Hopefully, you never find yourself in the position of wondering if you need a lawyer because you were in a car accident. However, since car crashes are so common, you may end up in a situation where you need an experienced car accident lawyer, especially if you are in one of these seven situations.
7 Situations Where You Need an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer
You’ve Never Been in a Serious Car Accident Before
This is probably the number one situation that requires a lawyer because the aftermath of a serious car crash can be full of complicated scenarios and processes. If you haven’t had any experience with the accident and injury legal field, you might find that you become overwhelmed with everything you need to do to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
It is especially important that you don’t miss filing deadlines or your case could be thrown out altogether. An experienced attorney who has handled hundreds of car accident cases will know the intricate details of filing timelines, court procedures, negotiation rules, and other aspects of accident cases so that you don’t have to worry about anything but healing from your injuries.
You should not be trying to heal and deal with insurance companies, other parties, or the legal system by yourself. An attorney will be by your side the entire time and will help you through it all.
The Insurance Company Is Questioning Fault
Even if the car accident is clearly someone else’s fault, the insurance company for that party may question that decision in an effort to avoid paying the claim. This can be upsetting, especially if you’re severely injured and feel like the insurance company is trying to shirk its responsibility.
In most cases, this is just a stall tactic on the insurance company’s part, with the hopes that you’ll accept its accusation without a fight. Experienced injury attorneys know all of the insurance companies’ tricks to avoid paying claims. They are used to fighting for compensation and will be able to provide evidence of the other party’s negligence, effectively cutting off the insurance companies’ efforts to stall your case.
Additionally, a lawyer will ensure that you do not admit to something that is not true, since all communication with the insurance company must go through the attorney once you hire one.
You Have Suffered a Long-Term or Permanent Disability
Compensation from the insurance company is based on the type of injury you have suffered, how long you are expected to have the injury, the amount of your current bills, and the projected amount of your future bills. Calculating this amount is tricky and requires the assessment of medical and other types of professionals.
On your own, it may be difficult to find professionals who can accurately calculate your claim, especially if you have to pay them out of pocket. An experienced injury attorney will already have doctors, financial experts, and other professionals lined up to examine your injuries and calculate your specific monetary and medical needs.
Since you won’t pay anything to your attorney unless you win a settlement or award, you don’t have to worry about figuring out how to pay these professionals to help you. This way, you’ll be able to prove you have a long-term or permanent disability that resulted from the car accident.
You Have Received a Settlement Offer
It is very likely that you will receive a settlement offer from the insurance company fairly quickly after you file a claim. Most people accept this offer without question, but this is often a big mistake. Insurance companies are betting on the fact that most people don’t want to get involved in a potentially complicated and messy legal situation.
They hope you’ll just take whatever you can get without consulting a lawyer so you can put the accident behind you. However, if you have suffered severe injuries that could be with you for years down the line, and perhaps even permanently, you probably deserve more than the insurance company is initially willing to pay.
The only way you know for sure is to talk to an attorney and have their experts calculate the projected costs that you’ll incur as a result of your injury. Then, you need that attorney to negotiate on your behalf to get the settlement you deserve.
You Need Witnesses to Prove Your Case
In most car accident cases, there are plenty of witnesses who saw what happened, but it’s not always easy to find these witnesses later. They might be on the police report, or they may not have even given a statement, especially if they are the type to not get involved with other’s affairs.
It will take time and probably money to track down witnesses and get their stories: time and money that you may not have. Fortunately, car accident attorneys also have investigators they can use to find witnesses and get their statements before their memories begin to fade.
The best witnesses are those who can provide accurate descriptions of the events soon after they happen. For this reason, hiring an attorney right away is extremely beneficial because an investigator can start tracking them down immediately while their memories are fresh.
You Need Evidence Preserved From the Accident
As with witnesses, you want to find any evidence that can prove your case as quickly as possible following the accident. For example, you will want to obtain any video surveillance footage from security cameras in the area before your accident is erased.
Most companies erase or record over footage within days or weeks, so getting an investigator to procure that evidence could be critical to proving your claim, especially if it offers proof of the other party’s negligence. Another type of evidence that you may need to preserve is roadway evidence, which consists of things like skid marks, debris, and tire gouges on the side of the road.
You may also need to have an accident reconstruction expert show how the accident happened using the roadway evidence. Again, your attorney will be able to provide such an expert for your case, which will further strengthen your position in the negotiation process with the insurance company.
You Need Good Advice
Everyone you know is probably going to tell you how to proceed in your case. Some people may tell you to take the first settlement offer and move on with your life. Others might tell you to fight for more compensation in court. Still others might tell you that you don’t have a case at all.
Who will you believe? Experienced injury attorneys will always give you solid advice regarding your case, even if they don’t end up taking it. That’s right: sometimes the best advice an attorney can give you is that they aren’t the right one to handle your particular case, especially if they don’t specialize in car accident injuries.
However, an experienced injury attorney who does take your case will do everything in their power to get you the compensation you deserve. The right lawyer will treat you just like their own family and keep your best interests in mind at all times.
Even if you’re not in one of the situations mentioned here, call Yonke Law today, so we can give you advice to help you through this difficult time.