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When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident

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There are no laws that state you need to get an attorney after a car accident. When people are the victim of a car accident, they frequently wonder if they should seek out a lawyer to handle their claim. Some do so because they fear being taken advantage of by the insurance companies. When people have serious injuries, they may opt to have an attorney handle all the heavy lifting so they can recover in peace. Whatever reason you may have for looking for an attorney, you should know that it's your right to have a lawyer looking out for your interests. You can hire a lawyer at any point during the negotiation process. 

If you're wondering when to get an attorney for a car accident, you're not alone. Sometimes, it's only after starting the negotiation process that people realize the need for legal counsel. It may be that negotiations have stalled, or you're not being offered a reasonable settlement. Perhaps, your claim is being denied, and you're not sure why or what to do next. Here are some of the most common reasons you should get an attorney for a car accident. 

You've sustained serious injuries - Serious injuries complicate claims because there are high stakes on both sides. The nature of severe injuries causes medical expenses to skyrocket. It may be that you will need ongoing treatment and long-term rehabilitation. You may need costly modifications to your home and may require home care as well as paying for services such as cleaning, shopping, and cooking. All of these add up, and the insurance company will try to keep the payout as low as possible. They may not factor in long-term expenses into their settlement; that's why it's crucial to have a lawyer represent you. Our car accident attorneys know how insurance companies think and their tricks to underpay legitimate claims.

The fault is not clearly established - When a car insurance company comes back and says you are partly or totally at fault for a car accident, you're going to have to fight to prove otherwise. Our attorneys can help by conducting our own thorough investigation and hopefully uncover some new evidence that shows your side of the story. We have the resources to hire investigators and accident reconstruction specialists to reframe the accident proving the other driver is to blame.  

The crash was in a school zone - Every state has specific laws about driving in school zones like speed limits, fully yielding at a school crosswalk, and no passing other drivers. Suppose the other party disregarded these laws and caused your accident. In that case, we can help clearly assign fault to the other driver.

The crash was in a construction zone - Construction zone collisions can be complex because you may have other factors at play, such as construction company or government worker errors. They could have some liability in the accident if they failed to alert drivers with warning or detour signs; or if construction equipment was left in the road, temporary lanes weren't properly marked, or they failed to guide traffic when necessary. Construction sites can be difficult to navigate, and these areas often result in chain-reaction collisions involving multiple drivers. When you have all of these factors at play, this is the time when getting an attorney is critical. 

You disagree with the police report - A police report is a vital document that insurance adjusters will use to determine liability. When a police report is inaccurate, it can be highly detrimental to your ability to get compensation. Our lawyers can advise you on how to get the police report amended to accurately reflect the facts of the accident. Fixing a police report error should be done as quickly as possible. 

The insurance company is stalling - The goal of any insurance company is to make profits. Settling a claim means they make less money, and this is an incentive to delay the process. When they drag out making a settlement offer, they're hoping that you become frustrated and give up, then they win. They also know the longer they wait, the harder it is for you to prove they owe for the accident. They may say there is insufficient evidence, or your injuries are pre-existing. Our personal injury lawyers will help you gather evidence and prove your injuries are new, not pre-existing. Perhaps most important, our law firm has a reputation in the industry for fighting, and insurance companies are aware of our track record for success. Sometimes, all it takes is a heavyweight in your corner, ready to fight. 

The insurance company offers a lowball settlement - Again, insurance companies are all about gains, not losses. When they have to pay out a significant settlement, it hurts their bottom line, so the first offer is typically going to be as little as possible. The only option you have is to keep negotiating, and you may wind up in court. Now is not the time to give in and take their puny offer. Once you accept it, they'll have you sign away your right to seek any further compensation down the road. Our car accident lawyers can help through negotiations and will represent you at trial if necessary.

The other driver is underinsured or uninsured - If the other driver has no insurance or is underinsured, you may be able to make a claim with your own insurance company if you have coverage on your policy. You also have the option of filing a lawsuit against the other driver. However, our car accident attorneys will need to investigate to determine if it's worth pursuing. If the other driver has no assets and a low-paying job, winning a lawsuit could be a hollow victory because it would be unlikely you'd ever get paid.

The other driver was a city, state, or government employee - Getting into an accident with a city sanitation truck or a fire truck can make getting compensation difficult. As a rule, the higher up the food chain the employee is, the more challenging claims can be. Plus, the statute of limitations for suing the government, state, or city entities is dramatically less than a regular civil lawsuit. You may have as little as 180 days, so time is of the essence. For this type of accident, you will most certainly need a lawyer to guide you through the process.

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn't my fault?

    There are two types of insurance law in the U.S. Some states are no-fault states which means your medical expenses and lost wages are paid through your own personal injury protection coverage. It doesn't matter who was at fault for the accident. In most instances, you would not need a lawyer unless your insurance company is pulling dirty tricks to avoid paying out for the claim. However, if you're seriously injured, you may have some legal recourse to sue the other driver. Still, you must have suffered significant and permanent injuries to do so. 

    Other states are tort states which means every driver must carry liability insurance, and the at-fault driver pays the other for property damage and injuries. In a minor accident, this shouldn't be a big deal. Still, here again, if your injuries are severe, one of our lawyers can help a great deal in getting you the kind of compensation you'll need to recover.

  • What type of attorney handles car accidents?

    Now that you know when to get an attorney for a car accident, your next question might be what kind of attorney is needed? An experienced car accident attorney will understand all the nuances of these kinds of special cases. Just as you wouldn't go to a general practitioner for surgery, you shouldn't rely on a lawyer that generalizes in a little bit of everything. Our lawyers have expertise in car accidents. They know how insurance companies do business and local traffic laws that could impact your case. We have attorneys across the U.S., so we're able to help out no matter where you live. 

    Furthermore, we have lawyers that even specialize in your specific type of injury. Experience with particular traumas like traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries goes a long way towards understanding what your precise needs will be. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting the compensation you have a right to because of someone else's negligence.  

  • What does a car accident lawyer do?

    To get compensation for a car accident, you must prove who caused the accident and provide sufficient evidence to back it up. This may include getting first-hand witness accounts, medical records, police reports, and estimates for repairs. Our car accident attorneys can help with the following:

    • Conducting an investigation which includes examining police reports, analyzing medical reports, gathering witness statements, and reviewing any photos or film footage
    • Handling communication between the insurance company and other parties on your behalf
    • Proving the conditions that led up to the crash and the liability of each party
    • Building a strong case based on the facts of the incident
    • Established a legal strategy to gain full compensation
    • Representing you in court if necessary

    When it's time to get an attorney, you want to hire the most qualified attorney for your claim. If our track record shows anything, it's how we win for our clients. We're all about holding guilty parties accountable and not settling for less than what your claim is worth. Just this last year, we resolved more than 70,000 cases successfully. With that number of wins, we have to be doing something right. In fact, we don't charge you a thing unless we accomplish our goal, which is to recover compensation for your damages. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We're available for your needs 24/7.

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Unbelievably organized, responsive and probably the most effective process-oriented group of people I've ever seen. Their preparation for mediation and trial is beyond comprehensive. Across two cases and 3 years, not once did anything fall between the cracks. Everyone I came into contact with exemplifies professionalism; they quickly resolved insurance issues and spent time educating me about everything affecting my cases.
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It has been an amazing experience with your law firm. I will be happy to refer any of my family and friends to your law firm. I am very thankful to Sabrina Thornburg and Andrew Felix for everything that they have done on my case. Sabrina kept in touch with me to let me know how everything was going and I am very happy with the service that she and Andrew provided. Your slogan really is true, you are for the people. Thank you.
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I originally hired a different law firm after being involved in a multi-car accident on the interstate, but after a few conversations, arguments, and showing me other cases were more important than mine, I called and hired Morgan & Morgan! That was one of the best decisions I've made as an adult! Not only have they been in contact with me, but they listened and found mistakes in the crash report that the officer didn't want to admit to! I'm beyond thankful!
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