Do you Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Typically, car accidents that cause severe or long-term injuries require legal action to get the maximum settlement for your injuries and damages. Car accidents are unexpected in nature, that's why it's called an accident, but some people don't know exactly what to do afterward. So, you may wonder, do you need a lawyer after a car accident? The answer to your question will vary depending on the circumstances.
It is your right to seek legal counsel after an accident, whether or not it was your fault. Car accidents cause injuries, but they can also cause stress and financial loss. You're probably looking at medical bills, time off from work, and car repair or replacement. Your insurance may call the car a total loss, especially if your airbags deployed and your car was an older model.
Ongoing medical care is another expense you may be looking at if you were seriously injured. Medical bills have a way of piling up. You have to pay for time at the medical facility and then the doctors, specialists, therapies, and prescription medications for your treatment.
Consulting with an attorney after a car accident should happen as soon as possible because statutes of limitation are in effect in every state. It would be best if you also understood that the insurance companies are not on your side. You need someone who will be on your side, and that is often an attorney. The following content should help answer, do you need a lawyer after a car accident?
What does a car accident lawyer do?
A car accident lawyer can help you get the maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. They will be the sole communication between the other driver's insurers, relieving the stress and hassle you're dealing with due to the car accident.
A good accident lawyer will help gather all the evidence you'll need to prove the other driver is liable. They'll get accident and police reports and will have discussions with law enforcement or witnesses of the accident to get a comprehensive view of what actually happened. All of this will be required to prove fault.
Additionally, an accident lawyer will chase down the medical records that will be necessary to prove damages. They may even communicate directly with any doctors that have treated you because sometimes a physician does not include causation or the extent of the injuries in their medical diagnosis and treatment. This medical evidence is critical because it can dictate the amount of compensation you can get from insurers.
Negotiating with lien holders is something else an accident lawyer does. If you used your health or disability insurance after the accident, they would issue a lien on any settlement you receive. Your lawyer will work with these lien holders to reduce the amount they claim, leaving you with more money.
Your accident attorney will also understand how much your case is worth and work diligently to recover every penny you have coming to you. They will prepare a settlement demand letter and prepare paperwork for the courts if necessary. In severe injury cases, going to trial may be the best option to get the maximum amount of money. Because of this, it's crucial to find a lawyer that isn't afraid to go to trial.
When should you get a lawyer for a car accident?
You should consult a lawyer after a car accident to find out what, if anything, can be done to get compensation. An experienced car accident lawyer will evaluate the facts to see if your case has merit.
Many car accidents are just between two parties, but sometimes the accident involves multiple parties, further complicating an already complex problem. Hiring a car accident lawyer means you won't have to deal with fighting multiple parties to become whole again.
Consult with a lawyer before you sign any settlement because once you do, you sign away your right to get more compensation. Because the insurance company is watching their bottom line, they may come to you with a paltry settlement hoping you'll take it and go away. But their offer may not be enough to cover your injuries and loss of property. Having a lawyer review the settlement before you sign will ensure you're getting the right kind of compensation for all damages.
Loss of life or permanent injuries definitely warrant hiring a lawyer for a car accident. If you've lost a loved one due to a car accident, they can help you file a wrongful death lawsuit and do all the investigating required to prove liability. They can help ensure you have the money to cover your loved one's medical bills, funeral costs, and further damages if applicable.
If you've been permanently injured, you need to make sure you're getting compensation for future surgeries that may be required. Also, consider costs to cover any modifications to your home or vehicle, as well as the expenses for an in-home caregiver if you need one.
What happens when you get into a car accident, and it is not your fault?
Now is the time to make sure you're following the right steps that won't impede your chances of getting compensation. That includes being careful about your statements and making sure to get your injuries treated and documented with a doctor.
Contact a personal injury lawyer before you speak to an insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster will document everything you say and may use this against you later to minimize your claim. Don't sign any medical releases or liability waivers either until you speak with a lawyer.
Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that was my fault?
You may consider getting a lawyer even if the accident was your fault because, in some states, there is a principle of tort law in place called comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is used to assign a percentage of blame to both parties if both parties were at fault. For example, if both parties broke traffic laws that led to the accident. An attorney would be the best resource to advise you how this law may impact your case, but you can still sue for damages even if the accident was your fault.
Should I get a lawyer for a minor car accident?
First and foremost, in most states, it is illegal to fail to file a police report after an accident, even a minor one. If you leave the accident scene and it wasn't reported, and you later realize you were injured due to the accident, how can you prove it happened? Sometimes, injuries to your back or neck take days to surface. When you're in an accident, your adrenaline level spikes, and that can hinder the body's ability to feel pain right away. It's imperative to protect yourself even after a minor accident by contacting the police, taking pictures, collecting witness contact information, and visiting a doctor. They are the experts in determining your injuries.
Accident lawyers work on a contingency basis which means they don't get paid unless you do. Minor accidents may not result in a lawsuit, but you should always take the precaution of consulting an accident attorney if you feel you've been injured in any way. They can evaluate whether you have a case worth pursuing.
How long do you have to go to a doctor after a car accident?
Ideally, you should seek medical care as soon as possible after a car accident. Even if you don't feel hurt, you may not realize injuries, such as concussions or internal injuries. The symptoms of a concussion may make it difficult for you to realize your hurt. You may have difficulty concentrating or cloudy thinking, so it's vital to get evaluated. Furthermore, insurance companies may limit the amount of time you have to go see a doctor after a car accident. In some states, you may have as little as 72 hours.
When is it too late to get a lawyer for a car accident?
In all states, there are statutes of limitations that dictate how long you have to file a claim to collect damages, expenses, and compensation for injuries due to a car accident. Time is of the essence. You'll want to get a lawyer as soon as possible because your memory of the accident may fade, witnesses move on, evidence can be lost, and you may even lose track of all your medical bills and documentation of damages.
Obviously, after a car accident, and particularly if you've been seriously injured, hiring a lawyer may not be the first thing you think of doing. You're recovering, visiting doctors, trying to get your vehicle fixed, and juggling work and family too. But there is no time limit on when you can get a lawyer for your car accident. You just have to make sure you get one before the statute of limitation runs out in your state.
So, why should you hire Morgan & Morgan after your car accident?
We're ready to fight for you with 30 years of experience in injury cases. We are experts in car and auto accident litigation, having navigated the complex world of insurance claims in thousands of cases across the U.S. When we take on a case, you will have a fully dedicated legal team working for your interests.
Your assigned legal experts will swing into action gathering records for your medical treatment, medical bills, and any insurance information. We work to acquire dashcam footage or security camera footage to bolster your case. And most importantly, we are ready and willing to go to trial if need be to get the compensation you're entitled to for your damages.
Our attorneys are well prepared to argue your case before a judge and jury, which not all injury lawyers are inclined to do because it's tough. We're not afraid of hard work.
We understand communication is critical, so you can contact us anytime, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to talk about your personal injury claims. We're on your side, the side of the little people, ready to help make a difference. Call us and get started moving on with your life.