Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident, you may want to hire an attorney. The decision will depend on the severity of any injuries, the question of liability and your ability to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
Although the last thing you want to deal with is a battle with the insurance company over money, you may be dragged into one. In addition to the property damage to your vehicle, you could be dealing with expensive medical costs that you cannot afford.
Factors to Consider
Who is at-fault
The most common reason to consult with a lawyer is when there is a dispute in liability, or who caused the crash. If it’s your word against another driver’s, you will want to speak with car accident attorney. Even if you are sure you were not at-fault, the insurance company may not agree with you.
Severity of damage
You should also consider the severity of the damage, and whether or not any injuries were sustained. Property damage assessments are usually pretty straightforward, but can sometimes exceed your expectations.
If you have suffered severe injuries that required overnight hospitalization, surgery or resulted in missing work, you should consult with attorney. Medical costs due to injuries can easily spiral out of control and cause financial ruin if not covered by insurance.
A minor fender-bender, with clear liability and with no apparent injuries probably won’t require the services of an attorney. Just remember to document the accident, get a police report and a medical exam.
Some injuries, such as whiplash or soft tissue injuries, do not show up until later. Someone might seem agreeable at the scene of an accident, but then tell their insurance company a different story. The more documentation you have, the better chances you have of successfully recovering compensation.
Many insurance companies will try to pressure car accident victims into early settlements, before the full scope of their injuries has been realized. Remember that they are businesses who make money from collecting premiums and lose money when they pay out claims. The more costly the claim, the more likely they will try to deny it.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call Peterson & Associates, P.C.™ today. We will work with you to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.