Is It Worth Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident?

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Is It Worth Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident?

Handling a car accident claim alone can be false economy, especially if you suffered severe or disabling injuries in a car crash and have considerable financial losses. Insurance companies are not on your side, and getting what you deserve can be a battle. Working with a determined and experienced car accident attorney could increase your payout, especially if an insurance carrier is minimizing or denying your claim.

Morgan & Morgan knows that serious car accidents can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional health and finances. We believe you deserve the best chance to recover what you need to rebuild your life and move forward. Our dedicated attorneys are here to help. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine whether you have a case.

When to Consider Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

Victims are not required to hire a car accident lawyer and can represent themselves after a collision. However, while you may be able to handle a minor claim without injuries, consider working with an attorney if one of the following situations applies to you:

  • You suffered a significant injury in the crash
  • Your medical costs and income losses are steep
  • A loved one died in a collision
  • You are permanently disabled due to the accident
  • You may not be able to return to your career
  • You had to give up your usual activities and hobbies due to the injury
  • You have some responsibility for the crash
  • An insurance company has already minimized or denied your claim

Victims can hire an attorney at any point while filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. However, it can be beneficial to seek legal advice immediately after your crash to protect your rights, gather evidence, and interview eyewitnesses. Moreover, hiring a lawyer allows you to focus on healing while your attorney pursues justice and compensation on your behalf.

Why You Should Work With a Lawyer After a Car Accident

According to the Seattle Journal for Social Justice, individuals represented by attorneys are more likely to win their claims compared to people representing themselves. An attorney can help you in many ways, such as:

Protect Your Rights  

Morgan & Morgan’s car accident attorneys can protect your rights immediately and discuss your legal options and next best steps in a free case evaluation. We can:

  • Establish the facts and circumstances of your crash  
  • Determine all liable parties and avenues for pursuing compensation
  • Preserve crucial evidence before it disappears
  • Handle the insurance company and protect you from manipulative tactics designed to minimize your claim

Level the Playing Field

Car accident attorneys have years of legal training and can put their knowledge and experience to work for you. Getting what you deserve can be challenging without the help of a qualified legal professional, especially if an insurance company tries to reduce your payout or denies your claim altogether.

An attorney is on your side, levels the playing field, and signals to the insurer that you are serious and determined about getting the settlement you deserve. If negotiations for a fair out-of-court settlement fail, an attorney can take the insurance company to court and fight for full and fair compensation at trial. Fighting a lawsuit on your own against the opposing party’s lawyers is not only daunting but also unlikely to be successful.  

Calculate Your Damages Accurately

Victims know that they deserve compensation when another causes their damages. However, do you know how to calculate all your damages correctly, including putting a dollar figure on your pain and emotional distress? A car accident attorney has completed such calculations hundreds of times and can determine precisely what your case is worth.

Most injury victims underestimate their losses, which could lead to accepting a low settlement offer and losing out on a large portion of what is owed to them. Without a lawyer in your corner, you risk losing out on money you are legally entitled to and could end up out of pocket in the future.

Put in the Hours and Work Required

Handling a lawsuit on your own is complex and requires a lot of work, time, and effort. You will have to gather and organize your evidence and complete a great deal of paperwork. Moreover, making one mistake, such as failing to observe the statute of limitations, could sink your entire case.

A Morgan & Morgan car accident attorney knows how to file the required paperwork, observe all critical deadlines, and build a solid case against the at-fault party.

Prove Negligence

To win your case and receive compensation, you must show the other party’s negligence with supporting evidence. Proving a personal injury claim entails showing that:

  1. The defendant owed you a duty of care
  2. They breached their duty, for example, by speeding
  3. Your accident and injury are a direct result of the breach of duty
  4. You have injuries and damages, such as medical bills and other costs

 Proving negligence can be challenging when an experienced lawyer represents the defendant, and you are handling your own case. However, experienced car accident attorneys know how to gather and present the evidence to prove your case.

Is It Worth Hiring an Attorney?

Another driver causing your crash does not guarantee you a fair settlement. An insurance carrier may refuse your claim or offer you a payout far below the amount you need to cover your damages, such as medical bills, car damage, and income loss. Our lawyers have helped thousands of motor vehicle accident victims recover the settlement they needed to get their lives back on track, often recovering much more than the initial settlement offer from an insurance company.

An Attorney Could Help You Recover Maximum Compensation

A skilled car accident attorney will understand and assert the full impact of an injury on your life, including your career, family, and health. They will fight tooth and nail for an adequate settlement that allows you to pay your bills and avert financial hardship. Damages you could recover can include:

  • Vehicle damage or loss
  • Medical costs now and in the future
  • Lost income from missed work time
  • Reduced future earning capacity if you are unable to resume your career fully
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of life quality

In rare cases, when a driver maliciously or recklessly causes an accident, you could receive punitive damages in addition to compensation.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Are My Next Best Steps After a Car Crash?

    Taking the proper steps after a car crash can make or break your compensation claim. Here is what you should do:

    Call 911

    Your first step, particularly if there are injuries, is to call 911 for law enforcement and medical assistance. The attending police officer will file an accident report, which can be crucial evidence for your claim. Ensure the officer records your view of why and how the accident happened.

    Exchange Information With Other Drivers

    Before leaving the crash scene, exchange names, contact details, and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, try to get their contact details, too, as witness statements could be crucial for your claim.

    Document the Accident

    Document the accident by taking cellphone pictures of all vehicles and the area. You could also take a video of the scene. Note down the weather and road conditions.

    See a Doctor

    Unless you received emergency medical assistance at the accident scene, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Our bodies typically mask pain in stressful situations such as car accidents. While you may feel fine now, you could have an underlying injury. Getting a check-up safeguards your health and legal rights.

    Contact a Car Accident Lawyer

    Professional legal advice can be essential, especially if you suffer significant injuries and medical expenses. Contacting an attorney can help you get clear on your legal rights and the next best steps for recovering a settlement.

  • Should I Hire an Attorney for a Minor Accident?

    Generally, you can handle a claim involving a fender bender without injuries on your own. However, even a minor accident can occasionally cause injuries resulting in high medical costs, prolonged wage loss, and other significant damages. Crashes resulting in severe injuries or death typically require the help of a car accident attorney.

    Most personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations, allowing you to determine whether you could handle a claim alone or whether you should get the support of a qualified and experienced lawyer. It is always worth getting an attorney when insurance companies refuse your claim. An attorney can handle all communication and negotiation with the insurer and take them to court if necessary.

  • Do I Have to Pay a Car Accident Lawyer Upfront?

    Every law firm has a different fee structure. However, most car accident attorneys do not charge clients upfront fees and instead work on contingency. You would then only pay your lawyer if and when they win the case, and you receive compensation. That said, some law firms charge their clients upfront legal expenses, which can become burdensome, especially in complex and lengthy lawsuits. Such costs can include the following:

    • Court filing fees
    • Costs of documents such as medical records
    • Deposition expenses
    • Expert witness fees

    At Morgan & Morgan, we understand that money can be tight for injured individuals who may be out of work during recovery and have to deal with steep medical expenses. Therefore, we charge you nothing upfront for handling your claim. You only pay us if and when we successfully recover damages.

  • Do I Have to Go to Court for a Car Crash?

    Most car accident claims never see the inside of a courtroom. In most cases, it is much cheaper and quicker for an insurer to settle out-of-court, which is why so few personal injury claims go to trial. A lawsuit is typically initiated when all other options are exhausted. Filing a lawsuit can also prompt a fair out-of-court settlement, as an insurance company realizes you are serious about getting justice.

    Even when your claim moves through the court system, there are still weeks of pre-trial litigation in which a settlement is possible. If all negotiation fails and your case goes to trial, a seasoned car accident attorney can protect you and fight for what you deserve.

  • How Long Can I Sue After a Collision?

    The time to file a personal injury lawsuit is generally limited wherever you live. However, each state has a different deadline. While in some jurisdictions, you may have four years to file, in others, you may only have one year to file. Many states give victims at least two years to initiate legal action.

    However, there may be other time limits affecting your claim. For example, if you have a case against the local government, you may have to give notice that you intend to file a lawsuit. Some states require filing such notice within a few weeks of your accident and injury. Generally, you must meet all legal deadlines to pursue compensation.

    It is always best to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash, so they can protect your rights and ensure you are meeting crucial deadlines.

  • Our Car Accident Attorneys Want You to Win

    If you or a loved one is injured in a car crash due to another’s fault, you may need powerful legal representation to get what you deserve. A tenacious lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can be your best advocate, help avoid mistakes that could result in a lower settlement, and provide a shoulder to lean on during a challenging time. Contact us today to discover for free how we could help you win compensation.  

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