People often want to put a car accident behind them as quickly as possible, with the least amount of hassle in the process. That’s completely understandable.
However, that instinct can also lead to problems, such as when an accident victim makes the mistake of thinking that hiring a lawyer will only slow the process down or make things more complicated.
In reality, obtaining full and fair compensation for the harm caused by a crash takes time, energy, legal know-how, clear thinking, quick action, and attention to detail. Experienced layers have those qualities and skills. Most car accident victims do not.
In other words, the answer to the question in the title of this blog is: Yes. You absolutely need an attorney for your car accident claim. Here’s why.
What Car Accident Claim Attorneys Do
Car accident attorneys fill numerous roles in representing victims in car accident claims, many of which victims would struggle to handle on their own. The below details a handful of the legal services conducted by an attorney after an accident.
They Communicate on Your Behalf
A car accident lawyer handles communications on your behalf with your own insurance company, the at-fault party’s insurance company, lawyers, courts, and anyone else involved in your car accident claim.
This saves you the difficulty and stress of having conversations that could affect your legal rights directly. It also protects you from making mistakes in those conversations that could cost you serious money. And, it ensures that the parties who may owe you compensation for your injuries and losses will have no choice but to deal with someone who understands the legal process for obtaining the payment you deserve. That party won’t have the ability to trick or maneuver their way out of their financial obligations.
They Find and Secure Evidence Important to Your Claim
With work, family, and other day-to-day responsibilities occupying you, not to mention the effort you need to put into healing from your car accident injuries, finding the resources and time to obtain evidence to support a car accident claim on your own is virtually impossible. An attorney has the resources, experience, and ability to track down the relevant records, reports, and other evidence it will take to build a winning car accident claim.
That evidence might include:
- Medical records;
- Police reports;
- Damage assessments;
- Witness statements; and
- Accident scene photographs/videos.
They Identify the Parties Potentially Liable for Your Accident and Injuries
Car accident attorneys also handle the task of sifting through the evidence they gather about your car accident to identify the individuals, businesses, or others who might have a legal liability to you for damages. Lawyers use their understanding of legal principles to find parties you may never have conceived of as liable to you.
For example, at first glance, it may seem like the driver of the vehicle that crashed into yours is to blame. An experienced lawyer, however, knows to look past that driver for others whose decisions or actions led to your injuries, such as the other driver’s employer, or the manufacturer of the other driver’s vehicle.
Every party with liability identified by a lawyer becomes another potential source of payment for your car accident claim, which increases your odds of receiving full compensation for your injuries and losses.
They Prepare and File Claims in Court and With Insurance Companies
Experienced car accident lawyers know where, when, how, and to whom to present your car accident claim to make sure it meets legal deadlines and contains sufficient information to enforce your rights.
Depending on what a lawyer thinks is the best approach for your case, your claim may consist of a lawsuit filed in a court with jurisdiction, an informal demand made directly to the part at-fault or that party’s insurance company, and/or a formal claim prepared to an insurance company or a compensation fund in a prescribed format.
Attorneys have years of experience preparing these documents, which moves your claim forward as quickly and efficiently as possible, while maximizing your potential compensation.
They Negotiate for a Fair Settlement of Your Car Accident Claim
Negotiation constitutes a core element of the car accident claims process. An experienced car accident lawyer can engage in negotiations with insurance representatives and defense attorneys representing the party at fault, seeking full and fair payment for your car accident injuries and losses.
When appropriate, an attorney can also negotiate with your own insurance company to help ensure that you receive the full benefits to which your insurance policy entitles you.
Hiring an attorney gives you a leg-up in negotiations not just because attorneys have lots of experience negotiating with those parties. It also gives you the benefit of an attorney’s evaluation of your claim, which helps to ensure that you only settle your claim for an appropriate amount of money, and not a lowball offer made by an insurance company.
They Represent You in Court
Most car accident claims settle before trial, but not all of them do. Having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side gives you the peace-of-mind of knowing you can always take your case to court, if that turns out to be the best avenue for obtaining the money you deserve.
It takes skill and experience to argue a case to a judge and jury. Few accident victims could even potentially pull it off. Even if they could, however, none should try. Judges and juries do not take car accident claims seriously when the accident victim shows up without a lawyer.
When Is the Best Time to Contact an Attorney for Your Car Accident Claim?
Contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of receiving full compensation for your car accident injuries and losses. The sooner you have an attorney working for you, the sooner evidence can be gathered and preserved, the more efficiently a claim process can be initiated, and the higher the likelihood of it ending in a favorable outcome for you.
To learn more about your rights after suffering injuries in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident injury lawyer for a free case consultation.