Is it worth getting an attorney for a car accident? Well, the fifth largest personal injury settlement ever in the USA was for a car crash, and The victim was awarded $71 million for pain and suffering compensation as well as for the life-long medical care she would need. So whether you’re the victim or at fault, facing the opposition without a lawyer will always have a bigger financial downside.
Most people avoid legal representation because they believe it will be too expensive. You don’t have to be like most people. Keep reading this handy article to discover how an accident attorney will save or even make way more money than they charge.
The Immediate Aftermath
Conducting yourself perfectly at the scene of the crash will help keep you and others who were involved as safe as possible. It’s vital to first find safety and then exchange contact details while avoiding discussing the crash itself as much as possible. You’ll also find yourself in the best legal position.
However, it’s not the end of the world if you’ve already given the police or the other parties involved information that may be incriminating. Whether or not you find yourself in this predicament, hiring a car accident attorney should be the very next thing you do.
The Legal Road Ahead
An auto accident attorney will bring much more value to the table than you would have access to if you choose to navigate the claim or case alone. Hiring a car accident attorney is not something that “only guilty parties do,” as both sides need to have representation in possible disputes.
The first thing the auto accident attorney could do is to investigate who’s really at fault. Car crashes aren’t always the fault of the involved parties. Third parties may have failed their legal duty to prevent the accident.
If a contractor left debris or failed to put up proper signage (for example), and you “caused” the accident by swerving to avoid the construction materials, the fault does not rest on you. These types of investigations determine who has a claim against whom and are a source of legal certainty only a good lawyer can offer.
Filing on Time
You have a limited amount of time to file your claim after an accident. This limit may even change based on whether you sustained injuries as part of your work or while driving in your personal capacity. You also only have a limited amount of time to respond if someone lodges an accident claim against you.
A car accident lawyer will make sure that all the paperwork and claims are handled in a timeous fashion. This will prevent expensive legal mistakes (such as being unable to claim or being unable to defend yourself from claims). Another advantage to this is that it will stop your case from dragging on and accruing the expenses associated with long legal battles.
An attorney can calculate economic and non-economic damages based on the facts of your case. For example, damages for permanent injuries will cover the need for lifelong medical care and emotional trauma compensation.
It’s not only the party filing the claim that benefits from accurate damage calculations. “Injured” parties often pad their accident claim with frivolities to get you to come down and settle for what they want. Your attorney can dispel many false extras the opposition may try to pin on you and ensure that real justice is upheld.
Handling Insurance Companies
The opposition’s insurance company will try every trick in the book to avoid paying out. Soon after the accident, you may get a phone call or email from the insurance adjuster. Their job is to get you to make an incriminating statement so as to limit their liability.
Car accident attorneys are an insurance adjuster’s worst nightmare. By telling the insurance agency to talk to your lawyer, your chances of getting a bigger payout increase dramatically.
Giving Legal Advice
Many different areas of law may come into play when calculating liability and damages. A layperson may only think to look at tort law, but an attorney is fully aware of the different areas of law that may affect your legal position.
Sound legal advice can be broad and general or detailed and precise. Your lawyer may advise you on how to act around the opposition, what to say when insurers call, which hospitals and banks are the easiest to work with, and tons of similar information. The most important advice they’ll give you is their recommendations around settling or going for a trial.
Representing You at Trial
Car accident disputes are civil matters; the vast majority of these types of matters don’t go to trial. However, your case could end up going to trial if you can’t reach a settlement and if the judge refuses any dispositive motions.
You will have to present your evidence and arguments before a jury, the same as in a criminal trial. The difference is that the standard of proof (a preponderance of the evidence) is lower than in criminal matters. You will only have to convince the jury that the probability that you’re in the right is 51%.
However, this also means that it’s easier for the opposition to poke holes in the case you bring. A trial lawyer will be able to present an airtight case to prevent this from happening.
Is It Worth Getting an Attorney for a Car Accident
Most people ask, “Is it worth getting an attorney for a car accident?” because of the belief that it will be too expensive. Representing yourself can lead to numerous costly mistakes throughout the case, which most people end up regretting.
Hire an attorney after an accident so that they can navigate the legal position, your accident claim, negotiations, and all the procedural aspects. Having a lawyer is especially necessary if your case goes to trial, where a lack of legal training could land you in a lifetime of debt.
Hiring a car accident lawyer is a wise decision. If you found this article informative, find more great advice on our law and finance blogs.
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