Immediately after an automobile wreck, you may feel scared, hurt, and overwhelmed. If the accident resulted in considerable vehicle damage, injury, or death, you must report to the local police – mandatory in all states. Check if other passengers and drivers need medical attention, and call 911 without delay in such circumstances. Once things feel okay, you need to consider hiring a car accident attorney for legal representation. In this post, let’s talk about why legal representation is so important after a car crash.
You need advice
While your friends and family can be supportive during your recovery, only an attorney should advise on legal matters. It matters if you live in a fault state. If the other driver was clearly at fault, you could file a claim with their insurer to get compensation for your losses. However, car accidents are rarely simple. If you had a share in fault or when there were multiple drivers and vehicles involved, things can be murky. Let an attorney investigate the case and offer their opinion on what to expect from your claim. More importantly, they can tell whether you have a claim in the first place.
Proving fault and liability
States either follow a “modified” or “pure” comparative fault rule. If you had a role in causing the accident, your settlement would be much lower as per both rules. However, when you share more than 50% of the fault, you cannot recover anything at all in a modified comparative fault state. Establishing fault and liability is often the toughest part in car accident cases. It would be best if you had a lawyer to take care of the investigation in a professional manner. They may even go for options like accident reconstruction to prove both fault and liability.
Working with insurance companies
Most insurance companies have huge legal resources at their disposal. The claims adjuster will try to minimize what’s paid in settlements, and for that, they often adhere to unfair tactics. If you don’t have an attorney, you have to deal with the insurance company, which can be a tough experience. Because they are dealing with losses and financial distress, victims often accept whatever is being offered – not the compensation they deserve.
As you have guessed, hiring an accident attorney is advantageous in many ways. You should consider getting a lawyer soon after the crash so that they can start gathering evidence without delay. Personal injury lawyers typically don’t charge a fee until they have won, which is a big advantage.
How to find the right accident attorney?
There are many personal injury law firms that work extensively for car accident victims. hlalawfirm.com offers a free initial consultation, and that’s a good window to ask questions. Here are some tips for selecting the right auto accident attorney. Click here for more information.
- Ask around. If you can talk to friends and family members who have worked with accident lawyers in the past, that’s always an advantage. You can also check websites like Nolo and Avvo that offer listings for states and cities. You need a shortlist of at least three to four attorneys.
- Meeting an attorney. After the first telephonic conversation, the lawyer may insist on a personal meeting if they are interested in the case. Ensure that you ask relevant questions related to the attorney’s experience and expertise. For instance – What percentage of the attorney’s practice is dedicated to accident cases? What is their success rate? Can they share client references on request?
- Reviews. Besides references, reviews are also handy for comparing accident attorneys. Check the feedback, testimonials, and reviews posted by other clients on Google to know more about the lawyer’s credibility and market standing. Reputation is a vital factor in your choice.
- Costs of hiring a lawyer. Personal injury lawyers typically work on a contingency fee. The lawyer gets paid if and when they win. The fee may vary but is a fixed percentage of the financial settlement, usually not exceeding 40%. If the case requires additional expenses, such as investigation costs, the lawyer should mention these details.
- Ask about your options. Should you settle? Can the case possibly end in a trial? What is the worth of your claim? After paying the lawyer, what can you realistically expect in a financial settlement? An attorney can answer these questions, which can help in making an informed decision about your case.
When should you hire an accident attorney?
No matter the circumstances, hiring an attorney will only benefit your case. However, you definitely need legal advice if you were partly at fault for the accident or have suffered serious losses. If your claim has been denied, you should hire a lawyer to know the other options. A lawyer is imperative to investigating the case, and as we mentioned, they know how-to see-through insurance gimmicks. They can negotiate for a settlement keeping the evidence in consideration.
As you have guessed, hiring an accident attorney is beneficial in many ways. It would help if you considered getting a lawyer soon after the crash so that they can start gathering evidence without delay. Personal injury lawyers typically don’t charge a fee until they have won, which is a big advantage.