A car accident can be a traumatic event that leaves you and anyone else involved in the crash emotionally and physically scarred. However, do you need a lawyer after your crash? That depends on a variety of factors such as whether the person who caused the crash is willing to cooperate and settle the case in a reasonable manner.
Is the Insurance Company Offering a Settlement Right Away?
If the insurance company offers you a settlement within hours or days of your accident, you should be wary of accepting it. The offer may only include payment for medical bills incurred or a token amount for lost wages. However, you may not know the full extent of your injuries for days or weeks after the accident, which means that you could have to go back for treatment that may not be covered by your policy or by settlement funds. Therefore, you may want to consider calling an attorney to make sure that the settlement is truly in your best interests.
Is the Insurance Company Not Working With You at All?
In some cases, your insurance company may decide that it isn’t going to work with you at all to help settle your case. Your coverage provider may say that you aren’t covered or that you may have contributed to the accident. It is also possible that your insurance company simply doesn’t want to pay to cover your damages and is trying to stall. At that point, you should certainly call an attorney to make sure that you are properly represented and that your rights are respected.
Are Other Parties Not Working With You In Good Faith?
The person who hit you may not be in the mood to negotiate a settlement in good faith. This isn’t uncommon as he or she may not want to admit guilt and lose the ability to limit his or her overall liability. In some cases, the insurance company for the person who hit you may not want to pay damages and won’t drop the case or engage in settlement talks.
If this happens to you, it is in your best interest to call an attorney right away. You shouldn’t have to both worry about how you will recover from your injuries and work with someone who isn’t going to help you pay for your medical bills and other costs. In some cases, you may not have the luxury of waiting for other parties to come to the negotiating table, and having an attorney present may compel everyone to meet and create a reasonable agreement in a timely manner.
How Bad Was the Accident?
A car accident doesn’t always result in a totaled car and a driver or passengers with significant injuries. If you were involved in a minor crash that only resulted in minor medical bills or minor damage to your car, you may not need an attorney to settle your case. Instead, it may be easier to go to small claims court or go through mediation to come to an agreement that will make you whole again.
Do You Have a Good Understanding of the Law?
It is possible to represent yourself in a personal injury case following a car crash. However, you will need to have a good understanding of the law or the ability to learn what the law says about your case. There may be multiple motions to file as well as obscure rules that could lead to your case being dismissed. It is important to know that you may have a limited amount of time in which you are allowed to file your case.
Waiting until after the statute of limitations has passed may make it harder to get your case heard or limit the amount that you may be able to collect. In the event that you have any qualms about representing yourself, it may be easier to have an attorney represent you. Typically, legal fees are included in any settlement that you receive from the person who caused the crash.
If you are involved in a car crash, the first thing you should do is make sure that you and anyone else in the accident are alright. Afterward, you may want to consult with an attorney to determine your rights and what damages you may be able to collect. After the consultation, it may be easier to make an educated decision about how to proceed with your case.