6 Reasons Why You Should Call a Lawyer Immediately After an Auto Accident
When a car accident leaves you with personal injuries and/or monetary losses, you may need an auto accident lawyer to help you get the damages you are owed. Insurance companies have legal teams that specialize in fighting claims, and the legal process of filing and then proving your case is extremely complex. An auto accident lawyer can help you navigate through the entire process. Here are just a few reasons why calling an auto accident lawyer immediately after the accident is in your best interest.
- You have a limited time to file
Depending on what state you live in, you may have a limited time in which you can file. Some states have a statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim that generally is between one to two years. Not filing your claim within that time limit will result in you giving up your right to sue.
- You can be sure to comply to certain rules to sue
Getting the right information immediately following the car accident, and following the proper legal procedures is important to the success of your case. Each state may have additional requirements that you may be required to follow. Some states may require a police report to be filed, or a notice to be filed within a given period of time.
- An accident attorney is your advocate
The insurance companies have teams of legal experts that tackle hundreds of cases just like your own, so having your own legal expert can help ensure you get the damages you are owned. An accident attorney can also make you aware of all potential damages you might be owed. You might be able to recover lost wages, or for pain and suffering, or emotional distress, in addition to covering your medical bills. If a car accident has left you or a family member incapacitated, your family may also be able to recover for loss of companionship. Without an accident attorney you may not receive all the potential damages you are owed.Most cases are settled before they ever go to court, and you need to have a good understanding of what your options are in this situation. Your attorney can guide you through the process, and make clear any implications of accepting an offer made by the insurance company. Once accepting a settlement, you give up your right to sue forever. The attorney will be able to tell you if your case is worth pursuing further litigation.An accident attorney is the best option for people who have suffered severe injuries, have expensive medical bills, or have lost significant wages due to the injuries as a result of the car accident.
- Insurance companies may dispute their liability
Liability is a tricky thing to prove when pursuing a case. Even with eyewitness accounts and police reports pointing toward the defendant being at fault, proving that they were negligent or that they breached a duty of care to you can be very difficult and complex. There are many precedents, laws, and rulings that can all be cited to help make your case clear. An accident attorney will be able to help you navigate complex legal waters whether or not your case reaches court.Disputed liability occurs when an insurance company disputes that its policyholder is liable for the car crash. Essentially, the insurance company is saying the policyholder is not at fault, or there is a lack of evidence to prove fault, so the insurance company is not responsible for paying for damages. You accident attorney will be able to help you provide the proof you need to show clearly that their policyholder is at fault for the car accident.
- An insurance company refuses to pay
Sometimes an insurance company may outright refuse to pay. While most cases reach a settlement before moving to court, some insurance companies simply won’t make an offer, or not give a fair settlement offer. This might happen in cases when their legal team has decided that you cannot prove that they are liable, or that they don’t think you have a good case, or that you won’t pursue damages.An auto accident attorney will help you with the next steps, whether that is pursuing more litigation, or initiating more settlement talks so that you won’t lose the money you are owed. You don’t have to let a car accident destroy your life because an insurance company refused to pay you. Hiring an attorney will give you a powerful ally as you fight for the money that is rightfully owed to you.Sometimes the reason why an insurance company refuses to pay is because you did not follow the proper procedure for the process. Filing to sue often comes with stringent requirements from font size, to how precedent is cited, to what evidence is admissible in court.
- They have the experience and expertise necessary
If you’ve been involved in a car accident that left you with severe injuries, large medical expenses, or lost wages, you want to be sure to hire an attorney with an expertise in personal injury focus. There are a wide range of lawyers, each with a different expertise. You want to get the right expert for your case, so finding a personal injury lawyer with experience handing car accident cases is a must.When doing your research, be sure that the lawyer in question has represented individuals who’ve suffered personal injuries related to car accidents. Research the reputation of the attorney, and if you can, speak to past clients to get an idea of how they work and what you can expect from working with the lawyer.You also want to be sure that you are comfortable with the lawyer, and you communicate well with them. You need to be sure you are heard and understood as you pursue your case. A good lawyer will put your needs above their bottom line. Also, look at their current caseload. You want to be sure they can devote the time and energy needed to pursue your damages. Be clear about how often you would like updates and what channels of communication you prefer.