There's no doubt that getting a lawyer after a car accident is a great decision. However, the big question is: when should you get a lawyer for a car accident? Should you call right after the accident or wait for hours or days before making that all-important phone call? The truth is, it all depends on the circumstances surrounding the case.
Any qualified lawyer will tell you how important it is to seek legal help after a car accident. But what if you've been injured to a point where you cannot make a phone call or send that important email? Even worse, what if you've been hospitalized?
These are legitimate questions you need to ask yourself before contacting the attorney. For this reason, the simplest and most realistic answer to this question is:
You need to call a car accident lawyer as soon as you can and if the situation requires the intervention of such an attorney.
Some car accidents are pretty straightforward; if the other driver is at fault for a clear accident (such as hitting your vehicle from behind), chances are the driver or their insurance won't contest this fact.
Here are some examples of situations that might require the intervention of a car accident lawyer.
When the Other Driver Won't Accept Liability
If you believe the other driver's negligence caused the car accident, you need an attorney if the driver at fault won't accept responsibility. Most drivers are aware that causing accidents could increase their insurance premiums, which is not something they would want to deal with, especially in these tough economic times.
For this reason, some drivers would rather lie about a car accident than admit their fault. So when you find yourself in such a situation, an attorney is all you need to prove the other driver's negligence.
This attorney collects information regarding the accident, interviews witnesses whenever necessary, and builds a strong case against the other driver. A car accident attorney can also help you understand the dos and don'ts after a car accident, increasing your chances of compensation when you file a lawsuit.
When You've Been Injured During the Accident
Injuries sustained during a car accident can be life-changing; it is never advisable to downplay such injuries because they could grow into something even more serious in the future. Therefore, you need an experienced attorney to fight for your rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
For example, if you hit your head during the accident and suffer mild headaches, this could indicate a more serious injury. Such an attorney can advise you on seeking treatment and using your medical records to build a case against the individual or entity responsible for the damage.
Your medical records and doctor's statements can significantly influence the outcome of the lawsuit. In most cases, victims of such accidents receive more compensation if they require treatment for their injuries than those who do not.
When the Insurance Company Disputes Your Claim
The pain of suffering injuries from a car accident is usually too much to bear. And things can shift from bad to worse when the other driver's insurer disputes your claim.
One thing you need to know about most insurance companies is that they may sound so convincing in their advertisements but not so helpful when it comes to approving compensation. After all, insurance is like any other business, and the main goal is making profits, even if it means denying some of your claims to keep part of the compensation they owe for their client's negligence.
Hiring an experienced attorney from a reputable law firm like Morgan & Morgan can make a huge difference in your pursuit of compensation. Given that we practice injury law, our attorneys have dealt with hundreds of insurance companies for over 30 years, and we have been serving clients all over the United States.
We know the different tactics such companies use to lower the plaintiff's compensation or deny it completely. Another benefit of working with a reputable personal injury law firm like Morgan & Morgan is that we are not just another law firm in the United States.
In fact, Morgan & Morgan is the largest personal injury law firm in the country! We have a team of over 800 attorneys ready to represent you wherever you are; all you need to do is call us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
So when you have Morgan & Morgan by your side, you'll rest assured that the other driver's insurance company won't play games with your compensation because they know how far we can go when it comes to fighting for our client's rights. Most insurance companies that offer low compensation for damages end up paying our clients up to 20 times more when we present the case in court.
When Negotiating a Settlement With the Insurer
One of the biggest and costliest mistakes some personal injury victims make when dealing with insurance companies is negotiating a settlement without an attorney. In fact, many insurance companies love negotiating settlements with clients who don't have legal representation because they can easily convince them to accept a lowball offer.
Remember, once you accept a settlement and sign the settlement release form, you cannot sue the insurance company further down the line when you realize that the offer was way less than what you deserved. For this reason, insurance companies will try to speed up the process, ensuring you don't realize the importance of working with an attorney, or when you do, it will be too late to file a lawsuit against them.
However, when you work with Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys evaluate every kind of damage you've suffered due to the car accident. After considering all factors, you will be surprised to discover how much you are entitled to as settlement.
For example, did you know that you may be eligible for compensation if you suffered emotional pain during and after the accident? Most victims of car accidents only know about compensation for common expenses such as medical, vehicle damage, lost wages, and anything in between. However, the list of damages varies from one case to another and usually expands based on the severity of the accident.
When You Need to Sue Your Own Insurer
As strange as it sounds, sometimes it might be necessary to sue your own insurance company. This happens a lot, especially if you live in a no-fault state.
Residents of no-fault states are usually covered by their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. So when they get involved in a car accident and suffer injuries in the process, they expect their own insurers to provide compensation up to a certain amount.
However, insurance companies are never quick at partying with their money. This is because, as mentioned earlier, insurance is a business like any other. It doesn't matter how loyal you have been to an insurance company as a consumer; they'll dispute your claims and employ every tactic possible to reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Hiring a personal injury attorney reduces the chances of insurance companies withholding your compensation because they know they'll pay for their actions. Such companies often rely on the assumption that you're not familiar with car accident laws in your state and may even encourage you to take the claims to court if you don't accept their settlement offer.
Remember, insurance companies also have their own attorneys representing them in court. If they are smart enough to know they need an attorney, so should you.
When You Need Legal Resources to File (and Win) a Claim
When you file a claim after a car accident, you won't be suing the negligent driver. Instead, the lawsuit targets the driver's insurer.
And one thing you should be sure of is the fact that the insurance company has more than enough resources to fight the claim. For this reason, you also need legal resources to prove to the insurance company and the court, if necessary, that the other driver was liable for your injuries.
Although working with an attorney is a great decision, it's also important to consider the size of their legal resources. This is because a personal injury attorney with limited resources may not be able to handle cases of such magnitude. So instead, they may settle for a lowball offer just to close the case and move on to the next.
Other than the obvious loss of finances you should have been awarded after winning the lawsuit, such an attorney might put you in a difficult situation in the future.
Here's a hypothetical example:
Suppose you suffer a car accident and experience mild back pains. In that case, the initial medical scan might reveal minor injuries that are not too expensive to treat.
But if the injuries grow into something more serious in the future, you cannot sue the insurance company after accepting the initial offer and signing the settlement release form. This means you will have to settle the expensive treatment costs out of pocket.
Attorneys who cannot risk taking your case to court if the need arises are not worth your time because you could be losing millions of dollars worth of compensation.
On the other hand, things are very different when you work with a gigantic and heavily-equipped law firm like Morgan & Morgan. Given that we are the largest personal injury law firm in the United States, we have the legal resources to fight for you in and out of court.
We don't settle for lowball offers or get intimidated by the other party's insurance company. Instead, we fight for your rights aggressively, ensuring you receive the kind of compensation you deserve, covering every damage you have endured resulting from the accident.