Do I need a lawyer after a Motor Vehicle Accidents
You will most likely need an attorney after an auto accident especially if you or a loved one has been hurt. Your attorney will help you to claim for pain, suffering, and time lost from school, work, or household duties from those responsible for your injuries. Even if you aren’t injured, you will still need an attorney because most circumstances that surround car accidents are often very different and difficult. You should carefully assess the degree of damage to your car and make your best judgment whether you need an attorney. A simple accident such as a fender bender where nobody is hurt can be handled by your auto insurance company. Anything else may require the assistance of an attorney.
Why Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney is Necessary
Hiring an attorney who is experienced in auto accidents will give you peace of mind that no stone will be left unturned. This is because several personal injury claims around the country result from accidents involving trucks, cars, and other motor vehicles. Your personal injury lawyer will ensure that you get full compensation for any losses you incur as a result of the accident. In some states around the country, your lawyer can help you get compensation even after a loved one has been killed, especially if speeding, reckless driving, and drunk driving resulted in their death.
6 Documents Your Attorney Will Require in the Course of Your Case
All Information Exchanged At the Scene of the Accident
In most cases, parties involved in auto accidents exchange telephone numbers and names. In case you have this information despite having contacted the other parties, your attorney will also require this information.
After the accident, it is advisable to take images showing the damage to your car. However, if you were not able to take pictures, an agent from your insurer will have them. Ensure you provide these pictures to your attorney if you have them or inform your attorney that one of the insurance representatives has them.
It is mandatory to have an auto insurance policy when driving. Your personal injury attorney will want a copy to be able to determine which type of insurance recovery you are eligible for. In case you don’t have a copy, inform your attorney early so that he or she can obtain one with your consent from your auto insurer.
Accident Report by the Police
Most often police are called to a scene of an accident, and they are required to draft an accident report. This report includes images of where pedestrians and the cars involved in the accident were during the time of the accident. This statement will also include the impression of the officer at the scene of the accident on what might have caused the accident. Your attorney will need this information to be able to understand what might have happened in the accident scene. Therefore, ensure you provide your attorney with a copy of this statement or anything else the police may have drafted. However, in case you were not able to get that report, your attorney will get one for you from the police station on your behalf.
In case you sustained physical injuries after the accident and sought medical attention, your attorney will need a copy of the medical reports so that he or she can be able to determine the time you will take to recover. In case you don’t have the medical report, provide your attorney with the address and name of your medical provider. With your written consent, your lawyer will be able to obtain the medical report.
Most likely you were contacted by a representative of your auto insurer to provide a statement about the accident. In case you have already been contacted, you have the right to keep a copy of the statement you provided. Your attorney can be able to pick the copy of your statement in case he or she was not present when you gave your statement. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t provide a statement to your insurance company, especially if you have hired an attorney to represent you. Therefore, when the insurance company contacts you, let your attorney know.
When You Should Hire a Lawyer
It is recommended that you hire the services of a qualified attorney as early as possible to avoid costly mistakes. Different states have different deadlines on when to file for personal injury claims, and because you need money to cover lost wages and medical bills, the sooner you get in touch with an experienced attorney the better. Generally, you should hire an attorney shortly after your auto accident within a week or two.