In many cases, following a car accident, having a lawyer on your side can make the entire process much easier. Do you need a lawyer for a car accident? If you suffered any type of injury or have serious questions about your right to compensation, a lawyer can help break down the compensation you deserve and aid you as you move through the claim process.
While not every car accident requires a lawyer, there are several circumstances under which you should seriously consider getting in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible.
1. You Suffered Injuries in the Accident
Dealing with property damage claims following an accident is usually relatively straightforward. You choose a mechanic to examine your vehicle – often from a list of approved providers issued by the insurance company – and get an estimate for the damages to your vehicle. In most cases, the insurance company will pay out that claim, and in many cases will pay the mechanic directly.
When you suffer injuries, however, the claim process can prove much more complicated, and you may have to fight harder to get the compensation you deserve. The insurance company may try to deny the extent of your injuries, deny when your injuries occurred, or insist that you did not need the full range of treatments you required in order to recover from your injuries. Having a lawyer can make it much easier to establish the full compensation you deserve for those injuries and pursue it.
2. The Insurance Company or Liable Driver Disputes Liability for the Accident
If the insurance company does not accept that its driver caused the accident, you have a case of disputed liability on your hands. In cases of disputed liability, the insurance company is generally trying to prove either that a) you caused the accident or b) you contributed substantially enough to the accident that it should reduce the compensation the insurance company pays out.
Disputed liability can prove particularly tricky in many car accident claims since it can prove difficult to establish exactly who caused the accident–especially if you have no witnesses and little to no further evidence about the accident. A lawyer, however, can help work with expert witnesses or seek out evidence that can help establish that the other driver caused your accident.
3. The Insurance Company Sends You a Low Settlement Offer
Getting a settlement offer should be cause for celebration. Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident, even one you did not cause, can prove very expensive and highly inconvenient. You may have medical bills that may quickly exceed the coverage offered by your MedPay policy if you carry one. You may be without your vehicle. You may have therapies and appointments to juggle as you deal with the aftermath of your car accident.
That settlement offer should offer you some of the funds you need to start managing those difficulties, rebuilding your life, and paying off your bills. Unfortunately, insurance companies often take advantage of people who have suffered serious injuries in auto accidents. They know that you do not know how much compensation you really deserve or even, in some cases, what your eventual medical bills will look like and how your injuries will impact your future freedoms.
They may pressure you to accept a fast offer – and a low one. A lawyer, on the other hand, can break down that settlement offer and give you a better idea of how much you really deserve, which can make it easier for you to handle those critical bills in the future.
4. The Insurance Company Tries to Dispute the Extent of Your Injuries
Some insurance companies will try to deny payment on the basis that your injuries do not pose the limitations you claim, or that you did not really need the medical treatments you claim as part of your lawsuit. You may find yourself fighting to get the full compensation you really deserve for those injuries and all the bills that go along with them.
A lawyer can help prove when your injuries occurred and work with expert medical witnesses to establish that you really did need those specific treatments. Furthermore, a lawyer can offer vital advice about how to navigate conversations and interactions with the insurance company so that you do not inadvertently reduce the compensation you can recover as part of the accident.
5. The Insurance Company Tries to Delay Payment for Any Part of Your Claim
Once you arrive at a settlement agreement, either for damage to a vehicle or for your injuries, the insurance company should pay it out in a timely manner: within 30 days of that settlement agreement.
If the insurance company starts dragging its heels or looking for reasons to deny payment, you may need a lawyer to help advocate for you–and to get that compensation in your hands faster. You should not have to wait for the financial compensation you deserve after your accident, and a lawyer can help advocate for you.
6. You Have Questions About Your Rights After an Accident
If you have any questions about your legal rights after a car accident, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Most personal injury lawyers will start with a free consultation: a chance for you to ask your questions and determine whether you really need a lawyer to help handle your claim.
You can also ask a lawyer any questions you have about disputed liability, or get a better idea of the compensation you really deserve following a serious injury. A lawyer can then help you determine whether you need those legal services for your claim.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you need a car accident lawyer, Pacific West Injury Law can help. Contact us today for a free consultation that can help answer many of the questions you have about your right to compensation following a serious accident.