When you hit the road, getting into a car accident is naturally the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, the possibility is always lurking.
In fact, about 37,000 people die in road crashes and over 2 million sustain injuries every year. It’s fair to say the odds of crashing are high.
Then the worst happens. You’re involved in a car accident.
Perhaps you’re the one at fault, or maybe another motorist is to blame. Perhaps you’re badly injured, or you’ve escaped with only minor injuries. Or maybe you’re physically unharmed, but your car is wrecked.
Whatever your situation, one of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself is this: “Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?”
Let’s find out.
When Fault Isn’t Clearly Established
After a car accident, the police will investigate and draw a report revealing, among other things, who’s at fault. The one at fault is responsible for settling the damages.
If the report is placing you at fault, but you think otherwise, find a car accident lawyer immediately. The lawyer will conduct an independent investigation and strive to establish the truth, which could exonerate you.
Even when you’re clearly at fault, you still need a car accident lawyer.
The victims of the accident will come at you full force, and without a lawyer on your team, you’ll be at a disadvantage.
When Your Car Is Badly Damaged
Depending on the terms of your car insurance policy, the insurer could be partly or wholly responsible for repairing the car.
However, insurance companies are never enthusiastic about settling claims. They will try to lowball you all the way.
If your insurer is playing hardball or the adjuster is pressurizing you into taking an offer you don’t like, get a lawyer. Accident lawyers know the tricks insurers have up their sleeve, and they have what it takes to negotiate a satisfactory offer for you.
When You’re Injured
Car accident injuries will not only leave you with sharp body pain, but will also hurt your wallet. You have to pay for your medical costs, and if the injuries are severe, you could be out of work/business for a lengthy period of time.
But if you have a personal injury cover, your insurer has to pay up. This means filing a claim and following up with the insurer.
This is where a personal injury lawyer comes in handy. They will gather the relevant medical details, determine the value of your injuries (including emotional suffering), and prepare and file the claim with the insurer. When negotiations are necessary, the lawyer will ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
When You Need to File a Lawsuit
Sometimes the parties in a car accident refuse to cooperate. Maybe your insurance company rejects your claim, or the person at fault refuses to admit liability.
In either case, your last resort is to file a lawsuit in court. But to the layman, the process of filing a court case is complicated. Lots of paperwork and procedures are involved.
You need a lawyer to file the suit and argue the case in court, possibly until a favorable determination comes your way.
Do I Need a Lawyer after a Car Accident?
Very likely so! Regardless of how careful and alert we are on the road, there are factors beyond our control that make accidents inevitable.
When you get into one and start asking yourself, “Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?,” then there is only one answer: yes. And the lawyer you need is an accomplished car accident or personal injury lawyer.