You might wonder is it worth getting a lawyer for a car accident? In a word, yes. Hiring a lawyer to secure compensation for your car accident injuries is absolutely worth it.
Let’s take a look at why.
What an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Does
People question the need for a lawyer mostly because they do not really know what an experienced car accident attorney can do for them. They have a general understanding that car accident claims involve getting money from an insurance company. But, that might sound like something they can handle on their own.
We understand the instinct, but when it comes to car accidents, it’s misplaced.
Investigating Your Accident Claim
To begin, you cannot hope to secure full compensation for a car accident unless you know exactly what happened and who bears the blame for it happening. Gaining that understanding requires investigation.
Lawyers for car accident victims have years of experience conducting those investigations. They know where to look for critical evidence, what they must do to obtain it, and how to put it to use to achieve maximum compensation. In contrast, most car accident victims do not possess that level of experience and know-how.
What if the Accident Wasn’t My Fault?
Answering that question is an important part of any car accident investigation. If a car accident was not your fault, then you may have the right to seek compensation through a lawsuit or a claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy (or both).
Lawyers for car accident victims like you review the evidence with a careful eye, looking for any sign that someone else’s careless or reckless actions led to you getting hurt.
Filing Your Car Accident Claim
Once a lawyer has gathered the information relevant to your car accident, the next step often consists of preparing and filing a claim for compensation, which, as we said, typically takes the form of a lawsuit filed in court, a claim against an insurance policy, or both.
Claim filings require specific content, formatting, and timing. Getting any part of a claim filing wrong risks losing valuable rights to payment. Car accident lawyers possess the skill and training to avoid costly mistakes in filing a claim. Most car accident victims do not.
If a car accident claim takes the form of a lawsuit, then it will usually seek specified damages on behalf of the crash victim.
Damages potentially recoverable through a lawsuit vary from case-to-case, but often include:
- Medical and other out-of-pocket expenses related to an accident and injuries sustained in it;
- Wages and income lost as a result of the accident and injuries;
- Pain and suffering inflicted by the car accident and injuries; and
- Sometimes, punitive damages aimed at punishing the at-fault party’s conduct.
Car accident lawyers understand the wide range of compensation potentially available to their clients. They conduct thorough evaluations of the harm their clients have suffered to pinpoint every last dollar of damages their clients deserve.
In fact, car accident victims often react with surprise when a lawyer explains the scope of potential damages available to them because it’s so much broader than they had imagined.
Lawyers also know how to get car accident claims over the finish line. Sometimes, that means engaging in well-timed, strategically-sound negotiations with defense lawyers and insurance companies, with the aim of securing a full and fair settlement. In other cases, it can mean taking a case to a Nevada court and, when necessary, presenting it at a trial in front of a judge and jury.
Securing a favorable financial settlement and winning a case at trial takes the kind of skill, diligence, and street smarts that you can only gain through years of legal training and practical experience. Car accident lawyers bring that particular set of talents to the table for their clients.
Why You Should Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer First
If you have ever questioned whether you need a lawyer after a car accident, then chances are you’ve also wondered whether you really need to “CALL NOW!”, like so many legal advertisements say.
We understand why you might feel skeptical. Still, it’s good advice. Calling a lawyer as soon as you can, and especially before you speak with anyone from an insurance company, protects your rights.
Dealing with Insurance
Insurance plays a role in the aftermath of nearly every car accident. You must carry accident liability insurance to register a car in Nevada, which covers harm you could cause to others in an accident. The majority of Nevada drivers also carry insurance that protects them and their passengers against crash-related expenses, such as personal injury protection (PIP), collision damage, and uninsured motorist coverage.
Which is to say, car accident victims can expect to get calls from insurance companies – their own and someone else’s – after getting hurt in a crash. That does not mean, however, that they should take those conversations lightly, or that they should speak with some insurance companies at all.
You may have an obligation to talk to your own auto insurance company after a crash. That’s usually fine, so long as you stick to the facts and never, ever say anything that your insurer could interpret as you taking the blame for an accident.
You probably do not have any obligation to talk to someone else’s insurance company, however. We encourage you to exercise extreme caution if someone else’s insurance company tries to contact you. That company is looking for reasons not to pay you compensation.
To paraphrase the famous Miranda warnings, anything you say to an insurance adjuster from someone else’s insurance company can and will be used against you to undermine your claim.
Settling Your Claim
Be especially cautious of an insurance adjuster from someone else’s insurer who calls to offer you money to settle your claim. Settlement offers made directly to accident victims, instead of their attorneys, almost never constitute a fair deal.
Instead, insurers make low-ball offers to car accident victims, hoping they’ll take what seems like easy money without realizing they’re getting short-changed.
Accepting a settlement means giving up your rights to sue for damages. Never agree to a settlement without first speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer who can advise you whether the settlement is a fair deal (again, it probably isn’t if the insurance company made it to you directly).
Chances are, you can get a far better offer if you put settlement negotiations in the hands of a skilled car accident injury lawyer who represents your interests and won’t get rolled by insurance adjusters trying to escape liability on-the-cheap.
Our Attorneys Can Help
Has a car accident harmed you or a loved one? If so, then you need a skilled car accident injury lawyer on your side, today, fighting to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Pacific West Injury Law online or call us at (702) 602-4878 for a free case review.