If you have been hurt in a car accident that someone else caused, then the most important step that you can take after addressing your immediate medical needs is to find a car accident lawyer in your area. Many people believe that they should file an insurance claim before partnering with an attorney, but this is a common mistake that insurance companies love to take advantage of. From the moment you make your first contact with the insurance company representing the responsible driver, they will spring into action to identify and leverage every possible reason to limit your settlement amount. When you start the process with a lawyer representing you, every conversation with the insurance company, every document submitted, and every step taken will be done with your attorney’s experience and guidance.
Contact 1-800-Injured For a Free Consultation Today
We offer a free consultation for car accident victims who are looking for a diligent, proven attorney. The process of finding a lawyer on your own can feel daunting, especially as you are trying to come to terms with the impacts of your accident — physical and emotional. This is why our referral service is a great option for you to eliminate additional stressors and focus on your own personal needs while being connected to a lawyer with ease.
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. Instead of taking on all of the initial research to find a lawyer who covers car accidents in your area and is available to take your case, let 1-800-Injured take that stress off of your plate and give yourself more space to focus on your own personal needs. Stress is shown to have a significant impact on physical recovery from injuries, so the more stress you can offload to others, the easier your recovery will be.
WHY HIRE AN ATTORNEY AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT?
From the moment the insurance company finds out there has been an accident and injuries they will need to pay for, an insurance adjuster assigned to the claim will take action in order to begin identifying every possible way to limit the settlement amount. You will work directly with this claims adjuster for the next few weeks to a month as they investigate every aspect of the accident, including the possibility of an independent medical examination to confirm your injuries. Even the word “independent” here is misleading because every part of this investigation is intended to poke holes in your own claims, not to ensure you get everything you deserve. Your attorney will be able to advise you on how to handle yourself during this exam, what statements you should or should not make, and more. This is only one example of the type of support you will benefit from when you are working with a car accident lawyer.
Prioritize Your Own Needs
One of the most overlooked benefits of working with a car accident lawyer is the fact that you will be able to focus on your recovery and your personal needs without taking on the added emotional burden of managing a complicated and contentious claims process. When you handle your own claims process, the stress and anxiety of your medical bills, the impact your injuries are having on your ability to work, and the other problems the accident is causing can compound. Many times, people end up accepting a settlement agreement for far less than they deserve because they think their prospects are hopeless and they should just take the one-time payment to alleviate their short-term financial stressors. Your attorney will help you understand the benefits of holding out for more.
Get Ongoing Legal Advice
Part of the difficulty of an insurance claim is the uncertainty of knowing what will happen next, how likely you are to have a successful claim, and how much you are actually entitled to. This is one of the major benefits of working with an attorney who will be able to explain your situation in detail and give you a better sense of what you can expect moving forward. Insurance companies tend to prey on the uncertainty and fear a victim is experiencing as they watch their medical bills and lost wages mount higher and higher, and can leverage this fear to reach a quick, low settlement. Having an experienced professional with who you can ask questions can be a significant help as you hold out for a fair settlement.
Guidance Through the Claims Process
When your lawyer acts as your representative throughout the claims investigation process, they will handle as much of the required work as possible. When you do need to participate, such as with the medical exam, they will be able to provide you with support and advice to ensure that each step you take is done with intention and purpose — all intended to boost your chances of a fair settlement. At the same time, your attorney will be performing their own investigation and calculations in order to understand what you are actually owed. These calculations require an intimate knowledge of the range of personal injury damages that a victim may endure, both economic and non-economic.
Professional Settlement Negotiating
Once the claims investigation is completed, the insurance company will make a settlement offer that will be shockingly low. This initial offer comes with the requirement that you waive your rights for any future legal actions against the insurance company or their client for this accident, even if new information emerges or you were to experience delayed complications. However, your attorney will not accept this offer; instead, they will initiate a series of negotiations that are intended to get you a settlement that you actually deserve. Without the help of an attorney, you would have to either accept this low offer or would need to negotiate at the same time that you were recovering from your injuries, a combination that makes for a difficult process.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Lawyers
The following are just a few of the many questions victims have after car accidents, both generally about their accidents and specifically about the benefit of working with a car accident attorney. The answers provided are not meant to be taken as legal advice in any capacity; instead, they are meant to give you a general sense of how your own unique situation might relate to the questions and answers below. Rest assured that you will be able to get a clear answer to your own questions during your initial consultation and throughout the work you will do with an attorney.
Do I need a car accident attorney to file an insurance claim?
There is no legal requirement for hiring an attorney when you are filing an insurance claim; in fact, you don’t even legally need an attorney in court, either. However, the benefits of hiring an attorney have nothing to do with legality: when you are working with an experienced personal injury attorney, you are benefiting from their experience with personal injury claims so you can focus on your own needs without the added stress and emotional burden. In addition to the reduction of stress, the biggest benefit you will get from working with an attorney is the fact they will be able to take the insurance company on and negotiate aggressively for a settlement you truly deserve.
One of the most important tasks a personal injury attorney will handle for you is going through all of your damages and making sure that each of them is included in your claim. Insurance companies will attempt to gloss over minor or abstract damages in the hopes of settling your claim for as little as possible, but an attentive attorney will work to ensure that all of these damages make it into the settlement negotiation process.
Is it worth getting a lawyer for a car accident?
The answer to this question is highly specific to your own preferences and situation, but the best way to decide whether or not your case will benefit from legal support is to go contact us now for a free consultation. Many car accident claims are resolved without the help of an attorney, and if you speak with a legal professional and determine that you will only be seeking compensation for property damage without any other issues then it may not be worth it to work with an attorney. However, many people dismiss the possibility of working with a lawyer because they do not think their case warrants one, only to find out after they accept a low settlement offer that they could have gotten far more money if they had negotiated more aggressively.
Since there are so many variables that go into deciding whether or not hiring a lawyer for your car accident claim is worth it, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to speak with someone about your unique situation.
When should you hire an attorney for a car accident?
Realistically, hiring an attorney before you contact the insurance company would be the best timing. This way, your lawyer will be able to handle every communication with the insurance company and the adjuster assigned to your case, all the way through to the day you accept a fair settlement offer. When your attorney is managing the entire claims process, you won’t need to worry about falling prey to the many common errors that the insurance companies leverage in order to settle claims for as little as possible. Something as minor as apologizing for something related to the accident could result in the agent pinning additional fault on you, which could ultimately result in a lower settlement.
To avoid any of the many missteps that insurance companies use to their advantage, work with an attorney as soon as possible. The best time to hire an attorney was yesterday, and the next best time is today. They understand the claims process, have a history of car accident claims they have worked through, and will be able to use this experience to help you get the settlement you deserve, not just a settlement the insurance company prefers.
Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t my fault?
People often mistake the issue of liability with that of compensation, but in reality, the two are very different parts of the same insurance claims process. Even if the other driver is irrefutably, 100% at fault for your accident, this only resolves the issue of contributory negligence (which would reduce your settlement by the percent you were at-fault for the crash), and still leaves the broad, complicated question of damages. Compensatory damages in a personal injury case include both economic and non-economic damages, each of which includes a wide range of specific damages, costs, and losses that you may suffer.
Remember, your attorney is not only there to prove that the other driver caused the accident; they are there to calculate and quantify all of the damages you have suffered, and aggressively negotiate for a fair settlement that includes all of these damages. Without an attorney acting as your representative, you would need to advocate for yourself in negotiations with the insurance company at the same time you are trying to recover from your injuries. The entire claims process is fraught with complexities and loopholes, all of which your attorney will make sure the insurance company is not able to unfairly leverage against you.
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for a car accident?
The attorneys that 1-800-Injured will connect you with all operate on the basis of contingency fees, meaning that they will only take payment as a percentage of your settlement or award, and will not take payment if you lose. Many people never even consider the possibility that legal support is within their financial abilities — particularly if they are facing massive medical bills and lost wages — when in reality, they would benefit from the legal representation and may ultimately take home much more than they would without an attorney.
In order to get a sense of how these numbers might look in your unique situation, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation today. Once connected with a personal injury attorney, you will be able to take a close look at your situation to get a sense of what they believe you are entitled to and how much your attorney would take for their fee following a successful negotiation or lawsuit.
Will I need to go to court for my car accident claim if I hire an attorney?
There is no guarantee one way or another that you will either reach an out-of-court settlement or that you will need to file a lawsuit to get the money you deserve. You may, however, find comfort in knowing that as few as 10% of all personal injury cases ever see trial, and roughly 50% of all personal injury claims are settled before a lawsuit is ever filed. Of course, these statistics have no bearing on your own situation, and you may decide with the help of your attorney that you will be best served by filing a lawsuit before even attempting ongoing negotiations. However, like all other details of a personal injury case, this is highly specific to your unique situation.
One thing to avoid is waiting to hire an attorney until you think you may need to file a lawsuit. Oftentimes, an experienced legal professional will be able to take control of the claims process from the start and lead an aggressive negotiation towards an out-of-court settlement. In most cases, these direct settlement agreements are less than the award a victim may receive in court, but it saves time and money in court fees, court dates, and long waits between appearances in front of a judge. Depending on your unique situation, you and your attorney will determine which approach makes the most sense and will continue to adjust your approach as new information emerges.
How long will it take to settle my claim once I hire an attorney?
As with the rest of the questions and answers provided on this page, the answer to this question depends on the many variables that make your accident unique. Some claims may be extremely straightforward and can be resolved within weeks, while others are extremely complex and may take years before a final agreement is reached. Fortunately, there are financial services that can support personal injury victims while they work through this process. These can be essential when the case takes months or years to resolve.
One of the most important things to remember about this question is that you may need to hold out to get what you truly deserve. Again, though, the only way to get a realistic estimate is to work directly with an attorney while understanding that they will not be able to give you a certain answer, either. The most important thing to do is to start working with a lawyer as soon as possible so they can start building a strong case on your behalf and start fighting for the money you are entitled to following your car accident.