If you think you might have a personal injury case, reach out to a personal injury law firm sooner rather than later. There are statutes of limitations that compel you to file your claim within a specific timeframe. Don’t wait until it’s too late. 

When Should You Contact a Lawyer? 

Not sure if your situation warrants a lawyer? Here are some signs that indicate you should call a personal injury attorney: 

Severe Injuries 

If your injuries are severe, you’ll likely face significant medical expenses. A lawyer can secure compensation to cover these costs, including future medical expenses. 

Disputes Over Fault 

In a disputed personal injury claim, a lawyer can gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and build a strong case to prove the other party's liability. 

Insurance Company Problems 

Insurance companies often try to minimize the amount they pay out on claims. If you're having trouble getting a fair settlement or if the insurance company is denying your claim outright, a personal injury attorney can negotiate on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Permanent or Long-Term Injuries 

Injuries that result in long-term or permanent disability can significantly affect your quality of life and earning potential. An attorney can calculate the true cost of these injuries, including lost wages and pain and suffering, to arrive at a fair amount of compensation. 

Multiple Parties Involved 

Accidents involving multiple parties can be particularly complicated, with each party potentially pointing fingers at the others. An attorney can sort out the liability issues, ensuring that you pursue claims against all responsible parties. 

Complex Legal Procedures 

Personal injury claims typically involve loads of paperwork. A personal injury attorney can handle the documentation, filings, and court appearances on your behalf, allowing you to focus on recovery. 

Pre-existing Conditions 

Proving that the accident aggravated a pre-existing condition can be challenging. A skilled attorney can gather medical evidence and expert testimony to substantiate your claim. 

The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring a personal injury attorney comes with several benefits that can significantly impact your case. 

Expert Guidance 

A personal injury lawyer has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the legal process. They can explain your rights, help you understand the legal jargon, and make sure you meet critical deadlines. 

Maximizing Compensation 

An experienced attorney knows how to value your claim accurately. They consider not just your immediate medical expenses but also future costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering to secure the maximum compensation possible. 

Reducing Stress 

Dealing with an injury is stressful enough without having to worry about legal matters. Hiring a lawyer allows you to focus on your recovery while they handle the legal aspects of your case. They will take care of paperwork, negotiations, and court appearances if necessary. 

Effective Negotiation Skills 

Personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators who understand the tactics used by insurance companies. They can ensure that you are not pressured into accepting a settlement that is less than you deserve. 

Contingency Fee Basis 

Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you don't have to pay any attorneys' fees upfront. Instead, the lawyer's fee is a percentage of the settlement or judgment awarded. This motivates your attorney to get the highest possible compensation for you and minimizes your financial risk. 

Access to Resources 

Personal injury cases often require extensive investigation and documentation. An attorney has access to a network of resources, including accident reconstruction experts, medical professionals, and investigators, who can help build a robust case. Leveraging these resources can significantly bolster your claim. 

Representation in Court 

While many personal injury cases are settled out of court, some do go to trial. A seasoned attorney can present your case effectively to a judge or jury, cross-examine witnesses, and provide compelling arguments to support your claim. 

Objective Perspective 

Dealing with the aftermath of a personal injury can be emotionally overwhelming and might cloud your judgment. A personal injury attorney provides an objective perspective, helping you make rational and informed decisions about your case. Depending on the circumstances, they can advise you on when to settle and when it might be better to go to trial. 

Swift Resolution 

Legal proceedings can be lengthy, but an experienced personal injury attorney can expedite the process. They are familiar with legal procedures and timelines and how to avoid unnecessary delays. This ensures that your case progresses smoothly and reaches a resolution as quickly as possible. 

Protection from Legal Risks 

The legal system is complicated and full of pitfalls that can jeopardize your claim. A personal injury attorney understands this and can guard you against strategies to undermine your case. They make sure your claim complies with all legal requirements to strengthen your position. 

The Process of Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer

This is what you can expect when you hire a personal injury attorney: 

Initial Consultation 

This is usually a free consultation where you discuss your case, ask questions, and help the lawyer understand your situation. 


Your lawyer will gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and consult with experts if needed. The goal is to build a strong case on your behalf. 

Negotiation and Settlement 

Most personal injury cases are settled out of court. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement. If that doesn’t work, they will prepare to take your case to trial. 

Personal Injury Laws in Illinois

It is important to know which state laws can affect your personal injury claim. 

Comparative Negligence 

Illinois follows a comparative negligence rule. If you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 20% at fault, your compensation will be reduced by 20%. 

Statute of Limitations 

The statute of limitations in Illinois is generally two years from the date of the injury. Missing this deadline generally takes away your right to file a claim. 

Damage Caps 

In Illinois, there are no caps on economic or non-economic damages in personal injury cases. You can seek full compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Chicago, Illinois

The attorneys at Stiberth, Scarlati & Boudreau, LLC, have over ten decades of combined experience fighting for clients’ rights. We listen to your story, understand your situation, and craft strategies suited to your goals. We work closely with all stakeholders in your case to advocate effectively for your interests. 

Ready to take the first step? Call Stiberth, Scarlati & Boudreau, LLC today to schedule your free consultation. We're here to help you every step of the way.