When you’re in an accident, you want to resolve the case the best way that you can. Maybe you’ve never worked with a lawyer before, and maybe you have experience in the legal system. Either way, it can be hard to know what to do after an accident occurs. Here’s how to know if you should get a lawyer after a car accident:
The investigation is incomplete
The police don’t always thoroughly investigate a car accident. Your accident is likely only one of several calls that the police officer responds to in the day. They may be in a hurry, or they might be thinking about other things. Investigating accidents is only one of the many functions of a law enforcement officer.
When the police respond to the scene, they want to know if they should ticket anyone or arrest them for a criminal offense. They might take pictures and take down witness statements. However, they might not do a complete and thorough investigation. They might also make errors in judgment when they try to determine who is at fault for the accident. When you think there may be errors or omissions in the police report, you should have a lawyer on your side to investigate on your behalf.
The other side doesn’t want to pay you fairly
Another time that you need to get a lawyer after a car accident is when the other side doesn’t agree to pay you what you think you deserve for the accident. That’s when you need the help of an experienced lawyer to help you put the pieces together to make your case. An attorney can guide you through the process of building your case. After they gather the evidence, they go about filing your claim and negotiating a fair result with the other side.
An attorney knows how to gather valuable evidence. From taking photos to performing an inspection of the scene of the car accident, they know what to do in order to collect the information in a way that’s admissible at trial. They know how to interview witnesses in order to get information that’s helpful. When the other side doesn’t want to pay you fairly for your losses, it’s a good idea to get a lawyer to help you pursue your claim.
When can I get by without a lawyer?
There are some cases where it makes sense to process your case without a lawyer. You may be able to get by without a lawyer when the other side is obviously at fault. The circumstances leading to the car accident might make it clear that the other side is to blame for your accident. They might admit their responsibility.
In that case, you can get by without a lawyer after your car accident if your physical injuries are minor and the other side agrees to pay you fairly for your injuries and property damage. If your injuries are anything but minor, you should work with a lawyer in order to ensure that you’ve fairly valued your claim. If the other side doesn’t agree to pay you fairly almost immediately, you should work with a lawyer to pursue fair compensation. It’s only in cases where the damages are obvious and the other side is happy to pay you fairly that you should consider going without a lawyer.
Deciding what’s right for you
If you can’t decide if you should I get a lawyer after a car accident, that’s another good reason to meet with a lawyer to explore your options. A lawyer can give you an evaluation of your case in order to determine if the legal issues are complex. They can answer your questions and explain the work that they would do in your case to optimize your claim. A lawyer is an advocate but they’re also your leader and guide. They can give you the confidence to know that you’re doing everything that you can to handle the case properly after a car accident.