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Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer? 5 Reasons Why You Might

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Understanding Your Legal Rights After an Accident

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Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and frustrating experience. From physical injuries to pushy insurance companies, the aftermath is often overwhelming. During such a difficult situation, you may be wondering if you should seek the help of a car accident lawyer. The five key reasons below can give you insight into how a lawyer can represent you and maximize your compensation.

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1. Car accident injuries not always apparent

Some injuries sustained in car accidents have immediate, obvious symptoms. This is common with broken bones, lacerations, bruises, and severe head injuries.

But what about the injuries that don’t produce immediate symptoms? Many delayed onset injuries can take several hours or days to notice. For example, you could sustain whiplash in a rear-end collision. You may feel perfectly fine afterward, but days later, experience neck stiffness, headaches, and tingling in the limbs.

Other delayed onset injuries can include soft tissue damage, internal bleeding, and concussions. You might not feel these injuries due to shock and adrenaline that mask the pain. That’s why it’s important to seek medical attention immediately after a crash, even if you feel fine.

2. A car accident lawyer has legal knowledge

Car accident attorneys have in-depth knowledge of various traffic laws and regulations. These include:

  • Speeding regulations
  • Right-of-way rules
  • Traffic signal laws
  • DUI/DWI laws
  • Distracted driving regulations
  • Lane usage and passing rules
  • Vehicle maintenance and equipment regulations

They are familiar with the duty of care owed by drivers. This is the legal responsibility to exercise reasonable care and caution. Drivers must consider the safety and well-being of other road users.

Lawyers also have extensive knowledge of insurance policies, coverage limits, and settlement processes. In cases where both parties may share responsibility, they are well-versed in comparative fault. This principle allows for the allocation of liability based on the proportion of fault each party bears.

3. A lawyer can maximize your compensation

It's crucial to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages after sustaining an injury in a car accident. When determining the value of your claim, your attorney may include:  

  • Medical expenses: Evaluating medical expenses is essential to accurately quantifying the financial impact of a crash. This includes your hospital bills, medication costs, physical therapy, and any future medical costs.
  • Lost wages: A car accident lawyer will calculate the income you have lost due to your injury. This includes missed workdays, reduced working capacity, and potential career limitations.
  • Property damage: Property damage includes the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle. Plus, it accounts for any personal belongings damaged in the crash.
  • Pain and suffering: Quantifying pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life can be a complex process. These damages can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. It's important to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your suffering.
  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages go beyond compensating for injuries and damages. They aim to punish the at-fault party for their reckless behavior. Your attorney may pursue them if the at-fault driver's actions were intentional, malicious, or grossly negligent.

Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the applicable laws, your attorney may be able to seek other types of damages as well. Only a lawyer with experience handling personal injury claims in your state can tell you what your case may be worth.

4. An attorney will investigate your crash

A skilled car accident lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into your crash. They will employ various strategies to gather evidence and build a strong case. This includes: 

  • Gathering crash scene evidence: Your lawyer will collect all relevant information from the crash scene. This includes police reports, witness statements, and any available photographs or videos.
  • Accident reconstruction: Your lawyer may work with accident reconstruction experts to recreate the crash scene. This may help determine factors such as vehicle positions, speeds, and potential causes.
  • Reviewing medical records: Understanding the extent of your injuries is crucial for calculating potential compensation. A lawyer will review your medical records and consult with medical experts to assess the full impact of your injuries.
  • Interviewing witnesses: A lawyer will interview witnesses as part of the investigation. This will help them gather additional information and perspectives about the accident.
  • Obtaining expert opinions: A lawyer may consult with various experts. These include accident reconstruction specialists, civil engineers, or forensic experts. They can provide professional opinions and insights that can strengthen your case.
  • Reviewing insurance policies: A lawyer will examine the insurance policies of all parties involved. This will help them determine coverage limits and potential sources of compensation.

5. Car accident attorneys offer legal protection and advocacy

Insurance companies often take advantage of injured motorists who don't know their rights. They may talk you into accepting a lowball settlement or try to deny your claim altogether. By having a car accident attorney by your side, you can focus on your recovery and well-being.

A car accident lawyer will initiate contact with the at-fault driver's insurance company and notify them that you have legal representation. This establishes that all future communications should be conducted through your lawyer. Additionally, your attorney will handle all negotiations with the insurance company to seek fair and maximum compensation.

If a settlement can’t be reached, your attorney will be prepared to advocate for you in the courtroom. They will use arguments and present evidence before a judge and jury to help you receive a fair verdict.

There are crucial steps you should take immediately after a car accident. Taking these steps helps to ensure your safety and begin building a solid claim from the start. These include:

  1. Checking for injuries: First, check yourself and others involved in the crash for any injuries. If there are serious injuries, call for emergency medical assistance immediately.
  2. Moving to safety: If necessary, move your vehicle to a safe location to prevent further accidents or injuries. Turn on hazard lights and use cones, flares, or warning triangles if available.
  3. Calling the police: Call the police to report the accident. Provide accurate details about the location, the number of vehicles involved, and any injuries sustained.
  4. Exchanging information: Exchange information with the other drivers involved. This should include names, contact numbers, license plate numbers, insurance details, and driver's license information. If there were witnesses, collect their contact information as well. But don’t discuss any details of the accident; stick to the basic facts of what happened.
  5. Documenting the crash scene: Take photos or videos of the crash scene. Include the positions of the vehicles, any damage, and relevant road conditions. This visual evidence can be useful when pursuing damages.
  6. Reporting the accident: Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate and detailed information but stick only to the basic facts.
  7. Seeking medical attention: Even if you feel fine after a crash, it's essential to seek medical attention to ensure there are no hidden injuries. This shows that you’re serious about your recovery and can prove the legitimacy of your injury.
  8. Preserving evidence: Keep records of any medical treatments, expenses, or vehicle repairs. Your lawyer will need this information when determining the value of your claim.

After a car accident, it is best to talk to a lawyer as soon as you can.  In most cases, this means after your initial recovery at the hospital – or potentially while you are still recovering.

If you need a car accident lawyer, reach out to LawyerPages to get connected with a Premium Car Accident Attorney who has the experience needed to assist you throughout this stressful time.

Injured? Call Now
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Injured? Speak to a LAW.COM
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