When To Get A Lawyer For A Car Accident
After being involved in an accident, you’ll be left to deal with trauma, or you’ll be nursing minor or major injuries. You’ll also be left to cater to the medical bills on your own. Insurance companies will offer a certain amount as settlement, but it may not be enough to cater to all your needs.
Many people deal with this situation without getting proper assistance. This article will provide you with the details of when you should seek the assistance of a lawyer after the accident.
The moment you get involved in an accident, the clock starts ticking, and numerous financial obligations are coming your way. The medical bills would start piling up if you were injured, depending on whether they were major or minor injuries.
If you were extremely hurt, it means you can't work, and you'll miss your usual monthly paycheck. Injury to your children may mean that you'll be leaving them at home all the time and they may feel abandoned. A major injury like a broken arm or leg can leave you bedridden. If a minor accident happens, you can still go to work with your injuries by using medication.
For those who have minor injuries that don't lead to a serious illness or disability, the doctor will issue you a certificate of release, which means that you're allowed to return to work after taking full rest within the next three weeks.
What Steps Should You Take After an Accident?
The steps you should take include:
Gather evidence- technology has evolved, and we now have smartphones. You can take photos of the crime scene. The car you drive should have a dashcam that will record the accident. The police will ask you to write a statement covering what happened and what caused the accident.
You should also discuss with a doctor and get your injuries documented. Taking documented evidence will help you in court, and it'll help you recover faster because your doctor can monitor your progress.
Call 911- contact 911 immediately and inform them you've been involved in an accident. The police and medical operators will be informed immediately, and they'll rush to the scene of the accident. The medical and police report will play a key role in establishing liability and fault. Without evidence, you'll have difficulty establishing a concrete case in court.
Contact an attorney- you may ask yourself, why contact an attorney. The insurance company will try to issue the lowest claim possible for starters. Do you see why you now need an attorney? Working with an attorney will allow you to get proper compensation for your injuries.
The firm has the necessary experience and knowledge in dealing with insurance companies. You can go online and search for attorneys in your location who specialize in car accidents.
What You Should Never Do After an Accident
We have looked into what you should do after an accident. Let's now look into what you should never do after an accident.
1. Admitting Blame
Even when you're not at fault, you may find yourself apologizing. As a rule, insurance companies will not approve your claim if you admit fault. Insurance companies want to rule out money makers, and they can't do that if you were, in fact, at fault. In a car accident, it's best to keep the focus on how to prevent another accident.
2. Failing to Report the Accident
You may be tempted to negotiate with the other party involved in the accident; this can work to your disadvantage. Failing to report an accident can lead to a higher insurance premium, eventually leading to a higher monthly payment.
3. Not Resolving the Dispute
If you're involved in an accident with another party, you have the right to take legal action against that person and get compensation for your injuries; this can be done in civil court or through the criminal court of law. If the other party refuses to pay the compensation, you may file a lawsuit and start proceedings against them.
4. Accepting Settlement
The insurance company will first approach you with a "take it or leave it" offer. If you accept their offer, you may often find yourself paying for your injuries for years to come. It's important to push for more compensation. You can always ask the attorney to negotiate a higher settlement and potentially get more money from the other party.
5. Missing Medical Appointments
If you don't show up for your doctor's appointment or even miss the surgery, it may lead to the insurance company having a chance to deny your claim or raise your premium.
When You Should Contact an Attorney
Before hiring an attorney, you'll first ask yourself, "do I need an attorney after being involved in a car accident?" We have mentioned that the insurance company will pay the lowest amount possible. They will also approach you fast before you realize how dire the situation is. The only way to ensure that you get what you deserve is to hire an experienced attorney.
An attorney will come in handy when negotiating with the insurance company, dealing with the police, and when filing for compensation. If a minor accident happens, it's not worth calling an attorney but if it was a major accident where you or your children were injured, then contact an attorney.
The attorney will guide you through the process, and they'll recommend how much you should claim as settlement. Know that there are many attorneys online who are willing to work on a contingency agreement; this means that you shouldn't pay anything upfront. They will only get paid by getting a percentage of the settlement or if you win the case.
The sooner you'll contact an attorney, the better chances of winning your case. So, if you were involved in an accident, don't hesitate to contact an attorney because they'll help get you what is rightfully yours.
The attorney you hire will collect different pieces of evidence to support their claim in court. Some of the pieces of evidence they'll collect include:
The attorney will also consult with other experts about the case at hand to ensure you get compensated accordingly. Lawyers are experts, and they'll come with a lot of experience. You should be confident that they can get the best results in your case.
It's also important to know that there's an attorney fee when hiring them. At the end of the case, you should expect to receive a percentage of your settlement money as fees for the attorney, their assistants, and staff; this can differ, but it can go as high as 40% for some cases.
If you don't understand your rights after an accident, your attorney will be happy to guide you. Some lawyers will even make a free consultation after you hire them.
Your attorney will always handle the case in their client's best interest. They are very responsible, and they know how to handle the situation. You can always ask for a second opinion if you don't agree with what the attorney claims.
If the following cases apply to you, contact a lawyer immediately:
Benefits of Hiring An Attorney after an Accident
One thing to keep in mind is that a lawyer will not get involved in every case brought to their attention. You need to have a strong case for them to take it on. You should also understand that you cannot always hire the first lawyer you come across. If you don't do your research, you may be hiring an attorney who doesn't give you the best results.
Let's delve deeper into the advantages of hiring a car accident attorney:
1. Filing Necessary Paperwork
After an accident, the insurance company may contact you immediately through a phone call. At the time of the call, they will ask you to fill out some documents. You should remember that this could be a ruse by their agents because they want you to take on their insurance policy and nothing else. If they ask you to go to their office after filling out the paperwork, it's best if you don't take up their offer.
2. They Will Take on the Insurance Company
If you've been through an accident where you thought you were at fault, it's important to hire an attorney. The insurance company will contact you and make you think they are on your side. They will agree with your claims about the accident, which means that they will start paying for your medical bills. However, after a few months, they'll start fighting against your claim stating that you're not entitled to anything because of their policy limitations. The insurance agent may even tell you to accept a settlement and pay for your medical expenses yourself.
3. Increased Compensation
If you decide to accept their settlement, it means that you'll have to pay this from your own pocket. You should always hire an attorney after an accident because they will increase your compensation. In most cases, the insurance companies underestimate your claims; this is when your attorney will step in, review the case and then provide more information; this can lead to a new claim or an increase in the amount of compensation offered.
4. Thorough Investigation
Any lawyer you hire should conduct a thorough investigation before forming a stance. The attorney will also assist in gathering evidence, including pictures and video footage that may have been lost; this can be of great importance because the insurance company shouldn't know where you were at the time of the accident.
5. Contingency Bias
After an accident, you may feel overwhelmed. It's common to experience emotional stress, which should not be a barrier to getting the compensation you need. However, that doesn't mean you should sign anything that insurance companies provide because they may have hidden clauses in their documents. If you feel like signing something clearly against your best interests, don't hesitate to contact an attorney immediately.
What Can You Recover After the Accident?
When you hire a car accident attorney, you'll be eligible for:
1. Vehicle Replacement or Repair
The fair market value of your car will be assessed, and you'll be reimbursed accordingly. If you drive a new car, the attorney can determine how much you'll receive in the settlement.
2. Medical Expenses
You'll receive a lump sum for your medical expenses. If there are any uncovered medical bills, you'll be reimbursed for them as well. The attorney will also assist in getting all of your insurance payments covered by their company and providing for any other expenses incurred during the accident, including parts and labor.
3. Pain for Injury Compensation
You will be reimbursed for pain and suffering as outlined in the case. They'll also determine the best way to get your physical conditions back to normal.
4. Lost Wages
This should cover any financial losses you incurred during the accident. As long as you had a part-time or full-time job at the time of the accident, you can recover your lost wages; this includes future loss of wages and other costs caused by having to take a leave from work after the accident.
5. Compensation In Case of Death
If you drive a car and get into an accident where your passenger dies, the insurance company will pay compensation for their death.
6. No-Fault Insurance
In some states, the driver at fault will not be compensated in full when protected by no-fault insurance. When you hire a lawyer, they can show that this insurance company denied you the right to recover full compensation as required by law.
How Long Will the Lawsuit Take?
If you choose to hire a car accident lawyer, they will start working on your case immediately. The amount of time it takes to settle your case could be different in each case. Some cases could take up to a year, while others can only take a few months. An experienced attorney will do everything they can to settle your claim as fast as possible.
We hope that the information provided above will help you decide when it comes to hiring an attorney after a car accident. The goal of the best car accident lawyer is to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation without having to go through a long and exhausting legal process altogether. Therefore, you must hire an attorney who has years of experience in personal injury cases, especially car accidents.