When to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident

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When to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident

Determining whether you should hire a lawyer after a car accident is an essential matter that a lot of people wrestle with because of various unique and personal factors. Many people decide they need an attorney when there are questions of liability, severe injuries, or the case is very complex and may need to be resolved in the court system. Even so, it's worth your time to consult with a car accident lawyer to understand what services they can offer, even before you encounter disagreements with the other party.

Reputable lawyers will lay out your options to pursue compensation. If they are legitimate, they'll also tell you when you don't have a very good case and caution you against pursuing a lawsuit. Likewise, if they believe your case has merit, they warn you against settling for less than what you deserve. The guidance you receive should be based on extensive experience and knowledge of the law. That's why working with a law firm with a stellar reputation for the highest ethical standards and for delivering favorable outcomes for clients is essential. Morgan and Morgan's lawyers live up to this high standard as we've recovered billions for clients we've determined to have credible claims.

You can easily contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more.

Let's review some benefits of working with a lawyer for your car accident. We'll also answer some of the common questions clients have on this legal matter.

Two Primary Considerations When You're Thinking About Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

There are a lot of factors that should influence your decision to hire a car accident lawyer. Still, a few will be decidedly relevant, both to you and your potential lawyer.

The severity of the accident - Substantial injuries are often an excellent reason to hire an attorney. When you've sustained considerable injuries that require expensive and ongoing medical care, this may have an impact on how your claim is handled. In short, an insurance company will do what it can to mitigate its losses, even if its client is clearly at fault. For example, they may nitpick the type of care you receive, arguing that some treatments are unnecessary. They may say your injuries happened another way, that you were somehow negligent and contributed to your injuries, or that you didn't follow the doctor's instructions, which worsened your condition. They will work to minimize your injuries and losses and point the finger back at you so they have to pay less. A car accident lawyer will have experience dealing with these kinds of tactics and protecting you from shady tactics.

The other party - Some states follow no-fault insurance laws. Suppose you live in a no-fault state, and the accident was minor. In that case, you usually won't need the help of a lawyer because medical expenses and loss of income are covered through your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance regardless of fault. However, suppose your injuries are significant in a no-fault state. In that case, you may be able to step outside the no-fault system to get compensated for medical costs that exceed your PIP coverage, along with pain, suffering, and other damages. If this sounds like your situation, a car accident lawyer offers valuable services to ensure you get the maximum amount possible.

If there are multiple parties involved, this typically makes acquiring compensation more complex. You may need help determining which party to sue. For example, if a car accident involves a commercial driver, you might need to sue the driver and their employer. Here's another scenario. Suppose the other party was a government employee operating the vehicle in their capacity as an employee. In that case, this adds yet another layer of complexity since specific rules must be abided by to recover compensation from a government entity.

Another reason to consider the other party is if you were partially at fault for the accident. Many states follow the comparative negligence doctrine, which means you may still recover compensation. Still, it will be reduced based on the percentage of fault you share with the other driver. A car accident attorney can present arguments that diminish your percentage of fault.

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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 Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

    When you work with the legal professionals at Morgan and Morgan, you have a much better chance of recovering compensation. Likewise, the amount you recover is often far more significant when you're represented by one of our experienced attorneys. Our primary goal is to get you the compensation that allows you to pay for expenses and losses incurred because of the accident. Here are examples of damages you might be entitled to recover:

    • Medical bills
    • Vehicle replacement or repair
    • Lost income
    • Permanent disability
    • Pain and suffering
    • Mental anguish
    • Loss of consortium (loss of love, companionship, care, assistance, and other emotional and supportive deprivations)

    Your lawyer will also help you to understand your rights and the relevant state laws that will impact your claim. Insurance companies are okay with claimants that don't understand how to protect themselves legally and often use tactics to make claimants feel like they have few options when they may have many.

    Your lawyer will have knowledge of case law and will use this to your advantage. After an accident, you may have a lot of advice offered, but just because someone else had an anecdotal experience with a car accident doesn't mean they understand the intricacies of your issue. Our lawyers have handled a substantial number of cases and use their knowledge, professional training, and experience to your benefit.

    There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes in a car accident case, but you'll be informed of every step. To build a strong case and negotiate a fair settlement, these are generally the measures we take:

    • Performing an in-depth investigation into the details of the accident
    • Compiling all relevant information, including police reports, witness statements, pictures, and video, medical records, wage statements, and impact statements from friends and family
    • Building and submitting your personal injury claim to the other party(s) insurance company
    • Negotiating for meaningful compensation
    • Filing a lawsuit if negotiations fail
    • Managing all steps of the legal process
    • Representing you in court with the objective of recovering the maximum compensation possible

    A good majority of car accident cases are resolved successfully through negotiations. A lawsuit is a last resort when an insurance company refuses to cooperate and pay fairly for legitimate losses. That's why it's crucial to work with a law firm with a successful courtroom record.

    You might be surprised to learn that not every lawyer is prepared to battle it out in court, even if they know the insurance company is treating you unfairly. Instead, to avoid the added expense and time, they'll badger you into accepting less than what your case is truly worth. We believe that our clients should never have to settle for less than what they deserve, even if that means we have to spend more time and resources in a court battle.

    Lawyers can also help you obtain evidence that would be difficult to get your hands on by yourself. For example, suppose your car accident is complex and hard to understand. In that case, we have expert car accident reconstructionists who can help demonstrate what occurred. If there are questions about your injuries and the effect they have on your life, we have medical experts that can make it clear, so you have more leverage and negotiating power. We have access to a vast network of professionals that are highly regarded in their field to help with your case.

  • What Determines the Full Amount of Your Damages?

    Many times, victims of car accidents only take their immediate losses into account and don't see the complete picture. For example, you may not assess the cost of future medical care or may not think to include changes in your income capacity if you were disabled. For instance, suppose you had a well-paying job, but it was physically challenging. In the accident, you sustained a debilitating back injury that will leave you in chronic pain for the rest of your life. You can no longer tolerate the physical demands of your previous job and will have to take a lower-paying desk job instead. Our car accident lawyers will take these and other future losses into account and demand compensation on your behalf.

  • Will Hiring a Lawyer Will Reduce Your Stress and Anxiety?

    After suffering severe injuries, the last thing you want to worry about is legal deadlines and stressful conversations with insurance companies. Stress and anxiety can affect your ability to recover because it's known to negatively impact the immune system and impede the body's healing mechanisms. When you have a lawyer dealing with all of the legal intricacies, you can focus on what matters most, regaining your health.

    We understand that after a car accident, you want to get past it and move on with your life. It can be especially tempting if the other party's insurance company seems to want to pay for your damages. They may even offer you what you think is a reasonable sum. However, you should know that you can file a personal injury claim in many instances, even if the accident wasn't too serious.

    Likewise, damages don't always have to be purely physical. Mental trauma can be just as debilitating as physical. For example, some of our clients have had PTSD from a car accident. That affects their lives. They may need to go to therapy to learn how to deal with their fears, which costs money, not to mention the inconvenience. Likewise, they may lose sleep, have trouble concentrating at work, and take sick days to deal with their problems. That means the potential for lost income. If these consequences result from someone else's negligence, it should and can be compensable.

  • Working With Morgan and Morgan Law Firm

    We understand that hiring a lawyer may not be your top priority after an accident. However, time is crucial immediately afterward. We can inform you of your options, help you to understand your rights, and take steps to ensure evidence is uncovered and preserved. We urge clients to talk to us as soon as possible after an accident and before they discuss matters with the other party's insurance company. Even though the insurance adjuster may sound nice, they are trained to use tactics encouraging you to make statements that could hurt your claim. We'll make sure you don't make those or other mistakes.

    Conversely, if you've already been working on your own behalf and have hit a wall with negotiations, we can get you back on track. If you're considering filing a lawsuit, it's crucial to have a lawyer represent you because the insurance company will have a dedicated team of lawyers working to defeat you. It can be a distressing and overwhelming experience if you try to handle matters on your own.

    Our car accident lawyers understand the details that may impact your ability to get compensation and know how to navigate the process to conclude in your favor. We've successfully handled tens of thousands of car accident claims in our more than 35 years in personal injury law.

    Remember, you pay nothing if we don't succeed on your behalf. You also owe nothing upfront because we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid when you do. We're prepared to put our time and resources to work for you.

    Contact us today for a free case evaluation. It's the quickest and most effective way to recover compensation.

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