Should I Get an Attorney After a Car Accident?
Posted in Lawsuit on May 31, 2019
Whether you should hire an attorney after an accident depends on your unique situation. Some individuals might not be familiar with the legal processes associated with settlement negotiations and potential court hearings. Those who do not know much about how to proceed will likely feel safer knowing that their case is in capable hands. Involving an attorney in your car accident case will provide you with several advantages that otherwise would not be available.
Guidance and Know-How
An attorney that is well-versed in car accident law provides a wealth of knowledge that will get you through your case.
Filing – An experienced attorney understands the details and requirements surrounding the claim filing process. Consultation with an attorney will provide you with knowledge about what the filing process entails, how to document your evidence correctly, and what the next steps are moving forward.
Damages – A lawyer will help you uncover all potential damages associated with your case. Their job is to help you receive the fairest compensation reward via your claim – this means combing through all injuries and areas of damage that the accident directly caused.
Collecting Evidence – You will not have to collect evidence for your case alone if you hire an attorney. A professional will help you interview witnesses and organize the documentation surrounding the accident itself and the resulting injuries. An attorney will help you organize this evidence in a way that is straightforward to the insurance company. This prevents questions about your evidence from arising, which otherwise would have stalled your claim.
Negotiation – Before communicating with an insurance company, it is best to consult with a professional first. They will educate you on the ins-and-outs of speaking with insurance adjustors. Any statement that you make to the insurance company must be calculated to prevent either accidental, or purposeful, misunderstanding. Aside from guidance, an attorney will also help in the settlement negotiation process first hand. This is priceless; it pays to have professional back up when insurance adjustors are trying to convince you why you should settle for less.
Court Hearing – If settlement negotiation is unsuccessful, a lawyer will represent you during a court hearing. When facing insurance adjustors in court, it is necessary to have a skilled lawyer on your side that will support and defend you during the trial.
When You Should Absolutely Consult an Attorney
When debating whether to hire an attorney, it is wise to know what types of situations are best addressed with a professional on hand.
- You suffered a severe injury, an injury that will likely cause chronic pain/suffering in the future, or an injury that is likely to be permanent.
- The accident caused the death of a passenger or pedestrian.
- Other cars or pedestrians became involved in the collision.
- The police report misrepresented the collision, painting you as the at-fault driver.
- You are at fault, and don’t have a lot of liability insurance.
- You have no insurance.
- Your insurance company involves an attorney, or is acting sketchy.
In these situations, it is almost necessary to hire an attorney. When situations become sticky and involve other people, fatality, or severe injury, it is the safest best to consult with a professional about how to proceed. This is also the case when you are the defendant and/or do not have adequate insurance to cover costs. In less severe circumstances, it is not absolutely necessary to hire an attorney – but having one will give you the upper hand.
- You have questions about settlement value or negotiation.
- You question your insurance company’s actions and want a professional opinion.
- You want to know more about the claims process or are confused about the terms of your policy.
- You need someone to review your paperwork.
In these cases, an attorney might offer a flat rate that allows you to hire them to complete specific tasks. This minimizes the overall cost of consulting an attorney while still utilizing their expertise.
Professional experience and advice are essential in successfully following through with a car accident claim, especially if certain aspects of the process seem up in the air. Expert advice is priceless when you are unsure about what is to come, so consult a local attorney if you have any questions or confusing details about your case.