Each year, nearly two and a half million Americans are injured in car accidents, and in about 34,000 of those accidents, there are fatalities. With those numbers, it’s likely that you will be involved in a car accident at some point in your life. Hopefully, if you are, it is a minor accident without serious injuries. Even so, it is usually in your best interest to have a car accident attorney look over your case to determine if the other driver is liable for the injuries and property damage you have suffered as a result of the crash.
How Do I Know If I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Sometimes the severity of your crash is a good indicator that you need an attorney to represent your interests, but sometimes it’s simply a fender bender and you may not think that you need the assistance of a lawyer. But the truth is, it’s always a good idea to discuss your case with an experienced car accident attorney.
Whether your injuries and property damage are minor or major, you should contact an attorney right away. Here are some additional situations in which you should definitely hire an attorney to represent you and protect your rights:
When you aren’t sure or don’t understand what the other driver’s insurance provider will cover.
When you may share fault in the accident.
When you don’t feel that your insurance company has your best interest in mind.
When you don’t know or understand your rights.
When you don’t understand paperwork from insurance companies.
When there are minor injuries that appear to become worse (Neck and back injuries, bulging or herniated discs, muscle injury, bruising, difficulty sleeping, headaches etc.)
When there are serious injuries (broken bones, back injuries, etc.), hospitalization, or when injuries could be permanent (traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, etc.).
When there is property damage to your vehicle.
When someone dies due to the accident.
When there are pedestrians or bicyclist involved.
When your insurance coverage has been canceled or has lapsed.
When your accounting of the accident doesn’t agree with the information in the police report.
Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Attorney Following a Crash
Many times, drivers are not quick to hire an attorney following an automobile accident because of the cost. However, most attorneys work on a contingency agreement and will only be paid out of the settlement if they win your case. The benefits to seeking counsel will greatly outweigh the fee your attorney will collect when your case is settled. You will owe nothing if the attorney does not win or settle your case.
Having a personal injury attorney in your corner means that you have someone who is already knowledgeable about the laws and procedures that your case involves. It may be your first time dealing with this type of case, but personal injury attorneys have handled all types of accident cases. They are better able to negotiate the paperwork, collect evidence (police reports, witness statements, medical records, bills, and employment information), and strategize.
An attorney will know how to effectively argue any defenses raised by the other side and will be able to prepare for trial (even though most car accident cases are settled prior to trial). This preparation is time-consuming and can be complicated. Having an attorney to do all of this for you will relieve you of the added stress of having to do it on your own.
Finally, having an experienced personal injury attorney helps to level the playing field. This is especially true when you have to battle the experience and resources that are available to large insurance companies.