If you have been in an accident and are wondering if you should find an attorney, the answer is almost certainly yes, you should. If you are in a minor car accident with little damage and either no injuries or very minor injuries, the question of whether or not you need an attorney will likely never cross your mind. These types of cases are usually quickly resolved and involve relatively minor damages.
On the other hand, in severe accidents that cause catastrophic injuries, you are right to ask the question of whether or not you should hire an attorney. Insurance companies may already be calling you and the gravity of your situation is likely apparent. Your medical treatment is going to be expensive, you may be facing lost wages from time away from work, and your injuries may even have long-term consequences on your health and well-being.
Below, we examine the benefits of seeking the help of a personal injury attorney after a serious accident. We’ll discuss why it’s not a good idea to handle your claim on your own and the specific ways in which a car accident attorney can help your case.
The technical answer to this question is yes. There is no law that states you must receive legal counsel to pursue a car accident claim.
However, if the question is whether or not you should handle it on your own, consider the following questions:
If your answer to these questions is no, that’s completely normal. Most people don’t have experience dealing with car accident claims.
However, to give yourself the best chance of winning the maximum compensation you need and deserve for your damages, the answers to these questions are extremely important.
This is where the help and advice from a personal injury attorney come in. By offering their experience and guidance, lawyers can help you build a strong case. Some of the things a car accident attorney can do for you include:
The first step in a car accident claim is a thorough investigation. Evidence must be gathered, witnesses must be interviewed, and a full understanding of what happened must be established. Generally speaking, the sooner a car accident lawyer can begin an investigation, the better, which is why it’s important not to wait to get started.
Next, the attorney must identify the potentially liable party or parties in your claim. In most instances, the negligent party will be the other driver, though this isn’t always the case. Regardless of who was at fault, an attorney will understand what it takes to prove negligence and solidify your right to compensation.
Determining how much compensation you deserve can be more complicated than it sounds. While economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages may be relatively straightforward to calculate, you may also be eligible for compensation related to your pain and suffering, which adds a great deal of complexity to your calculations.
Insurance companies are extremely aggressive when fighting car accident claims. They will do whatever they can to pay you as little compensation as possible, including using your own words against you and offering low-ball settlements in hopes you will simply accept.
However, you are not required to accept an initial settlement offer, and an experienced car accident attorney will even the playing field to ensure insurance attorneys and claims adjusters don’t take advantage of you.
If the insurance company refuses to provide an adequate offer, the best course of action may be to file a lawsuit. While this will take more time, you and your attorney must be willing to do so if it means recovering the compensation you need to move forward.
However, it also adds a layer of complexity to your case, since you will now need to convince a jury of the other driver’s negligence, along with the extent of your damages. This is why working with a trial attorney can make such a big difference to your final result.
While some people are hesitant to hire an attorney, especially when insurance companies seem like they have your best interests in mind, deciding not to do so can lead to some challenges down the line.
In many ways, it’s similar to the decision of whether or not to hire a mechanic when your car needs repair. While something small like an oil change might be manageable, repairing a transmission on your own when you’ve never done it before might just end up costing you more in the long run. Of course, with car accidents, the stakes are much higher, meaning the need for experienced guidance and counsel is all the more important.
If you’re not sure how to find the right path forward, the good news is that talking to a knowledgeable car accident lawyer at the Karl Truman Law Office about your case is free. Call our Jeffersonville office today at 812-282-8500 for a complimentary case evaluation.