There are an average of six million car accidents in the United States every year. About half of those involved end up sustaining at least minor injuries. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, know you’re far from alone.
When an accident happens, you may consider hiring an attorney. But how do you know when to hire a personal injury lawyer? When is it okay to navigate the claims process on your own?
Many people wonder these same things. Continue reading below to learn when you should hire an attorney, along with other related information on the topic.
Your Injuries Are Serious
If the injuries you sustained in the car accident were serious or made you permanently disabled, you’ll need to hire an attorney. Your claim for medical bills will be significantly higher than someone who suffered only minor injuries, and you need that money. Failure to get an appropriate settlement can place you and your family in financial disaster.
Not only this, but you may want to hold the other party responsible for your lost wages. Trying to do this without the help of a professional will be like fighting an uphill battle.
There’s a Question of Who Is at Fault
Sometimes, it’s obvious who is at fault in an accident. If someone rear-ended you or swerved into your lane, they’re obviously at fault. Unfortunately, it’s not always so open and shut.
If there’s a question of fault, you must hire a personal injury attorney. The other person’s insurance company or lawyer will be trying to place the blame on you. If you’re fighting the battle alone, the chances of them being able to make it seem your fault is high.
When you have an experienced lawyer on your side, they can help negate any claims the other party makes. Your attorney will help to prove the other party was the one at fault, saving you from fees, license points, and reduced (or no) settlements.
Insurance Company Denied Your Claim
An insurance company doesn’t want to pay you a settlement, and they’ll take every opportunity to deny your claim. Truthfully, the insurance companies will take advantage of the fact that most people don’t know their way around the laws involved. This is why you need someone on your side who does know the laws concerning personal injury cases and car accidents.
Insurance Company Is Delaying Your Claim
The claims process is meant to move swiftly from one stage to the next. That doesn’t mean it always does, however. Sometimes, the insurance company could try delaying your claim.
A delayed claim is terrible news for not only your finances but also your life. Without money for medical bills, you may be unable to receive additional treatments (like physical therapy) you need. Without money to repair or replace your vehicle, you could be left without a way around.
If the insurance company seems to take too long to move from one step of the process to the next, hire a lawyer. Your lawyer can push to have the process move along so you can receive the money you need.
Insurance Company Offers a Low Ball Settlement Amount
Another way insurance companies take advantage of people unsure about the claims process is by offering a low ball settlement amount. This isn’t fair because you need a certain amount of money for medical bills and vehicle repairs, among other things.
When a settlement offer is too low, you’ll need to prove why. This is where your lawyer comes in. They’ll know which evidence to submit to help verify your claim needs to be higher.
You Should Hire an Attorney at the Start
Many minor accidents with no serious injuries involved will move through the claims process without issue. If the accident is anything more than a fender bender, however, you’ll want the power of a personal injury lawyer on your side. The best time to hire an attorney is directly following the accident.
Hiring an attorney at the start is a smart move because it stops claim delays and other problems before they start. It’s also less stressful for you. Instead of fielding dozens of phone calls and emails, you’ll have a professional on your side who can handle some (or all) of the hassle for you.
Many people worry about the costs of hiring a lawyer. The good news is that most personal injury attorneys work for a commission. This means they’ll only be paid if you win your settlement.
If you don’t win your injury settlement, your lawyer will earn nothing. This doesn’t only does this save you from financial stress should the unfortunate occur. It also helps you feel secure your attorney will do everything possible to help push your claim through.
Do You Have More Questions About Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?
There are many reasons a person involved in a car accident should hire an attorney. If the accident was anything more than a fender bender, it’s best to hire a professional who can help you navigate the process. The best time to hire a lawyer is at the very start, but you can still obtain one later if things go wrong.
Do you have more questions about hiring a personal injury lawyer? Or would you like to speak to one of our attorneys about your personal injury case?
Contact us today. One of our associates would be pleased to answer any remaining questions. They can also set you up an appointment to speak with one of our reliable attorneys if desired.