According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , there are more than 35,000 fatalities and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year caused by motor vehicle accidents.
Answering the following questions, will help you determine when and if you should hire a car accident lawyer:
Did You Sustain Any Injuries? ANSWER: YES
While cars do come with many safety features that minimize the damage you suffer in an accident, there’s still a good chance that you suffered a serious injury in your car crash. The seat belt and airbags might lessen the severity of these injuries, but the harm might still be long-term or even lethal. Even the injuries that don’t seem serious at first can cause problems later on.
For example, you might not think a mild concussion is that serious when compared to a spinal injury or organ damage. However, even a minor concussion can take time to heal. It’s still a type of brain trauma, and this can cause distressing side effects like memory loss, sleep problems, and difficulty focusing From there, injuries only get more expensive and may be impossible to heal from. A spinal injury, for example, could be devastating even if it isn’t complete. While an incomplete injury means the nerves of your spine haven’t been severed, making it possible to regain feeling and motion, it’s costly and can require a long recovery time. A complete spinal cord injury could mean permanent paralysis.
If you’re feeling any kind of pain after your accident, it’s best to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Schedule a doctor visit, or even an emergency room visit. This will help document your injuries, and solidify you auto accident injury case.
Was the Accident Your Fault? ANSWER: NO
In most vehicle accident situations, if you’ve been rear-ended, or were hit when you had the “right of way,” the other party will be found at fault.
It’s best to have the police come to the scene to help establish the at-fault party and give a citation to the party who was responsible for causing the accident. A police report is an important document that will help you receive compensation from an auto accident.
When you’re the injured victim of a careless driver, hiring a car accident attorney will help you recover money for your medical bills, car repair, and the hassle of paperwork with insurance companies.
Have You Accepted a Settlement? ANSWER: NO
Keep in mind that the insurance companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters who begin evaluating your claim right away. Because of this, it is essential that you retain a personal injury lawyer immediately if you are injured in a car collision in order to level the playing field.
If an insurance adjuster can get away with paying $0.10 or $0.20 on the dollar, the adjuster will likely get a raise or a bonus, but at minimum, certainly a pat on the back for settling the case cheap.
Facing a team of professional attorneys that work full-time for billion-dollar insurance companies isn’t a wise move. It is possible to go at it alone, but you are literally at their mercy; they may give you a thousand dollars, a few hundred bucks, or possibly even deny your claim . It is up to them since you don’t really know what legal rights you have, what alternatives you could use, or what to do to fight them. They spend every day, all day, fighting claims on behalf of their employers (insurance companies) so facing them on your own with no experience has an obvious outcome.
If you opt to handle your own accident and injury claim, the insurance carrier will offer you a minimal amount of settlement money intending for you to go away. In fact, insurance carriers usually make such offers within days following the collision hoping to take advantage of the victim. At such time, you will not have any idea as to the extent of your injuries, future prognosis or the need for future medical treatment. These propositions are known in the industry as nuisance value offers. In other words, the insurance carrier sees the claim as a mere nuisance. They view the unrepresented accident victim as one who has no bite behind their bark. The carrier will take the position that you have no ability to do anything beyond demand money as the unrepresented party does not know the lay of the land in litigation and will get chewed up by a seasoned insurance defense lawyer.
If you were injured, and not at-fault for the accident, don’t accept a settlement from the insurance company without first speaking with a personal injury lawyer.
Yes, I Meet These Criteria. What Steps Should I Take Next?
Car accidents are life-changing experiences. The crash itself is only the beginning of what can be an extremely long process of filing an insurance claim, determining fault, and most importantly, getting the closure one needs to move on with their life. Having to take on both the insurance companies and the law to get what you deserve from your accident can be extremely intimidating. Don’t go through this alone.
Retaining a competent and experienced car accident lawyer is vital if you are injured in a wreck.
Use FindLegal to hire a local motor vehicle accidents lawyer near you who can help you determine what to do immediately after an accident, who’s at fault, how to handle potential medical issues, and recover for injuries and damages… getting you the compensation you deserve.