As with many questions in the law, the answer is that it depends. In most cases, it can make sense to get a lawyer for your car accident. Car accident attorneys pride themselves on fighting tooth and nail to get car accident injury victims like you the compensation you need to get better.
Here is our guide to help you decide if you should call a lawyer today.
What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
When you get into a car accident and need to file a lawsuit against a negligent driver, that person’s insurance company will be the one representing them in your lawsuit. The insurance company would be the one to pay out your claim; and, insurance companies have money.
They will use that money on a team of lawyers and insurance adjusters ready to discredit your claim to try to deny your benefits or reduce how much they have to pay.
With a car accident injury attorney on your side, you have a legal advocate looking out for your best interests. Combating the insurance company and fighting to protect your rights is what car accident attorneys do. The right car accident injury lawyer will also be able to offer you additional support and legal services.
Investigate the Accident
You might think that the police already investigated the accident so what’s the point in your lawyer doing it, too. The police may have conducted a cursory investigation of your accident, but that was likely incomplete.
When you partner with a resourceful car accident lawyer, they will be able to work with accident recreation experts. These experts will investigate every piece of your accident, leaving no stone unturned. They will also look for evidence that will help prove your case, that you were not to blame for the accident.
The information these experts may uncover can make a difference in your ability to reach a successful outcome in your car accident injury claim. Working with a lawyer who has these resources at their disposal is important because it may increase your chances of reaching a suitable outcome.
Get a Copy of the Police Report
While the police accident report will not be as intensive or detailed as an accident report filed by a private accident recreation expert, the police report is still important. Your lawyer will be able to quickly get a copy of this report and review it for accuracy and to see if the police reached a conclusion.
Many times, police accident reports will not state how the accident occurred. Instead, they will simply diagram the accident and record statements by witnesses. This information can help guide the accident recreation experts in their own investigation.
Speak with Witnesses
Your lawyer will also want to speak with any witnesses to your accident. Witnesses can often provide unique perspectives about the seconds leading up to your crash. Often, these witness statements can help show that the other driver caused your accident.
But witnesses forget. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the sooner the attorney will be able to speak with witnesses. Getting their recorded statements about what happened in your accident as soon as possible is paramount to your car accident claim.
Estimate Your Damages
This is an extremely beneficial component to using a lawyer. Most car accident injury victims vastly underestimate the damages they will need to collect. Your goal should be to avoid paying a penny out of your own pocket for your medical bills related to an accident you did not cause.
But to make sure you don’t settle for too little money, you need to have a rough idea of the amount of money you need. Determining this amount will take the skill of a medical expert to evaluate you and estimate what medical needs you may face in the future.
You know your existing medical bills, but the majority of your medical needs may come in the future. Knowing this number will help ensure that you know with some accuracy the total amount you may need.
Negotiate with the Insurance Company
Many car accident victims just want to put the accident behind them. Part of doing that is no longer having to deal with the insurance company. Too often, that means car accident injury victims settling for too little money just to close that chapter.
Ultimately, what that means for the crash victim is that they end up paying out of pocket for their medical expenses. With a trusted and aggressive car accident injury attorney, they take over the settlement negotiations. When an insurance company sees you have hired a lawyer, they start to take you seriously and that can sometimes be enough to get them to offer a more fair and reasonable settlement.
Represent Your Best Interests at Trial
But not all insurance companies are reasonable. Very few are fair. Their job is to make money and if they pay out your claim in full, they will not make money. Their sole interest is selfish. It does matter to them that you may have financial difficulties through no fault of your own.
That means that sometimes, you may need to go to trial to recover maximum compensation. Car accident injury trials are complex, often involving the testimony of medical experts. Having a lawyer at your side who has been down this road before may prove invaluable. Your lawyer’s experience at trial may be necessary to help you recover every dollar you need.
Signs a Car Accident Lawyer is Right for You
A car accident injury lawyer may help you by serving as the legal advocate you need. While you focus solely on your health and wellbeing, your attorney can fight to protect your rights and help you collect maximum compensation.
You’re Not a Lawyer
Most people do not know much about the legal process, besides what they may see on TV. Rules of evidence and civil procedure can trip even veteran lawyers and should not be something a car accident injury victim needs to deal with on top of their injuries.
You Have Serious Injuries
Injuries suffered after a car accident can vary from extremely mild bumps and bruises to life-threatening traumatic brain injuries and internal organ damage. The average cost of a car accident with even possible injuries exceeds $150,000. The more serious your injuries, the more likely it is that you will need the services and support of a trusted legal advisor.
You have Lots of Expenses
The more serious your injuries, the more likely that your medical expenses are high. When you have lots of bills to cover, the insurance company may be less willing to negotiate because they don’t want to pay out lots of money to you. This is when having a skilled negotiating attorney at your side can prove invaluable. They may be able to help you get the money you need instead of settling for too little.
The Insurance Company Won’t be Reasonable
Sometimes, and for many reasons, insurance companies simply refuse to negotiate. When this happens, it pays to have a trusted legal advocate at your side helping you collect the money you need.
Signs You May Not Need a Car Accident Attorney
While we want to do everything possible to help every car accident victim, sometimes our services simply aren’t necessary. The following circumstances describe when you may not need a lawyer to help you.
You Don’t Have Injuries
Even when you have suffered no injuries but your car has been damaged or even destroyed, it may be worthwhile to get a lawyer. However, if you’ve been in a minor fender bender and don’t have any injuries, it might not make sense to get a lawyer, provided that the insurance company will reimburse you for your car repair costs.
You Don’t Have Property Damage
Sometimes, car accidents are so minor that your car does not suffer any damage. If this happens, you may not have anything to sue over, so having a lawyer would not be prudent.
You Get a Fair Offer
When things are cut and dry after a car accident, insurance companies may give you a reasonable offer. If it’s clear that the other driver caused the accident and your car has suffered damages, the insurance company may simply agree to reimburse you the costs you paid to get your car fixed.
Keep in mind, however, that it can be very difficult to know whether an offer is fair without first consulting an experienced car accident attorney.
No matter what, do not delay your decision. In Florida, for example, you have a limited time after your accident to decide whether you need to sue the at-fault driver for damages. It may be best to err on the side of caution and speak with a lawyer so you don’t let this time go by, which can happen quickly, especially if you have serious injuries.
Your attention will be focused on your recovery, not on any legal issues. Consider what you may face:
- Multiple medical procedures
- Extended hospital stays
- In facility rehabilitation
- In-home care
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may face a long road to recovery. If you do not file your claim in time, you risk missing out on your chance to collect maximum compensation from the negligent driver who put you in this situation. Don’t let this happen to you. Speak with a lawyer today.
Partner With an Aggressive Car Accident Lawyer Today
After a car accident, you may not know whether you need to hire a lawyer. It can all depend on several factors unique to your situation. In many cases, however, it makes sense to work with a car accident injury attorney. Your lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation that helps you stay out of financial hardship.
And it’s no risk to you. Car accident lawyers usually take cases on contingency. That means they only get paid if you win. Whether settling your case quickly or taking a complex car accident injury claim to trial, their goals align with yours. They want to get you maximum compensation. The last thing you need is to pay out of pocket for medical expenses related to a car accident you did not cause.
Choosing the right lawyer for you is a personal choice. You deserve a lawyer at your side who has experience helping car accident injury victims get maximum compensation. But you also need a compassionate lawyer who understands exactly what you’re going through. You need to trust your attorney with a great deal of responsibility and you need to feel comfortable with them.
Whether you have suffered severe physical injuries or just had some property damage to your car, a car accident attorney may be able to help you recover maximum compensation so you can avoid paying a penny out of your own pocket.