The short answer is as soon as possible.  Many times people debate whether to hire an attorney when they or someone in their family is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.  The time spent making that determination can result in the loss of evidence valuable to the injured party’s case.  I recently had a case involving a drunk driver who collided with another vehicle causing serious injuries to our client. We brought an action against the individual who caused the collision, as well as the bar that served the driver of the vehicle.  In this case the family waited three weeks before consulting with my office.  Fortunately, we were able to send notices to the bar asking them to preserve all video of the day of the accident.  The video showed that the drunk driver in this case was clearly intoxicated while being served alcohol at the bar.  Our request was timely in that the videotape of the bar is replaced every 30 days.  Therefore had the family waited another week, we might have lost the video that was valuable to our case against the bar.