After an accident, many people try to deal with insurance companies, police, and even the other driver on their own. This can be extremely stressful and difficult, especially if you are trying to recover from injuries you sustained in the accident.
Hiring a personal injury attorney can help you reduce stress and focus on healing as the lawyer will deal with insurance companies, police, the other driver, a large company, or anyone else who is involved in the aftermath of the accident.
You can follow this link to read more about the commonly asked questions regarding your personal injury case as well as when and why you need a lawyer.
How Seriously Were You Injured?
If you were involved in a minor fender-bender that resulted in just some muscle soreness the next day, you may be able to handle the situation on your own.
However, even if the accident was minor and you suffer back or neck pain as a result, you may want to contact an attorney. Of course, if you suffered major injuries, such as broken bones, burns or torn ligaments, it is critical that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Who Was at Fault in Your Accident?
In order to file a personal injury claim, you will need to prove that someone else was at fault. If you are not sure who was at fault, an attorney can investigate the accident and help come to a conclusion where fault may lie.
It’s possible that there may be more than one liable party in the accident. For example, if you were involved in an accident with someone driving a work vehicle, there are several claims you may have, such as:
- Driver – did he make a mistake, was he driving under the influence, was he fatigued, etc.
- Company – did they fail to do proper maintenance on the vehicle, did they force the driver to work beyond what was safe, did they fail to train the driver properly, etc.
- Manufacturer – was the equipment on the truck working properly, was there a recall on the vehicle, etc.
Have you Talked to the Insurance Company?
Too often, people involved in accidents speak to the insurance company or the other party without talking to an attorney first. Insurance companies will want you to make a statement right away, and anything you say in that statement will be used in the future.
You do not have to make a statement or speak to the other person’s insurance company before you talk to an attorney. It is always advised that you discuss your case with a lawyer before providing information to the other parties involved.
Did an Insurance Company Deny Your Claim?
It is not unusual for an insurance company to deny a claim in a personal injury case. They may claim you were at fault in some way. In some states, if you are at fault in any way, you cannot collect on the claim while others use percentages that may lower your claim.
If you believe this denial was in error, you need to speak to a personal injury lawyer who will review the case and fight the insurance company for you.
Did the Insurance Company Offer a Low Settlement?
If you were contacted quickly after the accident with a settlement that you know is much lower than it should be, you definitely need to contact an attorney.
Soon after the accident, you may not know how extensive your injuries are or how long you will need medical treatment.
Accepting a low offer could mean you will not have enough to cover your expenses in the future. Never accept an offer from the insurance company without speaking to an attorney.
How Long Has It Been Since Your Accident?
Each state has a specific statute of limitations regarding how long you have to file a personal injury claim. If this time has passed, you will be unable to file a claim at all.
This is one of the most important reasons you need to contact an attorney soon after the accident to avoid missing the deadline to file.