When you first get into a car accident, your immediate concerns are your injuries and the state of your vehicle. However, as soon as the immediate urgency passes, you may start wondering how you’re going to pay for your medical bills, get your car fixed or replaced, and whether you’re entitled to some compensation from the other parties. You might also be considering whether or not to hire a car accident attorney.
When Should You Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
You’re Getting Blamed for the Accident
If you’re getting blamed for the car accident and any resulting injuries to other parties, you need to get an attorney on your side as quickly as possible. Insurance companies do not want to pay claims if they don’t have to, so car accident situations are typically rife with finger-pointing and people trying to assign blame to other drivers. Additionally, there may be more than one person responsible for the accident, which could take time to determine.
Even if you’ve been assessed a ticket for your role in the accident, you still need representation because when things shake out, you may not be the only one at fault. Or, you may end up not being the one to blame at all, depending on circumstances and witness statements. You should not try to fight allegations of blame by yourself, and you definitely should not automatically accept fault without getting the advice of an attorney first.
You’re Negotiating With the Insurance Company
As previously mentioned, insurance companies want to pay as little compensation as possible, so they are tough when it comes to negotiating settlements for car accidents. You may know that you should not accept the first offer the insurance company provides to you, but you may not realize that your case could actually be worth significantly more than the amount the insurer is offering. An attorney will help you determine exactly the compensation you deserve.
A car accident attorney has access to a network of specialists who are skilled at determining how much victims should be compensated. This is a complicated formula based on the amount of your medical bills, missed work, loss of future earnings, and other factors. Your attorney will be able to take this calculated amount and use it to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Plus, insurers are more likely to extend a fair offer when dealing with a lawyer.
You’re Dealing With Emotional Stress From the Accident
While you may be able to obtain a settlement from your insurance company for your economic losses (i.e. your vehicle and medical bills) on your own, recovering non-economic losses can be more complicated. However, you are entitled to recover compensation for things such as emotional distress (PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.), pain and suffering, and loss of consortium (due to the death of a family member). Since these losses don’t have a set value, they are hard to calculate.
Fortunately, your lawyer will use their experts to help you determine how much non-economic compensation you deserve. Not only should you not try to calculate these numbers on your own, but you should also be spending this time recovering from your injuries and emotional distress. Trying to explain why you deserve more compensation is only going to add stress to your already-full plate. An attorney removes this burden from your shoulders and will personally ensure your compensation is fair.
You Have to File a Lawsuit
No one wants to have to sue a person or a company to get the compensation they deserve, but unfortunately, sometimes, it becomes the only option left. This is not an easy process, either, so you need to have someone experienced in accident law and in arguing cases in front of a judge or jury. You are able to represent yourself, but it’s not recommended, especially given the intricacies involved in these kinds of cases.
You can be sure that if you’re suing an insurance company, it will have numerous experienced lawyers on its side, so you deserve the same type of representation from a car accident lawyer who will argue your case just as they would for someone in their own family. A lawyer will be familiar with all the deadlines and requirements to ensure your lawsuit goes forward and will help you every step of the way until your case is resolved.
You Need to Prove Another Party’s Liability
In the event that there is a question about who is liable for the car accident, you’ll need to have evidence to prove that the other party was at fault. Accident reconstruction is a precise science that requires experts who can use measurements, debris, and other factors to show how the accident actually occurred. This is not a process that everyone is able to do, and additionally, you’ll want the credentials of an experienced reconstructionist behind your claim at court.
Moreover, you’ll want to track down any witnesses to the accident to get their statements. Some witnesses may have volunteered their statements to the police, but it’s just as likely that some did not get involved on that day. An attorney will have access to investigators who can find these witnesses and use their statements to help prove your case. Again, you want expertise behind your claim, so doing it yourself is not recommended.
You Have Become Disabled
If your injuries from the car accident have resulted in you becoming disabled, either temporarily or permanently, you want to have a lawyer at your side to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Determining how much money you’re entitled to for a disability is more challenging than calculating how much you need to pay your medical bills for an injury. You’ll need to prove the disability is from the accident and how much your future care will cost.
As with investigators, accident reconstructionists, and financial experts, your attorney will have access to medical experts who will be able to explain your injuries and disabilities to ensure the insurance company understands your situation. Additionally, your attorney can request your medical records for you so that you can prove the disability did not exist prior to the accident. Finally, financial experts can calculate the true cost of your disability, including future care and loss of income costs.
You Have Received a Denial from the Insurance Company
If you have already filed a claim with your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company and it has been denied, you probably will need to get an attorney involved. A denial means that there is some aspect of the claim that needs further explanation or information, but it’s likely beyond what the average person can provide. For example, you might need an investigator or accident reconstructionist to prove liability or witnesses to come forward on your behalf.
You should not take “no” for an answer if you believe you are entitled to compensation for your car accident. Hiring an attorney can help you get access to everything you need to prove your case. Plus, most of them work on a contingency basis, which means you won’t have to pay in advance for their services or for their experts’ services. You can get the representation you need to resolve your case without being financially ruined.
In most cases, hiring a car accident lawyer is going to be beneficial for you, and it’s always worth a free consultation to determine the strength of your case. Contact Yonke Law, LLC today to speak with our experienced attorneys about your situation and get the compensation you deserve.