Q: How long after a work accident should a person contact a lawyer?
A: The sooner the better. You probably have two possible claims. One is a no-fault workman's comp claim and the other may be a fault based claim against someone other than your employer. If there is a question of preserving evidence on the fault based claim a lawyer can jump right on that issue. I assume you reported the injury to your employer, but even at this early stage a lawyer can help. Most personal injury lawyers in your state and city will give you a free consultation so you can see if the attorney you talk to can make a convincing case to you that you need representation right away.
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