When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident

When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident

When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident

Car accidents are never simple. Even if your vehicle sustained minor damage, the person who caused the accident should pay for it. In many cases, much worse damage involves costly and potentially life-altering injuries, which makes obtaining compensation even more important.

Hire an attorney after a car accident to seek compensation. If you are in a serious accident involving injuries or substantial damage to your vehicle, having an attorney is absolutely critical.

If your situation is less clear, or you are not sure you need an attorney, it pays to learn more about how an attorney can facilitate the claims process and ensure you do not receive less than you deserve in a claim.

The more you know about your rights, the better. Unless you have a minor case with no damage and did not go to the emergency room, consult a car accident attorney.

Notably, speaking to an attorney does not mean you have to hire one. During a consultation, an attorney will tell you whether they believe you have a case. They are honest about whether you should take the claim or fight it. That can give you significant insight into your need for legal representation.

Since many attorneys offer free consultations for car accidents, it makes sense to call one.

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You Should Always Discuss a Possible Case with a Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are complicated. They involve proving another person's fault and then calculating the losses that person may owe you. That may seem simple, but an attorney must take multiple steps to ensure each victim receives fair compensation.

Further, insurance companies are not on your side. They will not voluntarily provide a fair level of compensation to you. Even if you push back on them yourself and ask for more, they will still try to reduce your compensation. To get around this, turn to an attorney. Remember, there is no risk in doing so.

Consultations Are Free

The first step in learning if you have a case is to set up a free consultation. You are never obligated to work with the attorney if you decide not to, and you never pay for that consultation. There is nothing to lose by calling an attorney.

Even if you think talking to a legal team may be unnecessary, it takes about five minutes to call, ask a few questions, and determine if you should go in.

Consultations also do not take long and you might even complete one over the phone or through a video chat. It is always better to be safe than to find out months later that you should have received more compensation for the accident.

You Have Injuries

Injury Caused by Car Accident

Anytime you suffer injuries of any degree during a car accident, hire an attorney. Your car accident attorney has the ability to navigate this process with ease. Even minor injuries tend to be costly – often far more than what you think.

The cost of an injury is never simple.

  • You pay for the cost of an ambulance to go to the hospital.
  • There are labs and exams, each of which has its own fee.
  • Specialists (like those reading the lab results) charge their own fees.
  • You need a medical intervention that is typically highly expensive.
  • Any hospital stay involves significant costs. Any doctor that pops in or reviews your chart can charge a fee.
  • You may have costs for medical supplies and medications.

That is all for just a single night in the hospital. If your injuries involve treatment that is more complicated or longer hospital stays, the costs skyrocket quickly.

Many people also have lingering losses after they heal from their injuries. This includes ongoing medical needs, complications, side effects from treatment or medications, and the need for ongoing support.

If you have to walk with a cane, you may need treatment for back problems down the road. If you cannot lift your arm above your head due to an injury, you may be unable to do your job. These are just examples of the dozens of risks and what ifs that can impact you and your health.

All of these factors increase the compensation the at-fault party may owe you. They also bring more focus to your case from the insurance company. That makes receiving compensation far more challenging.

If you have injuries, even small ones, hire a car accident attorney. This will protect your right to coverage for all related losses.

Some Injuries Are Delayed

While many types of insurance are very obvious at the time of the accident, others can take days or weeks to become clear.

If you settle your car accident claim before that, you may get compensation for those losses.

Insurance companies may try to attribute these delayed symptoms to other incidents. They may try to say they are not directly responsible. Other times, they may claim your lack of care worsened the injury.

Your attorney ensures an insurance company does not make you into a victim because your symptoms took time to develop.

Insurance Companies Are Contacting You

Insurance Companies Are Contacting You

Another important reason to contact an attorney is if the insurance company is calling you. Insurance companies love to work with just you and no attorney. It means they can tell you what to do and what to expect.

They may not give you what you deserve. You need an attorney to guide you.

Your car accident attorney works between you and the insurance company, providing you with legal representation. They can handle the entire situation for you. Consider how this may benefit you in the long term.

No-Fault Claims

In a no-fault claim, you may not think you need an attorney. You are working with your own insurance company to file a claim for your losses. However, in this type of claim, the insurance company will still do whatever it can to reduce what it pays you. That may include denying coverage you are owed.

Also note that, depending on the laws in your area, you may pursue more compensation from the at-fault party in some situations. The insurance company is not going to tell you that. They will settle the claim as quickly as possible for the least possible value.

A Fault-Based Claim

In a fault-based claim, auto insurance companies are armed with the ability to demand that you prove your losses.

  • You must prove the other party made some type of mistake that puts you at risk.
  • You then must prove their mistake led to your injuries.
  • You then need to show that your injuries caused you some type of loss and associate a value to that loss.
  • On top of this, you may have to have proof of the value of that loss – such as medical bills and expert witness statements.

These hassles delay the process and ensure you become frustrated. That can lead to settling your case sooner (and often for less) than you should. There is a real reason why the insurance company wants to work just with you.

With the help of a car accident attorney, you gain key advantages:

  • The insurance company cannot trick you into stating you are at fault.
  • The attorney knows how to find evidence to prove your losses and fault.
  • You learn your rights over and above what the insurance company may offer to pay.
  • Your attorney handles the conversations and requests for information from the insurance adjuster, so you do not have to deal with that complexity at all.
  • More so, your attorney helps you determine if any offer for compensation is fair or unreasonable.

In situations where the insurance company is unfair, they can be in violation of the law and their legal obligation to provide equitable care to you. Other times, you may need to file a lawsuit against the party and let a judge decide how much compensation you need to cover your losses.

The Time to Call a Car Accident Lawyer Is Now

The longer you wait to call a car accident attorney, the more complicated the process becomes. An attorney will always talk to you, but what gets more challenging is proving your right to compensation.

Consider a few key factors.

  • Witnesses may become hard to find. The longer you wait to call an attorney, the harder it may be for your attorney to find witnesses who can corroborate your explanation of what occurred. Without witness statements, you will find proving the other party’s liability difficult.
  • Witnesses forget things, too. Over time, even just a few weeks, those witnesses can also change their story or may forget parts of what occurred. If you call sooner, your attorney can capture their witness statement while it is fresh in their mind.
  • Video and traffic camera shots may no longer exist. This type of limitation can be frustrating, especially if it is your word against the other party.

There is also the statute of limitations to consider. Each state imposes a specific timeframe for when you may file a car accident lawsuit if necessary in your case.

If you try to file a claim after that period, you may lose your right to compensation. While this may seem like a long time, the reality is there is a significant amount of work to be done.

Your attorney will rush to do so if needed, but the more time they have, the more evidence they can obtain. That leads to better compensation in many cases.

A Car Accident Attorney Will Be Honest About Whether You Have a Valid Case

Consider the reality of hiring an attorney. You need to know if you can seek additional compensation. You want to know if you should just take the settlement offered to you. It is a huge decision. Settling too soon means you suffer financially needlessly.

An attorney will offer you an honest, transparent opinion of:

Car Accident Lawyer
  • If the other party is at fault.
  • If you have the legal right to sue them.
  • If the claim they offer you is fair.
  • What your case may be worth.
  • If you should work with an attorney.

You may believe all attorneys will state that you should hire them. That is not the case. Car accident attorneys only receive legal fees when and if they win your case. They will not pour hours of time into a case they do not believe warrants that amount of work for the potential payoff. Their time is valuable, too.

Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Relieves Stress

Do not overlook this key benefit of hiring an attorney.

It reduces the stress of this legal battle to you.

  • You no longer have to deal with the insurance company.
  • Over the next weeks, you can focus on your recovery.
  • You do not have to worry that you are getting care you cannot afford.
  • You know someone will fully investigate the case for you to ensure you do not leave anything behind you deserve.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With a Car Accident Attorney Now

Do not wait to get the legal help you need. Now is the best time to take action. Set up a free, no-obligation consultation with a local personal injury attorney. Ask if you have a case. Discuss what your case may recover.

Know that you owe nothing if they tell you you do not have a case. You gain the confidence to know you made the right decision in the process.