No one expects to be a car accident, but if do you find yourself an accident victim, wondering if you need a car accident lawyer for what just happened, you’re not alone.
Statistics show there were 6,452,000 car accidents reported to police in 2017. In those accidents, approximately 2,746,000 people were injured and 37,133 people died.
From property damage to severe injury or death, the effects of a traffic accident can be devastating, financially and emotionally.
If another driver was at fault, you’ll likely hear from their insurance company quickly. They want you to agree to a low settlement and sign paperwork to pay as little as possible.
Contacting a car accident lawyer before agreeing to an insurance payout is always a good idea. Your attorney can help you get what’s fair for your losses.
Keep reading to learn seven ways your attorney can help you after a car accident.
1. Establish Liability
To get compensation for injuries and property damage, you need to prove that someone else was negligent or at fault for the accident. Car accident liability can be complicated to prove.
Sometimes one person is clearly at fault. Perhaps the other driver was intoxicated, texting while driving, or committing another traffic offense. Other times it’s not as clear.
In other cases, there could be a faulty car part that contributed to the accident.
An attorney helps figure out who or what was to blame for the accident.
They can also help show that you weren’t at fault for the accident. The insurance company might try to deflect and put blame on you to avoid paying for your losses.
2. Gather Evidence
Going along with establishing fault, you might need to have evidence to back up your claims. This can help you get more for your settlement because it shows the other party was to blame.
Car accident lawyers start collecting evidence immediately to support your case.
They use documentation from the accident, including the police report and witness statements. Experienced attorneys know what to look for in those reports to help your case.
They’ll look at accident photos to check for clues. They might also try to find nearby video camera footage to see if there’s proof on the video to show that someone else was to blame.
Your medical records can also be important in determining fault and calculating how much money you deserve in your settlement.
3. Ensure A Fair Settlement
An offer the insurance company makes might sound like a lot of money, but it’s important to look at all of your losses to ensure it’s fair.
Your vehicle damage is usually easy to evaluate once you get an estimate from a car repair shop. Other property damage can also be fairly straightforward.
If you were injured in the accident, the amount of compensation you deserve can be more complicated.
You likely have immediate medical bills you can calculate. But some injuries are ongoing and may require long-term care.
You might have to take time off of work to recover from the injuries. If you don’t have enough paid time off, you could miss out on wages.
You can also get financial compensation for pain and suffering in some cases.
Attorneys know how to calculate the total financial compensation you should get based on your specific case. This can help you get enough money from the insurance company.
Your attorney also knows how to fight the insurance company to get that amount. They’ll often try to give you less, so you need someone on your side to convince them to pay up.
4. Handle Insurance Companies
No matter how much the insurance adjuster wants you to believe they’re looking out for you, the only thing they care about is paying out as little as possible on your claim.
When you talk to the insurance company, you might feel pressured to accept payment quickly. They want you to agree to the lowest amount possible and sign paperwork saying you won’t pursue anything else.
Attorneys communicate directly with the insurance companies for you. They understand the tactics the companies use to give you a lower settlement.
Having that assertive voice representing you can be beneficial.
You also eliminate the uncomfortable conversations with pushy insurance adjusters. It makes your life easier, so you can spend more time worrying about recovery.
5. Follow Relevant Laws
Do you know all of the laws related to car accidents and filing lawsuits? Probably not. Most people don’t.
An accident lawyer uses those laws on a daily basis and fully understands them.
Having an attorney in your corner means you have a legal expert. They know how to interpret the laws and how they affect your case.
In Virginia, the statute of limitations for taking legal action after a car accident is two years. If you don’t file the lawsuit within that time, you miss the deadline. The statute of limitations varies by state, so it’s important to have a lawyer who knows those rules.
6. Represent You in Negotiations or Court
If your attorney doesn’t get a satisfactory offer from the insurance company initially, it might be necessary to take further legal action.
Your attorney represents you in all of those legal proceedings.
Accident injury lawyers use their negotiation skills to come to a settlement with the responsible parties.
If those negotiations fail, it might be necessary to go to court. Your lawyer handles all of the court preparation and represents you during the trial.
Having a legal expert represent you increases your chances of getting the outcome you want. It also gives you peace of mind.
7. Provide Legal Advice
Are you unsure what to do to resolve your car accident? Maybe you’re considering taking the offer from the insurance company, but you’re not sure.
Hiring a car accident lawyer gives you expert insight and advice on how to proceed.
It’s always your decision on how you proceed, but your attorney can look at the details of your case and provide recommendations.
Your attorney can tell you if you have a good shot at getting the settlement you want. They can also help evaluate the potential outcome if you go to court.
Knowing how to handle the car accident aftermath is often confusing. An attorney takes some of the guesswork out of it, so you can get the best possible settlement.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Does your situation warrant hiring a car accident lawyer? If you’ve been in an accident when someone else is to blame, having an attorney on your side can improve the outcome of your case.
Contact us today if you’ve been in a car accident. We can evaluate your case to determine your best options and help you get the outcome you deserve.