So you were involved in a car accident that doesn’t appear to be too serious. No problem. Hence, you simply exchange a few, quick details concerning your insurance and then proceed on your merry way, thinking there’s no need to get a lawyer involved. Well, as it turns out, there are certain times when you absolutely should contact a car accident lawyer, which the following explanations will help you understand.
When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
To Handle Disputes
Even if you were involved in a car accident that may seem obvious who’s at fault, you may still find yourself in a dispute over who’s to blame, especially once the other party has had the chance to discuss the details of the accident with their insurance company or lawyer. Therefore, as soon as you are involved in a car accident, it is recommended that you have a lawyer on hand to protect your best interests whether you feel you may be at fault or not for the accident.
Furthermore, even if the insurance company agrees to issue you a payout for the accident, there may be a dispute over how much you are owed. Insurance companies are in the business of saving money; therefore, it is not uncommon for them to attempt to issue you a payout that is less than what your injuries are actually worth.
On the other hand, if you are the party who’s found at fault, a dispute may arise over the amount you must compensate the injured party. However, an experienced lawyer has extensive knowledge of what various injuries are worth and can see to it that you are only required to pay a fair amount.
You’re Being Sued
In the event the other driver or his or her insurance company or lawyer decides to bring a lawsuit against you to recoup damages, without legal representation, you will be responsible for defending yourself in the court of law, which may seem like a simple task, but without the right knowledge of car accident law and the gathering of facts, it can be detrimental.
It can also cause you to be liable for an amount that is way more than what the claim is actually worth or what you can afford. However, a proper legal team understands the ins and outs of the legal system and can negotiate, on your behalf, the best terms for your circumstances.
Furthermore, many cases that are fought independently are often denied because of technicalities, which can cause you to forfeit your right to a fair proceeding. An experienced team understands this and can help safeguard against denials, so you benefit from the full extent of the law.
You Suffered Injuries as a Consequence of the Accident
Though many small car accidents may seem like just a harmless jolt at the time, sometimes physical injuries are suffered as a result of the accident, which can be experienced right away, or some injuries may not become evident until later.
These physical injuries can range from serious to minor and last anywhere from just a few days to a few months or even years down the road, which can cause you to miss work, and as a result, also cause you to encounter various financial losses, including lost wages. Some injuries can also make it impossible to return to the same type of work or for you to still be able to carry out normal everyday activities, which can affect your quality of life, all of which should be reflected in your compensation.
But, when it comes to recouping damages from insurance companies, it is often a bit easier to get them to compensate for automobile damage than it is to receive compensation for financial losses associated with bodily injuries and medical expenses. In fact, they will usually pull out all the stops to avoid paying you what your injuries are actually worth, so they don’t lose money. They even have an experienced team of professionals on hand who are dedicated to discrediting your claim.
However, even the biggest insurance company is no threat to an experienced car accident lawyer. In fact, many insurance companies already recognize them by name. Therefore, when you hire certain lawyers, they know that you are serious about your claim and may be more willing to negotiate a fair price for your harm.
You Don’t Want to Handle Your Own Claim
Though many actions involving bringing a lawsuit for a car accident can be handled yourself, such as filing an insurance claim with the other party’s insurance company or filing a claim in small claims court against an uninsured driver, it can require time and energy to see it all the way through, which is why some individuals choose to work with a lawyer who can handle the process for them. They can also handle your medical bills as well as any other paperwork on your behalf.
An experienced lawyer can also advise you whether filing a claim makes sense to pursue, so you don’t suffer an unnecessary financial loss. He or she can also help you understand the statute of limitations for your case, so all paperwork is filed correctly and presented on time to avoid forfeiting your legal rights. The statute of limitations varies by state and can range anywhere from one year or more, depending on the case.
Once you hire a lawyer, the legal team will also thoroughly examine the scene of the accident to determine who’s at fault and then assist you with making the best argument for your case. They will also use these details to help factor in a reasonable payment whether you are at fault or not.
It is also important to note that when facing an experienced team of lawyers on your own, if you don’t understand your legal rights or what alternatives are available to you to defend against them, it can cause you to lose your case, which can not only lead to costly fees but also a negative mark on your driving record.