Getting into a car accident is scary, and it’s normal to feel shaken after being involved in one. Added to the stress of the situation is trying to figure out how to handle the aftermath.
How do you file an insurance claim?
What if they don’t pay?
Do you need to hire a car wreck attorney?
A personal injury attorney can help you fight an insurance company if they’re refusing to pay or offering an unfairly low amount.
Let’s take a look at some of the major factors that affect car accident cases so you can get a better idea of whether your case will benefit from a lawyer.
Key Factors That Affect a Car Accident Case
Every car accident case is a little different, so it’s always a good idea to speak with a legal expert about the details of your particular situation before deciding how to proceed. That said, a few key factors can help determine whether you need a car wreck attorney to assist with your car accident settlement.
Who’s at Fault?
The first thing to consider when deciding whether to hire a car accident attorney, is who was at fault for the accident. Proving fault is only one reason why it’s essential to file a police report immediately following a car accident.
If the accident was your fault, you usually work directly with your automobile insurer to defend the claim. It’s in the company’s best interests to provide adequate representation, so it generally doesn’t make sense to hire a lawyer of your own when you are at fault in an accident.
If you’re injured due to the fault of someone else, you should consider hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Speed and Likelihood of Settlement
Experienced car wreck attorneys can often streamline the auto accident settlement process, making it more likely you get the money you deserve sooner than later.
A legal expert can help you better prepare for and present your case, including gathering evidence like:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Medical expert statements
A strongly presented case is far less likely to encounter delays caused by poor preparation. A knowledgeable attorney can also make sure you don’t miss important deadlines.
A lawyer familiar with car accident and personal injury cases can give you an idea of whether your case is complex enough to warrant filing suit, or if reaching a pre-suit settlement is possible.
Time to Negotiate
Many factors affect how long a car accident settlement will take, so it can help to have a lawyer on your side. A legal team will keep you updated, leaving you to focus on recovering from your car accident injury as well as day-to-day responsibilities such as work and childcare.
Severity of the Injury
Not all car accidents lead to injuries, but when they do, you should consider consulting an attorney.
An auto accident attorney can help you fight for compensation for car accident injuries that cause:
- Medical expenses
- Inability to work
- Pain and suffering
It’s not uncommon for car accident injuries to be more severe than first assumed, so it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor and consult an attorney just in case.
Personal Injury vs. Property Damage
In addition to personal injuries, car accidents often cause property damage. Although one incident may be responsible for both, personal injury and property damage claims are handled separately.
Generally speaking, property damage cases cover things like:
- Repairing or replacing a vehicle
- Towing costs
- Rental car costs
Also included may be claims for loss of use, rental car, or diminished value of your vehicle. An experienced attorney can help you determine what you may be entitled to.
Get a Free Case Evaluation From Our Car Wreck Attorneys
Even with the guidelines suggested above, it can be very difficult to represent oneself. An attorney is the safe option every time.
Our team of auto accident lawyers in Lafayette, LA, can help you decide – we offer free case evaluations that will give you a clear understanding of the auto accident settlement process and how we might be able to help. If the case won’t benefit from our services, we’ll let you know that too.
Contact us today for your free case evaluation.