Most of us hit the road without expecting an accident to derail our lives. You might need emergency medical care and ongoing treatment when a crash happens. You might be out of work for weeks or months while you try to reach maximum recovery. Some people must focus on adjusting to life with permanent disabilities.
The last thing you want is to add anything to your to-do list, but as the bills and losses pile up, you might wonder if you need to call a car accident lawyer for help. The answer is always yes, and you should call an attorney sooner than later.
While contacting a lawyer might seem stressful, it will relieve stress. A car accident attorney can review what happened and advise you of your rights. You can have peace of mind knowing that someone is fighting for compensation for your losses, and you do not have to try to navigate the process alone.
Consulting and hiring a car accident lawyer immediately can improve your life in many ways, including ensuring you receive compensation for your losses.
Accident injuries and losses
Many people underestimate the severity of car accident injuries and costs. Even in minor car accidents, you might walk away with back and neck pain that can worsen as time goes on. Even an injury that seems small at first can require ongoing medical treatment to heal, resulting in a pile of medical bills. A back injury can keep you from working, and any amount of lost income can throw off your household budget.
In more severe cases, you can suffer catastrophic injuries like amputations, crushed limbs, permanent nerve damage, paralysis, and severe brain trauma. These injuries can require ongoing medical treatment for the rest of your life. You might need to alter your life, including your work and recreational activities. You might need medical equipment or other assistance permanently.
Because the need for compensation is dire, you need serious legal representation to help fight for the damages in your claim. No matter what injuries you sustained, you should have a lawyer evaluate your situation, including the possible losses that might be compensable.
The following are only some concerns you can expect during the car accident claim process. Always have an attorney to address these matters while focusing on your medical recovery.
One unethical action that insurance companies will use is to ask you to sign a medical authorization form. This form will allow the insurance company to access copies of your medical documents. They seek access to ALL of your medical records, not just those relating to the accident. Often, insurance adjusters search for any pre-existing condition they can use to reduce your compensation.
Insurance companies do not need full access to your medical history and have no business requesting it. Adjusters hope to take advantage of you in your weakened state to gain access to information they should not have. A skilled lawyer can protect your medical records and exercise your legal rights.
Another benefit of hiring an attorney early in your claim is that an attorney can promptly assist with your paperwork. While you rest and focus on improving physically, your lawyer can file your claim and maintain all deadlines on your behalf.
When you have been the victim of a personal injury accident, you have a designated time to file a lawsuit in civil court against the negligent party. That designated period is the statute of limitations. When you file a lawsuit past the statute of limitations, the courts will automatically throw your claim out, and you no longer have the right to pursue compensation from any party.
Insurance companies are notorious for throwing out or ignoring car accident claims due to the statute of limitations. Even though these deadlines do not apply to insurance claims, insurance companies know your options become limited when you can no longer file a lawsuit. Therefore, never expect the insurer to take your claim seriously if you near this deadline.
Act quickly to hire a lawyer, and they will act quickly to get ahead of all deadlines for your claim.
Negligence is an essential factor you must effectively prove in your car accident claim. It is the primary factor that determines whether you have a chance of receiving the appropriate amount of compensation you need. If you can prove another driver’s negligence and how their actions contributed to your accident, you can seek compensation for all your losses.
On the other hand, the insurance company will try to establish your negligence in the accident and blame you for your injuries. By establishing your negligence, insurance companies can try to reduce the liability their policyholder has, which reduces insurance payments. Your car accident lawyer can challenge assertions of your liability and prove the policyholder’s fault for your injuries.
Insulting settlement offers
Insurance companies will try another tactic against you that is as insulting as accusing you of being responsible for your car accident. If the other driver’s liability is clear, insurance companies will try to end your claim quickly by offering a meager settlement amount.
Depending on the nature of your injuries, the initial settlement offer might not even scratch the surface of your damages. Insurance companies hope you are so desperate to receive compensation that you will pounce on the first offer they present, which is always much lower than what your claim is worth. Unfortunately, too many people who did not hire attorneys jump at the chance of a quick settlement, which can leave a lot of money on the table.
One of the blatant red flags that insurance companies are trying to take advantage of you throughout your claim process is that they are pressuring you to make a decision as quickly as possible. As a car accident victim, you have the right to refuse a settlement offer or consider negotiating for a more significant amount. Unfortunately, insurance companies will purposely pressure claimants into taking a settlement offer.
Some adjusters might make it seem like the first offer is the best one you will receive, though this is not true in most cases. When insurance companies continue to hound you throughout any step in your claim, they try to convince you to make a decision that is not in your favor.
Because many car accident claims settle out of court, many people assume that no significant amount of legal representation is necessary to resolve a claim. Unfortunately, that assumption can cause many people to miss out on the compensation they need. There are many steps in the claim process where a person can make a mistake that insurance companies can use to their advantage. Most claimants do not even realize they said or did something to hurt their claim until it is far too late.
Things change when you have a car accident attorney
Insurance companies begin to mistreat you as soon as you fight for your compensation, from trying to obtain your medical records to insinuating that you were at fault for your accident. To protect your legal interests and your right to compensation, a lawyer can provide the best legal protection you need against money-hungry insurance companies.
Even when it logically makes sense to hire an attorney, many people choose not to due to their financial situation. It costs you essentially nothing to consult with an attorney and discover how they can help with your case. When you hire legal representation, you will see a difference in how the insurance company treats your claim.
Contingency fee basis
Many people do not know that personal injury attorneys usually operate on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee basis means that an attorney agrees to represent you in your car accident claim for a percentage of your compensation. If you successfully seek your compensation, that is the only time your attorney will receive fees.
Because the attorney’s ability to get fees is contingent upon their performance, the attorney has a personal incentive to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. You can also rest assured that your settlement pays your attorney fees. You never need money from your pocket to pay legal fees for a car accident case, so affording an attorney should never be a concern.
Many attorneys offer a free consultation as part of working on a contingency fee basis. Your first meeting with your potential attorney to learn about your legal options is free. During your initial consultation, your attorney can answer all your questions regarding your accident. The attorney can also discuss possible ways that they can assist you with your particular case. This lets you know whether you can expect compensation, which alone can provide immediate peace of mind.
Filing your claim
Depending on how soon you seek the assistance of your attorney, your attorney can ensure that your claim starts on the right foot by filing your claim for you. Experienced attorneys know the information needed to prepare a solid and persuasive claim. They can use their experience to build a more robust case for you and file your claim within the proper time frame.
Another way an attorney can assist your car accident case is to collect the best evidence possible for your claim. Attorneys know how to collaborate with police officers, medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and witnesses from all occupations. Attorneys can also access documents and resources you cannot access by yourself. The evidence that attorneys can gather can assist in establishing the other driver’s negligence and your damages.
Accident settlement value
If you do not hire an attorney before you file your claim, you want to hire one as you need to negotiate with insurance companies. If you go with a settlement offer, you want to ensure that the settlement amount covers all your damages. If your injuries are catastrophic, your settlement offer must be enough to cover your damages for an extended period – possibly the rest of your life.
An experienced car accident attorney can negotiate with insurance companies and convince them to provide the appropriate compensation for your claim. Attorneys can tell whether a settlement amount is too low and advise you when they should keep negotiating.
Representation in court
Most car accident cases settle before they even proceed to a trial. Still, there is always a possibility that insurance companies will refuse to cooperate with you and come to an agreement about your settlement. You have the right to take your claim to trial if you hit an impasse with the insurance company.
Building a significant case for trial requires a different type of preparation and procedures than building a case for an insurance claim and settlement. You want to ensure that your attorney can prepare you for both situations and has experience representing car accident victims in court.
Consult a car accident attorney immediately
When you suffer severe injuries in a car accident, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. The assistance of your attorney can prevent insurance companies from undermining you and mistreating you throughout your claim. Because most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis, you can receive high-quality legal representation without worrying about attorneys’ fees.
Contact a trusted car accident law firm immediately.