The time following a car accident can be emotionally stressful. Not only are you likely dealing with the fallout from an accident, such as a damaged vehicle and potential injuries, but you may also need to work with your insurance company to file a claim. If you have serious injuries, you may be unable to work, leading to loss of income. Your injuries might cause you to rely on family members to complete your normal activities, such as cleaning or running errands.
A car accident can be a major disruption to your regular life. It takes time to recover, and in the days and weeks following it, you’re likely to need assistance. You may need to spend a lot of time at the physician’s office undergoing treatment or therapy. Costs can add up fast, and you want to make sure that you have someone on your side to help you receive any compensation that you’re entitled to as soon as possible.
Why get an attorney for car accidents? A thorough and compassionate attorney can help you file your insurance claim and explore other potential avenues to gain reimbursement for your costs. Morgan & Morgan has a team of over 800 competent attorneys nationwide available to assist you during the time following a car accident. Contact us with our convenient online form to schedule a free case evaluation today.
Why Get an Attorney for Car Accidents? Is It Really Necessary?
Some people choose to handle the time following a car accident on their own. They file their own insurance claims and move on from the wreck. This is common in situations where there was little property damage, and no one involved in the collision sustained any injuries. However, in cases where the driver or passengers were injured, there is doubt over who caused the accident, or other drivers are especially belligerent, it’s important to have a legal advisor who can assist you with the claim.
Here are a few reasons why getting an attorney after a car accident is important:
A Lawyer Can Assist You Directly Following an Accident
In the moments immediately following an accident, you’re likely to be dazed, confused, and possibly injured. You may not know what to do. It’s common for people who have been in an accident to immediately apologize to other drivers and admit fault – even if they weren’t the main cause of the wreck. The instinct when you see damaged vehicles and injured people is to want to turn back time and make amends. A car accident can quickly grow very serious. It’s important to be careful about what you say and how you behave after a motor vehicle crash.
Why get an attorney for car accidents? When you contact a lawyer in the minutes immediately after the accident, they can give you direction on how to handle the situation. An attorney can tell you exactly who to call for medical and police assistance. They will advise you not to admit fault and to remain as calm as possible. You definitely do not want to become angry at the other drivers in the wreck, even if they caused it to occur. Doing so could hurt your case and lead to more problems.
An attorney will also provide you with a list of what you need to document about your accident. They may tell you to take pictures of the vehicles involved, write down any license plate and car information, and request insurance details from the other drivers. Other common pieces of evidence that you should obtain include the names and details of witnesses and the police report.
After the accident, the attorney will likely advise you and your passengers to go to the hospital or an urgent care facility for a full check-up. It’s not uncommon for serious injuries to become apparent several hours after the wreck. This is due to the effects of adrenaline. Your nerves are likely to be extremely alert, and feelings of pain won’t be immediately noticeable. A physician can examine you and take X-rays to determine whether you’ve sustained any internal injuries, such as a concussion, whiplash, or fractures. The doctor’s report will be needed as support for any insurance claim or lawsuit that is filed, so make sure to keep a copy of it.
A Lawyer Can Work With Your Insurance Company and Negotiate for You
Why get an attorney for car accidents? Those who choose to work directly with their insurance company are not likely to receive as much money in their settlement as they would have by working with a lawyer. It’s common for insurance providers to use different tactics to minimize the expenses for which they will be responsible. For example, telling an insurance adjuster after an accident that you are “feeling alright” can result in a reduced settlement. As simple as that statement may sound, it can be used against you. Thus, it’s wise to have a skilled attorney speak directly with insurance adjusters on your behalf, especially in cases where you’re likely to need extensive medical treatment.
Most car accident lawsuits are settled and never make it to the courtroom. A qualified attorney knows how to handle conversations with insurance providers and other individuals who may impact your case. They can work to get the best settlement available to you. This protects you from needing additional time off work and can speed up the process for obtaining a resolution that appropriately compensates you.
Your Attorney Understands State Laws and Advocates for You
Laws concerning compensation for car accidents vary across state lines. In “no-fault” states, you aren’t allowed to sue the other person for injuries you sustain or to receive compensation for vehicle repairs. No-fault states may also limit the number of lawsuits that can be filed due to car accidents. Thus, if your car accident occurs when you are visiting another state, having an attorney who is familiar with local laws and regulations can make a big difference.
If the tables are turned, and you are responsible for the accident, you will need someone to advocate on your behalf. An attorney can help you to recover partial losses, even if you caused the accident. They can present your case in the best light possible, even if the accident was caused by negligence or distracted driving. This can help to prevent legal verdicts against you and enable you to still receive some compensation to go towards your own injuries or time off work.
A Lawyer Can Organize Your Documentation
Why get an attorney for car accidents? Attorneys well-versed in car accident laws know what needs to be assembled when making a claim or filing a lawsuit. They’ll consider every angle and work with you to document all of the past, current, and future costs you can expect from the wreck. They’ll help you to create a clear and concise list of expenses, including:
- Current and future expected medical costs based on a doctor’s treatment plan
- Financial impact of lost time from work due to the accident
- Basic living expenses incurred as a result of the wreck
- Repair expenses for your property or vehicle
- Any damages incurred as a result of pain or suffering
The evidence that they assemble will be used to file your claim. Expenses add up, and a lawyer can help you determine the total costs associated with your accident in a way that makes sense to the insurance provider or judge.
If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, you’ll need assistance in filing all of the paperwork associated with the lawsuit. They’ll work to ensure all of the paperwork required by the court is complete, factual, and supported by evidence. Doing this on your own can lead to mistakes, resulting in additional time to recover damages or even a failed case.
An Attorney Can File Your Case in a Timely Manner
All states have statute of limitation laws that limit the time in which an injured person can file a lawsuit. An attorney can assist in ensuring that your lawsuit is filed in a timely manner that abides with local regulations. Delaying the filing procedure can lead to missed opportunities to collect damages, as courts will deny cases that don’t meet the applicable statute of limitations laws.
You’re also more likely to forget information about the wreck over time. Thus, it’s always best to seek an attorney for advice as quickly as possible after a collision, especially if you are at fault for the accident or you have suffered severe injuries.