The law does not require you to hire a lawyer to recover compensation after a car accident. Some car accident victims choose to seek legal advice and representation so they can focus on their health and recovery during their legal process. You have the right to hire an attorney at any time during the entire insurance or personal injury claim process.
While hiring a lawyer doesn’t guarantee you a certain outcome, they can help you investigate the accident, gather evidence that the other driver was negligent, and negotiate with insurers on your behalf. This can go a long way in making the legal process easier while you spend time with your family and prioritize physical recovery.
Ultimately, deciding when to hire a lawyer after a car accident comes down to how comfortable you are in simply navigating the claims process. However, you have the right to seek legal advice at any time.
Applying for insurance
If you are involved in a traffic accident, the first step to getting compensation is to file a claim with either your own insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company. Some states have comparative negligence laws, meaning that if you are at fault for any part of the accident, your compensation will be deducted from your own degree of fault.
In the worst case, the other motorist does not have insurance coverage or has a policy that does not adequately cover your losses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hundreds of thousands of injuries from car accidents require immediate hospitalization. The severity of your personal injury will ultimately determine whether you are eligible for compensation.
Keep in mind that some injuries from car accidents may not show up for days or even weeks after the accident. For example, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), whiplash can take several days to show up.
If the other driver’s policy cannot cover the cost of your losses, you can claim them through your own policy if you have uninsured motorist insurance. You can hire a lawyer immediately after a car accident to help you assess your losses and explore the options available to you under your own insurance policy.
filing a personal injury claim
For example, in the case of an uninsured motorist, your own policy may not cover your losses. If so, you may be able to get the rest through an injury claim against a negligent driver.
If you believe your insurance company is offering you compensation that does not adequately cover your losses, you can file a personal injury claim if you are within your state’s statute of limitations. A lawyer can also help you determine the time it takes to file a claim and take steps to meet the deadline.
Many factors must come together when filing a personal injury claim. Your injuries must cause actual economic or non-economic damage, which you can prove with documentation such as medical diagnosis and treatment. You must also be able to establish fault on behalf of the other driver.
Blame for the accident
For example, if a driver was driving while under the influence of drugs or in excess of the legal blood alcohol level, this would be classified as negligent. If the driver was driving, distracted, answering phone calls, or navigating with GPS, this breach of their obligation to take care that they owed you while driving could have contributed to the accident.
An attorney can help investigate the cause of the accident and use the evidence to show that the other driver was at fault.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you with your case
If you have been in an accident and are seriously injured, you may not be able to cover your rising medical costs or lost wages on your own. If you are not at fault or partially at fault for the accident, you deserve appropriate compensation to get your life back on track. si