You might have many questions and concerns following a car accident. You could face unexpected medical bills, vehicle damage, repair costs, and lost wages. If the accident was not your fault, you might also wonder how to attain compensation for your expenses. Another cause of concern is when to seek the assistance of a lawyer. While hiring legal representatives is not mandatory, having a car accident attorney on your side is highly beneficial. The expert can assist you in defending your legal rights and pursuing a settlement that will fully compensate you for your damages. Moreover, you will get enough time to focus on your health and recovery while your attorney takes legal action on your behalf. Read on to know when to contact a lawyer and how they can help you with your case.
The Most Appropriate Time to Hire a Car Accident Attorney
There is no legal requirement that a car accident victim has to hire a professional when filing a suit. You can independently submit a claim and represent yourself in court or during negotiations. Regardless, fighting for a settlement is extremely difficult, particularly for those without legal experience. Many car accident victims who do not hire lawyers settle far less than they deserve. You must hire an experienced lawyer to assist you throughout the process to get the most out of your car accident claim.
If you experienced a car accident, you might wonder when to get a lawyer for the case. It’s best to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible if you sustained injuries in a car accident caused by another driver. You have to submit a personal injury claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, and an adept attorney can assist you in building a solid case from the beginning. Generally, the sooner you hire legal counsel for your auto accident case, the better the possibility of a timely settlement.
You should hire a lawyer even if your accident or injuries are relatively minor. Damages are often much worse than they initially appear, and dealing with the insurance company is challenging. Since experienced lawyers are familiar with the tactics of insurance companies, they can assist you. It is advisable to seek their guidance before intimating the company about your accident. They can help you to negotiate and stand up to insurers who want low and quick settlements.
The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer after an accident
Nobody is ever ready for a car accident and the effects it can have on your life. Fear, suffering, expense, and inconvenience are all possible effects. Many times, issues persist for a very long time after the collision. But, the losses sustained may not be apparent in the days and weeks immediately following a car accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer can assist a victim in making a more accurate estimation of their potential future costs and including them in their claim. So, hire a car accident attorney as early as possible if you want the best result for your claim. Here are a few of the main justifications for hiring a lawyer.
Auto accident attorneys specialize in assisting accident victims in obtaining the funds they need to cover their expenses. Since they undergo extensive training in tort law and negligence theory, they can advise you on the best course of action for your circumstances. If the at-fault driver or insurance company attempts to reduce or deny your claim, a lawyer can assist you in seeking a fair settlement rather than making you feel low. If negotiation fails, they can help you file a lawsuit for the damages you deserve. Without the assistance of a legal professional, things are hard to manage.
Additionally, having a legal consultant after a car accident is beneficial when dealing with insurance companies. Most Insurance providers will have a professional team to defend their interests in opposition to yours. An attorney is entirely on your side, and having legal representation may persuade the insurance company to offer a better settlement. So, the first step in obtaining compensation after a car accident should be to hire a competent attorney.
You might be unable to handle your mounting medical costs or lost wages if you sustained severe injuries in an accident. If you were not at fault for the crash, or even if you shared the blame, you deserve fair compensation to help you get your life back on track. Unfortunately, after a car accident, most injury victims are unaware of the full extent of their losses. You could end up paying hefty bills, covering the costs of the auto accident you didn’t cause. Since you are uncertain about your damages, you could miss out on financial compensation to which you are legally entitled. If there is a chance that this will occur, you need to consult a skilled lawyer immediately. A car accident lawyer can assist you in accounting for damages, such as:
- Medical expenses, including costs of hospital stays, prosthetic devices, medication, surgeries, therapies, rehabilitation
- Income losses from missed work time
- Reduced earning capacity if unable to work temporarily or left permanently disabled
- Costs of damages to vehicle and property
- Punitive damages if the other driver acted recklessly or maliciously, such as by drinking and driving
- Funeral and burial costs after a wrongful death
- Pain and suffering because of emotional trauma, injuries, and other ways the accident impacted the quality of life.
Some accident victims commit mistakes by accepting settlement offers without determining the potential claim values. As a result, they obtain funds significantly lower than they might otherwise have received. Injury claims resulting from car accidents may require the assistance of claims valuation experts who can collaborate with your personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can evaluate your claims and provide a range of expected recovery values for the economic and non-economic damages suffered. Eventually, they will calculate the total damage costs and include them in your auto insurance claim.
After a car accident, you have a lot of work to do to file a claim and prove your point. For instance, you will need to compile proof of the following:
- Occurrence of the accident
- Negligence of the other driver
- Injuries or casualties, if any
- Direct and indirect losses
Successfully proving your case requires time, effort, and specific resources. The information you need to support your claim will be easy to obtain if you work with a lawyer having experience handling car accident cases. Most people who file an injury claim following an accident have never dealt with such complications, so hiring a lawyer is wise. They know the ins and outs of filing an accident claim, from drafting a demand letter to bargaining with insurance companies.
The insurance company will typically offer a smaller-monetary settlement than what you require. However, a lawyer will be ready to bargain with the insurance adjuster on your behalf to obtain reasonable compensation. Generally, you should avoid negotiating yourself as it requires expertise to establish your losses. Personal injury lawyers have several strategies at their disposal. They can present compelling evidence of their clients’ accident-related losses to push for fair compensation. Attorneys can use evidence like accident reconstruction, expert testimony, and official documents to negotiate higher settlements. They may also gain leverage by threatening to sue on behalf of their clients. Because insurers typically want to escape court fees and other related expenses, they may accept higher settlements rather than going to trial.
Statutory of limitation
The statute of limitations is a legal requirement that mandates filing a civil or criminal case within a specific timeframe. You have to be mindful of the state’s applicable statutory limits before bringing legal action against the at-fault driver. Some states allow claimants three years to file, while many only give them two. It means that car accident victims have a limited time to file a lawsuit, and if they don’t adhere to the limitations, their claim will be “time-barred.” It indicates that the court won’t permit your case to proceed.
Additionally, the statute of limitations helps support the fair adjudication of claims. Witnesses often forget what transpired, and tangible evidence disappears with time. As a result, a defendant may find it difficult to effectively defend themselves or for a plaintiff to establish their case.
Failure to file a claim within the allotted time frame could result in the car accident victim losing their ability to do so. If you were involved in a car accident, an experienced lawyer could help you proceed quickly to pursue your case. Contact an auto accident attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation.
Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
Discussing your car accident case with a lawyer has no harm. Any reputable attorney will provide free initial consultations to discuss your case over the phone or in person. They will evaluate your case and let you know if hiring an attorney to represent you would be beneficial. Additionally, they will explain how they can assist you in attaining a fair settlement. Most auto accident attorneys receive payment on a contingency (no-win, no-fee basis). It means their fees depend on the compensation or settlement you receive.
After a car accident, you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible for maximum support. Call us at (312) 598-0917 or schedule an appointment online to explore all your legal option. At Phillips Law Offices, we can assist you with no risk or obligation to you. Our experienced car accident attorney Chicago will advocate throughout your case and ensure you take the best possible action. Their assistance is invaluable as they act in your best interests, assuring a quick and just settlement.