What is the best time to hire a personal injury lawyer after an auto accident?
The short answer is: as soon as possible.
You should contact an attorney if you suffered injury or property damage. Even if you are not pursuing a case in court, you will still need a lawyer if you are not getting a fair settlement. The same is true if the insurance company is not treating you fairly.
Ideally, you are eligible for compensation from the person who caused the accident, either by his fault or negligence.
When no one takes the responsibility of indemnifying you, your next recourse is to go to the insurance company.
But if the insurance company doesn’t also pay up, it’s time to go to court and seek damages.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
If you were caught in a minor car accident but didn’t sustain any damage, it may not be practical to go to court.
But if you suffered substantial damage and have to deal with inevitable losses, it’s best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Having a lawyer is not just for filing an action for compensation in court. You may need a lawyer to handle your claim with the insurance company.
As an accident victim, you may have to deal with many things after a crash. Aside from suffering from an injury, there are certain costs you need to shoulder. These include medical costs, hospitalization, and repair expenses. You may also have to miss work due to your injuries.
So how are you going to pay for all of that?
It would help if you sought compensation for damages.
This is where a car accident attorney can help.
Evidence will naturally disappear over time. Take tire marks, for instance. These streaks will pass from sight in days or weeks.
Unfortunately, these marks are vital evidence you can use to support your claim that you are not at fault. Instead, it was the other driver who caused the accident that resulted in damage to your car.
When these things vanish, it may make it more difficult for you to prove the other driver was at fault.
Other pieces of evidence that you can use to support your assertion include vehicle parts. When cleaned up by the street sanitation personnel, you will lose them.
Collecting these pieces of evidence soon after the car crash is best. If you wait, you will lose them.
Hiring a car accident attorney ASAP can work to your advantage. He can get to work immediately, collecting the evidence right away.
Contacting witnesses for their testimony
In addition to physical evidence, you also need eyewitness testimony supporting your claim for damages.
But like physical evidence, memory is frail and may be lost over time. Your witnesses might need to remember crucial details in the series of events. So time is of the essence.
Filing a compensation claim requires taking down all your expenses and losses. And all of these should be documented from the very beginning.
A car accident attorney can help maintain records of your treatment, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and other related expenses.
Filing an insurance claim
What is the first step to take after going through a motor vehicle accident?
Ideally, you need to file a claim with the insurance provider. It could be your insurance provider or the other driver’s.
The worse thing that could happen is when the driver at fault doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage to repay you.
One of the initial options you can pursue is to hire an attorney. He can determine your losses and assess all available options.
Filing a personal injury action
What if the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance, and your insurance isn’t enough to cover your losses?
In this case, you’ll have to file a claim against the party at fault for the remainder.
However, filing a personal injury lawsuit can have many factors. If you don’t address these factors, it could backfire, and you’ll lose your case.
A personal injury lawyer can help you seek adequate compensation to cover your losses fairly. He can establish your losses in court due to the other party’s fault and assert your right to recover damages.
Hiring a Lawyer After a Car Accident
It’s best to hire a car accident attorney immediately. You get answers to your legal questions and expert assistance in dealing with the insurance company.
Here are the instances where you should get an attorney as soon as possible.
You suffered bodily injuries
You might not need to get a lawyer in a minor accident that didn’t cause injuries.
But if you suffered severe injuries, then you’ll need the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
Immediately hiring a lawyer is the best way to protect your rights and seek compensation for your medical, hospitalization, or rehabilitation costs.
There is significant damage to your property
In a minor fender-bender, there may not be any damage to your car; thus, no need to hire a lawyer.
But in a situation with substantial damage to your property, you need a lawyer to pursue any legal action. After all, who will pay for the cost of repairing your car?
There is another driver who caused the accident
Imagine a scenario where another driver played a role in causing the accident. Now, you have to go after two parties at fault for damages.
It’s not unusual to have two or more erring drivers in a car accident. However, for purposes of filing a claim in court, it can be a bit complicated. You’ll need to prove their fault or negligence and assert your right to recover compensation against them.
So it helps to have a lawyer who can lay down the foundation of your rights, establish fault on the part of the erring drivers, and pursue a claim for damages.
The erring driver’s insurance provider offered a lowball settlement
Immediately after the accident, it may be difficult to assess your losses. At that stage, you don’t clearly understand the costs of medical treatment or repair of your damaged property.
There may be a tendency to accept an offer from the insurance provider. Getting a settlement and not realizing the amount is too low can be regrettable.
With a lowball settlement, it can be difficult to cover your expenses.
Ideally, you should go back and ask for more compensation. But what if you will no longer have that opportunity? You probably signed a piece of paper that you’ve already claimed indemnity for.
Getting a car accident attorney immediately will work to your advantage. He can analyze the extent of your damages and advise you accordingly on accepting the settlement offer.
You incurred severe bodily injuries
Picture this: you incurred huge gashes and a few broken bones. And right after seeing the doctor, he told you some injuries might be permanent.
With severe injuries, it is just and right that the erring driver pays you for the pain and suffering.
Permanent injuries can run a lifetime. That means a lifetime of medical costs for surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation. You also have to consider there may be complications.
And with a decline in the quality of your life, there is a possibility that you can no longer do things without the help of other people. You may need someone to assist you in your daily life. A therapist or caregiver, perhaps.
More importantly, it would help if you also considered your loss of earning capacity. With injuries so severe, seeking gainful employment may take time and effort.
So you need an attorney to help you claim compensation.
A loved one died as a result of the accident
Losing someone you love is devastating. There is an unbearable feeling of sadness and frustration.
It’s even worse when you were alongside them when the accident happened.
If you lost someone due to another driver’s fault or negligence, it’s crucial to seek compensation.
The case is no longer just for personal injury. It becomes a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death is when a person dies due to someone else’s negligence. There was a breach of the latter’s duty to exercise care, and that failure caused the death of another person.
In wrongful death situations, it’s best not to speak with the erring party even if they seem remorseful and want to make amends.
Avoid conversations. Instead, refer them to your attorney. It can help you stay on track with your goal of seeking compensation while bringing the erring driver to justice.
Examples of wrongful death cases are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, road rage incidents, and distracted driving.
These are dangerous behaviors that have no place on our roads. They pose a risk of bodily injuries or death to other road users.
Get the Legal Representation You Deserve
Did you get hurt in a car accident?
Contact Morgan Legal Group. We can help you immediately, so you don’t risk losing your claim for indemnity.