After a car accident, you may be concerned about hiring a car accident lawyer to walk you through the claim process. While there are no laws dictating that this is a legal requirement, there are certain car accident circumstances that demand the presence of a car accident lawyer.
You might worry about the costs that come with hiring one. In the long run, accidents involving serious injuries and fatal damages could prove that hiring a lawyer is more affordable than facing the claim process alone. Regardless of the circumstances of your accident, it is vital to consult a car accident lawyer about your case. Depending on the options available, you can now proceed with hiring one.
Best Time to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
You must understand incidents that require you or your loved ones to hire a car accident lawyer. Most of these car accidents are complex and require several negotiations. One wrong step during these negotiations could easily compromise the entire process. Here are the circumstances that present the best time to hire a car accident lawyer.
- If the Injuries Sustained and the Car Damages Caused are Serious
If you sustain serious injuries or car damages resulting from your accident, it is best to consult with a car accident lawyer on the available options. It is essential to understand where you stand after a severe accident and what is required to get the appropriate settlement. That is why you need an experienced car accident lawyer to help you understand your claim’s validity and guide you through the legal process of a lawsuit if need be.
After sustaining severe injuries after an accident, the victims often require more medical attention. Depending on the nature of the injuries, the process can be ongoing for up to several months. Sometimes, it could be as severe as losing a limb or suffering from a visual or hearing impairment. Steep costs are incurred whether these aftermath injuries of the accident are temporary or permanent.
The higher the medical costs and other damages incurred, the more likely the insurance company will dispute your claim. Most insurance companies fight harder to minimize your settlement if your serious injuries have higher stakes. In such a scenario, you will need to hire a car accident lawyer to help with the negotiations to ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
- If You Are Not Certain About Your Insurance Coverage and Policy
After an accident, it is logical to file a claim with your insurer. But what happens when you need to know exactly what your insurance can cover? Most accident victims, especially those who have just experienced their first accident, may not understand exactly what their insurance policy can cover and what it cannot. Some might also need help understanding the complex language of their insurance policy.
When you find yourself or your loved one in such a situation, it is best to reach out to a car accident lawyer. Seeking legal advice from a car accident lawyer helps you understand what your policy establishes. Comparing the injuries and damages incurred with your policy enables the car accident lawyer to set an appropriate settlement amount and determine whether your compensation is viable.
Different insurance companies offer various coverage. The three common types of car insurance coverage are:
- Liability coverage aims to protect you and your car/property against claims resulting from injuries and damage to other people or property.
- Comprehensive coverage covers car damages resulting from theft, fire, or accidents.
- Collision coverage helps repair or replace your car in case of an accident.
Under no circumstance can you claim medical payments from the injuries sustained during your accident if your insurance coverage is comprehensive or collision. Such a claim will only end up being denied by your insurer. Knowing the type of insurance coverage makes it easier to file a claim successfully.
- If Your Insurer is Complicating the Claim filing Process
Suppose the injuries you sustain after an accident are minor and require a minimal settlement. In that case, you can file a claim efficiently and get your compensation successfully. However, if the accident caused severe injuries and other damages, amounting to huge costs, you may need to hire a car accident lawyer.
When you file your claim, your insurer connects you to an adjuster, an agent who evaluates your insurance claim to determine the appropriate settlement that the insurance company should release to cover your damages and personal injuries. This process is expected to be fast, especially once you present all the required documents and the evidence from the accident. However, these adjusters complicate the negotiations in most cases, dragging the entire process for days, months, or even years.
The adjusters scrutinize every detail to find even the pettiest reason to deny your claim or reduce your settlement amount. Remember, they are there on behalf of your insurance company; therefore, their services are in the best interest of your insurance company and not you, the claimant. Representing yourself when dealing with such adjusters can be pretty exhausting. That is why hiring a car accident lawyer to represent you is vital.
- Involvement of Multiple Parties
Apart from drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, a car accident can involve other parties that are not directly involved. These can be employers, car hire services, or manufacturers. Manufacturers may be held liable for an accident due to faulty parts. Employers may be partially responsible for accidents caused directly by their employed drivers. A car accident can sometimes involve three or more cars, making all drivers liable.
Accidents involving multiple parties call for a car accident lawyer because proving liability can be challenging. It will make it easier with the negotiations involving other liable parties’ insurance companies. The responsible parties are also most likely to come to a quick settlement with the involved insurance companies if they all involve car accident lawyers.
Sometimes, you may need to file a lawsuit against one of the liable parties where negotiations have failed. Adding a lawsuit in a multiple-party accident complicates the issue further. To increase your chances of a favorable outcome, you must hire a car accident lawyer experienced in handling multiple-party accidents.
- In the case of The Death of a Loved One
Apart from severe injuries and impairments, fatal car accidents can lead to death. Common injuries that can cause death after a car accident are internal bleeding, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. If the other party’s negligence caused the car accident that resulted in the death of your loved one, you could file a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit to hold them liable.
You may need a car accident lawyer before proceeding with the claim or lawsuit because the laws that govern wrongful death claims vary. The car accident lawyer will also help you to understand how it works to prevent hiccups once the process has started. For a wrongful death claim to hold, you need to prove the following:
- Breach of duty. The law expects everyone to act in a manner that does not harm others. Therefore, in a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the at-fault driver owed a duty of care to your deceased loved one.
- Negligence is the cause. Before filing for a wrongful death claim, ensure that you have adequate evidence to prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the deceased death.
- A list of damages. These damages include medical bills, pain, and suffering, hospital expenses, loss of income, and funeral costs.
With the help of a hired car accident lawyer, you will quickly identify the breach of duty of the at-fault driver. It is also easier to pinpoint the areas of negligence with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer. Coming up with a list of damages will also be easily facilitated by the car accident lawyer, depending on the injuries sustained by the deceased.
Some family members might file for punitive damages in some cases. These damages are considered punishment to the at-fault party if their behavior is proven harmful. These are common in cases of drunk driving during an accident.
Importance of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
- Car accident lawyers do all the legwork with your best interests at heart. Hiring one will shield you from all the pressure that comes with insurance claims, long negotiations, and lawsuits.
- Insurance companies are skilled at convincing accident victims to accept a lesser settlement than they deserve. They tend to take advantage of the victims representing themselves when filing the claim. Instead of receiving compensation for all your losses, you lose more. Hiring a car accident lawyer guarantees you a settlement offer that is enough to cover the full extent of your losses.
- A car accident lawyer is well-informed on the laws and rights that govern a car accident claim and its process. Hiring one will save you time and, in the long run, your money.