When to Get a Lawyer for Car Accident

When to Get a Lawyer for Car Accident

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When to Get a Lawyer for Car Accident

More than 20 million people are injured in car accidents every year, which cause devastating personal and economic losses. Often these accidents cause victims to blame it on pure bad luck or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, these accidents happen because of a series of events, and most are attributed to driver error. Drivers are expected to be vigilant when behind the wheel to anticipate the unexpected, like a sudden move from another driver, a hazard in the roadway, a mechanical failure, or a weather development.

However, being involved in a car accident is not what most people expect when they get into a car. When the unthinkable happens, you may not be sure how to handle the insurance process while having to deal with physical injuries and mental distress. You may be wondering when to get a lawyer for car accidents or if it's even necessary. Morgan Morgan has answers. We'll go over all of the scenarios where it would make sense to have professional legal counsel to protect your rights and ensure you get the most for your car accident claim.

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

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  • When Should I Get an Attorney After a Car Accident?

    Usually, the more severe your injuries and the complexity of the claim will dictate whether you'll need the help of a car accident attorney. The sooner you get in touch with Morgan and Morgan, the quicker we'll be able to work on preserving evidence and building your case. In the following situations, we strongly recommend having an attorney represent your interests:

    The accident caused significant injuries to you or another party - When there are severe injuries, substantial medical bills and other expenses will come into play. Insurance companies will work to protect their bottom line when there's a lot of money to be paid out. You must understand that although insurance company adjusters and representatives may sound sympathetic and appear to take your concerns to heart, they have a job to do, which is to keep costs down. Catastrophic injury settlements could run into the millions, which insurance companies will try to avoid paying. It would help if you had someone who works for you and only you. That's how a car accident lawyer could make a considerable difference. When you have legal representation, the insurance companies are put on notice that you will not allow yourself to be pushed around.

    The fault of the accident is in question (unless in no-fault states) - Determining fault is a huge factor in car accident claims. In some states, the amount of compensation you can receive could be diminished if the other party's insurance company decides you have some part in the fault. This is called contributory negligence. For example, say you were t-boned by a driver who ran a red light in an intersection, yet you were traveling faster than the speed limit. In that case, they may say you are 30% to blame, and the other driver is 70% to blame. That would reduce your claim by 30%. Our car accident lawyers could work to establish you weren't speeding at the time of the crash through investigatory measures to ensure you get the full value of your claim.

    In some states, if you're judged 50% at fault, you may not be able to recover anything at all. This is called a modified comparative fault. In a situation where the other party's insurance company is claiming this, you could benefit immensely from a lawyer. We can work to establish you are below the 50% threshold, which would allow you to recover damages.

    Any crash involving other motorists such as cars, trucks, motorcyclists, or pedestrians and bicyclists - When multiple parties are involved, this dramatically increases the complexity of a claim, particularly if you're involved in a collision with a commercial truck. In this case, numerous parties may be liable for your injuries, such as the trucking company, the driver, or even the company responsible for loading the truck's cargo. Depending on the state you live in, such as Florida, motorcyclists are not required to carry personal injury protection, which may call into question who is responsible if they are injured. Furthermore, colliding with bicyclists or pedestrians isn't always the driver's fault. Suppose the pedestrian was jaywalking, or the bicyclists didn't obey traffic signals and caused the accident. In that case, they may be the ones liable for property damage and injuries.

    On the other hand, if you were a pedestrian or a bicyclist and were injured by a negligent driver, our personal injury attorneys can work to gather evidence and establish fault to compensate you for your injuries.   

    Any crash that occurs in a school zone - School zones are safety zones where children should be able to expect drivers will respect the speed limits and keep vigilant. If your child was injured by a driver speeding in a school zone, you might be able to recover damages for their negligence.

    Any collision in a road construction zone - Construction zones can be fraught with danger for both crew and drivers. Another driver may ignore posted speed limits or disobey temporary construction signs and signals, endangering other drivers on the road. Late or high-speed lane merging in a construction zone is a common cause of rear-end collisions or worse. Construction zone accidents could be complicated because you may have two or more drivers. Still, you also have to deal with government entities who may have some responsibility if signals and signage are unclear.

    The police report has inaccuracies - Although police will generally try to do their best when documenting the factors at the scene of an accident, they are not infallible. Some inaccuracies could be minor such as a transposed number at the address of the accident. Still, others could be substantial, which may impact your claim. It's unlikely that you'll be able to change the mind of a police officer if they find you at fault, but you can submit your own statement and ask to have that included. Be factual, provide evidence, and don't exaggerate. Ultimately, it's up to the police to decide if they'll include it in the police report. We can assist you in crafting your version of the story.
    The crash involves an underinsured or uninsured party - If the other party doesn't have sufficient insurance or any insurance at all, you may have to file with your own insurance company. But don't expect them to be overly helpful. Yes, we know that sounds conspiring, but it's a fact that insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing and denying legitimate claims, even for their own clients. Morgan and Morgan car accident lawyers will work to ensure you're treated fairly, whichever party's insurance company we're handling negotiations through.

    Any time the insurance company denies liability, low balls settlement offers, or uses bad faith tactics - This may sound repetitive, but when you feel like an insurance company is treating you unreasonably, you may need the help of an attorney to get your claim back on the rails. Insurance is a money-making business, and employees are under tremendous pressure to keep costs down. Some even stoop to misrepresentation of what policies cover or drag out claims to frustrate injured individuals in an attempt for the problem to "go away." There are laws that protect the public from this kind of unscrupulous behavior. If you're experiencing issues with collecting your car accident claim, we can help.

  • How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

    At Morgan and Morgan, we take car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we look at your claim and decide if we think you have a decent chance of collecting with our help. Because of this, we don't require any upfront payment for our services. That doesn't mean you have to provide all the evidence. We do some of that work. However, we evaluate the known facts, and if we think we can come up with a winning legal strategy, we accept the case and begin our efforts. Only when we win your claim, do we collect for our services.

    It's essential to take into account that people who work with an attorney on their personal injury claim are frequently much more successful than if they worked alone. This is particularly true when cases go to trial. Our experience is that we win our clients up to ten times more than what was offered prior to trial. It's sometimes a gamble because court cases could go either way. Still, when we know our client is being treated unfairly, we won't hesitate to take an insurance company to court. However, the decision to do that is always yours to make. 

  • What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?

    Driving errors contribute the most to car accidents and can include the following:

    Distracted driving - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as anything that takes the driver's attention away from the immediate task of driving. This can include texting, making phone calls, eating, tending to children, rummaging through personal possessions, and more.

    Speeding - 55 percent of motor vehicle accidents occur because of speeding. Speed limits are meant to account for road conditions. Driving too fast means you are going faster than reasonable for safe driving. Speeding leaves drivers vulnerable to the unexpected such as construction, debris in the roadway, and other obstacles. Speeding greatly reduces a driver's ability to react to these hazards.

    DUI - Alcohol and drugs impede a driver's reaction time. It can cause slowed responses, a lack of coordination, and overconfidence. Sadly, driving while under the influence causes thousands of fatalities on the roadways every year in the United States.

    Drowsy driving - Driving while drowsy can make a driver just as dangerous as a drunk driver. Fatigue also impacts a driver's ability to react and focus on the task at hand.

    Reckless driving - Angry drivers can be reckless and disregard the safety of others on the road by tailgating, brake checking, speeding, and other dangerous driving behaviors. It's far more common than people may think and can have dangerous and costly consequences.

    Failing to follow traffic signs and signals - Accidents happen when drivers fail to obey traffic signals and signs, whether unintentional or purposeful. Red light and stop sign runners can cause catastrophic injuries because of rollovers and side-impact collisions.

  • When to Get a Lawyer for Car Accidents?

    When you're the victim of a car accident, it can be a stressful and traumatic time. We understand. You may have concerns mounting about who will pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You may be overwhelmed dealing with an aggressive or incompetent insurance company and simply don't have the energy to negotiate on your own. You should be able to work on your recovery and leave the rest in our capable hands.

    We will work to ensure you have a successful claim, so you get the best chance for a bright future for yourself and your family. Morgan and Morgan law firm has offices all over the U.S., so our clients have easy access when they need expert legal guidance. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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“I was in a difficult situation when I was injured by a faulty product. I was hesitant to seek legal help but with the help of Morgan & Morgan, they made the process easy. They took immediate action and got me the compensation I deserved. I couldn't have done it without them. I highly recommend their services.” Estate of Patricia Allen v. RJ Reynolds, et al. | 2014

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