There are no fixed guidelines on when to get an attorney for a car accident. In fact, you have the complete freedom to fight your car accident case without a lawyer if you think that you can handle the pressure. However, for most novice litigators and people who have no experience in dealing with the legal practices, hiring an attorney for the case is the best practice.
Ideally, you should hire an attorney for your car accident as soon as possible. However, you might not want to do so, if the damage is relatively minor. On the other hand, ignoring minor cases can have severe consequences too. So, you should consult an auto accident lawyer even if there is no injury to ensure that you are not facing any legal charges from the third-party.
The 10 Cases When You Should Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
Here are the top 10 cases when you should get an attorney for a car accident. Not hiring a professional auto accident lawyer in the following cases poses a significant danger to your financial strength.
Case 1: When You Suffer A Physical Injury
This is the most common case that requires immediate attention from a reliable auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Ideally, you should consult a reliable lawyer as soon as you are admitted into the hospital. You should not sign any forms before first consulting with the lawyer. Hospitals often make their patients sign a release form as soon as they are admitted. If you sign such a form, you can lose the right to file for settlement claim later.
A professional lawyer is well-versed with all the legal terminologies and can help you assess the medical forms correctly before signing them. The lawyer will ensure that you do not sign any forms that cause you to lose leverage in the accident. He/she will act as your guardian for the whole case and ensure that you do not make any silly mistakes along the way.
The best lawyers also collect all the necessary medical receipts and the doctor’s statement in an organized fashion for easily filing purposes. With the necessary help you a reliable lawyer, you can stay ahead of the defense from day one. You should not waste any time and call a reliable auto accident lawyer as soon as you are hospitalized.
Case 2: When You Suffer Post-Traumatic Stress
The pain and suffering component of your claim can easily fetch you more money than the other components combined. The best lawyers can blow the whole deal out of proportion in your favor to fetch you an extremely lucrative deal from the settlement amount. If you are suffering from post-traumatic stress or anxiety, consult a psychiatrist and a lawyer right away.
The certified psychiatrists can easily charge upwards of several hundred dollars for an hourly consulting session. Under such situations, a regular session will hurt your savings significantly. You can claim the amount necessary for such sessions in the settlement claim. The psychiatrist can also help you cope with anxiety, depression, and other similar mental conditions after the accident. Juries usually give award a higher settlement fee to people who have been a part of a severe accident.
The pain and suffering component of the settlement claim is unquantifiable. Therefore, most people either ask for a too high or a too low settlement amount. This miscalculation can cost them a serious amount of money. Therefore, it is important that you take the expert advice of a professional auto accident lawyer to file the claim for the right amount.
Case 3: When You Suspect that something is Wrong Physically
Some minor accident cases might not show signs of physical injury right away. However, these signs may arise a couple of hours or days later. Under such circumstances, when you suspect that something is wrong with your physical well-being you should contact a reliable physician and lawyer immediately. Even minor sprains and scratches can easily turn into a serious medical condition within a couple of days.
Ideally, you should get a full body checkup after the accident to get the opinion of an expert doctor. The certified doctors are well equipped with the right tools to identify internal bleeding or other serious medical complications that might arise from the impact of the accident. You can also consult the physician/doctor a couple of days later after the accident in case you feel minor lower back or neck pain. You should not ignore any pain as minor and get the necessary medical checkup done.
Always rely on the opinion of a certified doctor even if the medical checkup costs you a little more. A certified doctor is in a better position with high-tech tools to identify critical medical conditions. After the full body checkup, file the medical report in the settlement claim with the lawyer.
Case 4: When Your Car is totaled
After the medical expenses, the second biggest expense that you deal with comes from the cost of repair of the vehicle. If your vehicle is damaged beyond repair, you might need to purchase a whole new vehicle. Instead of using your own vehicle insurance scheme for the cost of repairs/replacement, you can use the money from the insurance scheme of the defendant. Just like a medical checkup, it is important for you to get a full health checkup for your car.
You can let go of minor damages to the cosmetic appeal of the car. However, in case of a serious impact, where the transmission or engine of the vehicle takes a toll, you need to leverage the insurance claim settlement correctly. You must get in touch with an auto accident lawyer to file the cost for the cost of repair/replacement as part of your settlement claim.
The best auto accident lawyers will help you collect evidence from the scene of the accident. He/she will also get in touch with the repair shop and get a fair estimate of the cost of repairs for the vehicle. After collecting the necessary details from the scene of the accident and the repair shops, the lawyer will take care of the document filing process.
Case 5: When the Cost of Medical Treatment is Extremely High
Severe accidents that result in major injuries usually attract an extremely high cost of treatment. However, sometimes even minor accidents can cause these major injuries. Depending on the speed and intensity of the impact, even a minor impact can cause severe pain in your neck/back. In such cases, the doctors can charge a hefty fee in performing the necessary surgery. The cost of medication and surgery can easily consume your entire life savings.
Under such circumstances, you should contact a reliable auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. You need to talk to an expert lawyer to understand the technical nuances of filing for an accident claim. Such lawyers will help you assess the scope of damages correctly and collect the medical reports on your behalf. They will then compile the medical reports, invoice of the cost of repairs, as well as, file for the necessary pain and suffering claim in the settlement process.
Your personal injury insurance plan will take care of the immediate costs of the medical procedure. However, for the long-term sustainability of your personal insurance scheme, you must leverage the third-party liability insurance scheme of the defendant for all the medical expenses.
Case 6: When You Suspect that the Party-at-Fault Might Sue You
The person who files a case in an accident has an upper hand in the overall trial process. If you suspect that the party-at-fault might try to sue you instead to get out of the trial, you need to lawyer up immediately. You cannot give the other person the advantage of filing the case before you. If you do not have the necessary support for a reliable lawyer, filing a simple case can take up to several weeks at a time.
The top lawyers have the necessary connections in the legal sector who can help them speed up the overall filing process for you. They can leverage their contacts to get the work done faster than usual. The lawyer can also file the necessary documents in the correct fashion so that the judicial system accepts it without the requirement for further corrections.
The best legal firms carry out a very systematic procedure of filing the documents for their clients. The most experienced lawyers have spent years refining this strategic process to obtain the maximum efficiency for faster processing. You need to act quickly in case you know that the accident was not the third-party’s complete fault. In fact, a few of your actions too caused the accident.
Case 7: When You are Sure that You Were Following All the Traffic Rules and Regulations
If you know that you were not at fault and followed all the driving rules and regulations to the book, you need to call a lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyer will help you act quickly and file the necessary documents for a case against the third-party. If you are 100% sure that you acted in accordance with the traffic rules and regulations, you can claim a higher settlement amount.
If you followed all the rules and regulations, the lawyer can build the case in your favor easily. This assurance gives him the leverage to defend your case and prosecute the third-party for negligence. He/she can convince the jury that you were a victim of circumstances and that you need to fairly be compensated for your loss.
With the right ammunition, even the novice lawyers can help you win the case at a trial. However, the top lawyers never take the case to trial. Instead, they have the negotiation skills of settling the case outside the court. They can leverage their upper hand in the case and demand an extremely generous settlement amount for you. They can also assess the quality of the first settlement offer and ask for a counter offer accordingly.
Case 8: When Your Insurance Agency Refuses to Take Care of the Medical and Car Repair Costs
If your insurance agency refuses to take care of the basic costs of car repair and medical bills, your life savings are at a risk. In such situations, you need to get that extra money from the insurance agency of the party at fault as soon as possible. You need to hire a lawyer and make sure that you get the basic costs of medical bills and car repairs directly from the insurance agency of the defendant.
Instead of risking your life’s hard-earned savings, you need to get in touch with a reliable lawyer who can fight and win the case for you. The best lawyers will not help you fulfill the cost of medical care and car repair, but also get a lump sum of money. They can do this by raising the loss of future earning capacity and the pain and suffering components of the claim settlement amount.
The top lawyers know how to negotiate with the insurance agency of the defendant in a way that helps you get the best deal on the table. Novice lawyers and inexperienced individuals fighting their accident case without any legal help tend to accept the first offer that they get. They do not know the basics of negotiating with the insurance agency. The top lawyers know that they cannot cave under pressure and they fight hard to get you the best deal.
Case 9: When You Do Not Have the Experience of Fighting a Legal Case Before
If you do not have any experience in handling the legal cases before this, you need to contact a reliable law firm as soon as possible. Ideally, you should get in touch with the right auto accident lawyers before speaking to the defendant, insurance agency, or even the police. The best lawyers will help you see the case through in a professional manner. They will help you avoid the pitfalls and the common mistakes committed by novice individuals.
If you do not have an experience of fighting the legal case, you should not sign any documents before getting the expert advice of a lawyer. The lawyer will assess the documents of the hospital correctly and make sure that you do not sign any release forms unknowingly. Ideally, every time you speak to the defendant or the lawyers of the insurance agency, your lawyer should be present in the room.
The lawyer will not only monitor your conversation closely but also help you prepare the plea statement for the legal case if it goes to trial. He/she will ensure that you do not contradict your statements during practice so that you can depict a well-woven story in front of the jury.
Note: You should never lie on the stand to prevent contradiction of your own statements. Moreover, you should never lie to your lawyer since he/she cannot help you in case things go south due to the lie.
Case 10: When the Defendant Hires an Attorney
The defendant most likely will hire a personal attorney for the case. If not, the insurance agency of the defendant will help him/her choose the right attorney and pay for the legal fees too. The negotiation and persuasion skills of a seasoned lawyer are almost always better than that of an average individual. Therefore, if the defendant has a lawyer, you should too have one.
A professional auto accident lawyer will relieve a lot of pressure from your shoulders. He/she will ensure that you get the best deal on the table. The best lawyers never crack under pressure since they have the experience of dealing with complicated legal scenarios with ease. They can predict the decision of the jury effectively and convince it to fall in your favor.
The defendant will most likely step into the courtroom fully armed with all the tactics to blame you, the victim of the accident, for the whole mishap. The defense lawyers will try and break your morale and confidence in the cross-questioning session. Under such situations, you, who has never faced a jury will most likely make a mistake and contradict your own statements on the stand. When you do this, the jury will lose faith in your statements and your reliability will fall.
Your lawyer can raise objections at the necessary places to guide your trial statements in the correct fashion. The most reliable lawyers behave like your friends in court. They will not let the defense lawyers harm your vulnerable mental state in any way.
What Kind of Legal Help Do You Require for a Car Accident Case?
A few legal firms have expertise in handling car accident cases and insurance settlement cases better than the rest. These firms have lawyers who have several years of experience in handling such cases. Ideally, you should contact a law firm that has a long history of tackling cases specific to car accidents. Such law firms are equipped with the right experience and tools to help you win the case.
One of the benefits of hiring such a firm is that they have the right connections in the traffic courts. They know the right people and can leverage their contacts to process your settlement claim application faster. With the right connections, these legal firms can help you win a case faster and with a better result. Choosing such a firm also helps you get your hands on the most relevant and similar case studies.
Studying the most relevant case studies helps you understand similar cases that the law firm has handled in the past. The top auto accident law firms offer a 24 x 7 support to their clients. The dedicated lawyers of such a firm stand beside you in tough situations and deal with the complicated accident case scenarios effectively.
Why Expert Help?
The list of reasons why you need expert legal support is virtually endless. The 5 most important things that a professional lawyer can help you do include the following:
- File Documents: Filing the documents in the correct fashion holds a lot of importance in the overall settlement process. If you make a minor mistake in filing the documents, they might be stuck in the system for a long time.
- Collect Evidence: The lawyers can also help you collect relevant evidence from the scene of the accident. This evidence plays an important role in the overall settlement amount.
- Negotiate the Offer: Novice individuals make the mistake of accepting the first offer that they get from the insurance agency. The professional lawyers know better than this. They know that accepting the first option is never a choice.
- Prepare for Trial: In case the case goes to trial, the lawyer helps you prepare your case and speech for presentation in front of a jury.
- Get in Touch the Right People: The lawyer also helps you connect with the right people in the system. He/she helps you get in touch with the relevant psychiatrists, physiologists, doctors, etc. for an effective collection of the medical reports.
Finding the right legal support plays a major role in the result of the case. Now use these cases to identify exactly when to get an attorney for a car accident. The best lawyers not only provide the necessary legal support but also provide emotional support in times of need. They can also help you connect with the right doctors, physiotherapists, as well as, psychotherapists so that you can recover quickly.
So, if you want to get the best claim settlement deal by the end of the trial, you need to hire a reliable legal firm to fight your case. The best firms do not charge a single penny if they do not win the case for you. Their legal fee comes from the total settlement amount of the claim. They charge only a few percentages of the total settlement claim as their legal fee for all the hard work.