Car accidents are scary, to say the least. Once the situation has been assessed to determine damages and extent of injuries, people often overlook specific details. They tend to pass over the idea of retaining the services of an attorney. After all, the accident might not seem like a big deal. Even the liability appears clear. Of course, if the damage is minimal, and there are no injuries there could be no need for a lawyer.
However, it might be wise to consider an attorney in some cases, and there are several reasons why.
Although the liability in a car accident might be apparent, it might still be a good idea to speak to an attorney. If you are at fault and do not realize it, you could be surprised by a phone call stating that you are liable for medical expenses, or even, monetary compensation for the other party. You could also be surprised by a subpoena. None of these prospects are pleasant. Even if you have absolved of all liability, an attorney still could be a great idea, especially if you have injuries from the car accident. Time should not be wasted because people often forget specific details of the crash. The time to see an attorney is while the events of the crash are still clear to you.
Medical Bills Soon Become Expensive
Everyone knows that one visit to an Emergency Room or Clinic can be costly. If visits continue to a physician after the initial ER visit, the cost continues to escalate. Even with medical insurance, the price can still be great, and some medical insurance providers will deny coverage for vehicle accidents. Most automobile insurance policies have limitations with medical coverage for vehicle accidents. When you have hired an attorney, he can request your medical records and inform your health care providers that he is representing you in a motor vehicle accident case. This will keep you from receiving stressful collection calls from agencies serving healthcare providers. Once you receive a settlement, the health care providers have the assurance that you will settle your debt with them.
Loss of Wages
If you are losing wages due to being off from work, or, missing work to receive treatment for injuries, you should consider hiring a lawyer. Loss of salary can have a negative impact on your budget. This can eventually lead to impacting your credit score. Loss of wages can put a burden on your entire family. Everyone in the household is affected by the financial strain of missing income. Consulting an attorney can help bring compensation to you for your losses.
Insurance Refuses to Pay
Insurance companies love to play the delay game. Unfortunately, they can afford it. Often, insurance companies will delay, deny, or minimize a settlement. They intend to pay as little as possible and make you wait as long as possible. Attorneys know how to deal with insurance companies. Many are efficient when it comes to convincing insurance companies that your damages and injuries are legitimate. Lawyers who specialize in motor vehicle accident cases are able to cut through the paperwork and red tape.
Liability is in Dispute
An accident attorney is needed if the insurance company of the other party is claiming that they are not responsible for your injuries and damages. Often, insurance companies will claim they have no valid proof of liability. An attorney can obtain accident reports and other documents to prove liability. Unfortunately, insurance companies and their policyholders can be less than honest about the events of an accident. Without an attorney, you could be fighting a serious, losing battle that will be costly. It would be better to seek an attorney then find you do not need his services than to fail to seek one and discover you made the wrong decision.
Contingency Fee Representation
Although medical bills have already been mentioned, it is vital that you are reminded that most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means the law firm bears the burden of expenses until a settlement is obtained. If a settlement is not successful, they collect nothing from you; however, you still are responsible for medical bills. Contingency fee basis is good for you because you are not responsible for any type of payment while litigation is in process. You will not have to pay any fees, expenses, or medical bills. It is vital that you keep good records and report any significant events or doctor visits to your attorney. What relief this will bring to a stressful situation!
Expert Opinion Concerning Settlements
Insurance companies will attempt to settle quickly with an amount that is far from what you need to be compensated. They make the initial offer quickly because they know you want the process over and done. Because you just want to be finished with anything concerning the accident, you might be tempted to settle for an inadequate offer. An experienced attorney will be objective concerning settlement offers. He will know what you need, not only to cover all expenses but also for pain and suffering you and your family have endured. You might not be in a state of mind to think objectively. Your attorney will be prepared due to settlement experience.
A Time to Settle and a Time for a Lawsuit
Most people involved in a car accident have no desire to go to court. They prefer to settle before a trial might take place. Insurance companies know this. The fact is most insurance companies do not wish to go to court either, but they will manipulate you knowing you want to reach a settlement. Having an attorney will ensure that proper steps are taken to arrive at an adequate compensation. Once you have settled the case, it is too late to backtrack and receive more compensation. You need an attorney to guide you as to the dollar amounts for which you should settle. It will be worth the wait in the end.
The Case Must Go to Court
It is not advisable for you to represent yourself in a motor vehicle accident claim although it is perfectly legal. The attorneys of the opposing party most likely have a great deal of court experience. They know how to speak to judges, and, unfortunately, many of them know how to manipulate the entire court system. Unless you are an attorney, you have no such knowledge so representing yourself could be detrimental for your case. An experienced attorney will represent you well which will reduce a great deal of stress for you. Your negotiating system must be strong to come out of the situation in a positive manner. Expert representation from an attorney keeps you from having to pay unnecessary court costs.
You are Truly Liable for the Accident
If the evidence proves that you are responsible for the accident, you need an attorney. Just as an attorney can represent someone seeking a settlement, an attorney can represent the one giving the agreement. Your insurance company will do as little as possible to provide adequate compensation to the injured party so you must have an attorney to prevent you from paying for the injuries and damages of others out of your own pocket. Whether you are liable or not, a car accident is a stressful time in your life. Having proper legal representation can make a difference of paying too much in a settlement or being cheated. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney if you have any doubts about your situation.