You’ve seen the ads on TV promising million-dollar payouts if you hire a lawyer to handle your car accident claim, but it’s important to understand that not every crash is worth a million dollars—in fact, very few are—and not every car accident claim requires the services of a personal injury lawyer. If you were in a Kansas City car accident and the bills are piling up, you need to know when it’s in your best interest to call a lawyer and when you can handle the claim on your own.
As personal injury lawyers who get results for our clients, we want to help you understand when we can make the biggest difference in a case. We offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose by asking us about your situation, but these guidelines will help you decide when you need a car accident lawyer and when you probably don’t.
Factors That Complicate a Car Accident Claim
If any of these factors apply to your accident, it is likely that a car crash lawyer could make a big difference in the settlement you are offered:
- Serious injuries. Severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment, surgeries, rehabilitation, or long-term care can significantly impact your life and finances. A lawyer can help ensure you receive proper compensation for medical expenses, future medical needs, and pain and suffering.
- Fatalities. If the accident results in the tragic loss of a loved one, a lawyer can help surviving family members pursue a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income, and emotional distress.
- Commercial vehicle involvement. Accidents involving commercial vehicles, such as trucks or buses, often have complex liability issues due to multiple parties potentially being responsible. A lawyer can navigate these complexities and hold all liable parties accountable.
- Multiple parties are involved. When multiple vehicles are involved in the accident, determining fault and securing compensation can become intricate. A lawyer can assist in establishing liability and managing claims against different parties.
- Disputed liability. If there is a dispute over who is at fault for the accident, a lawyer can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case to establish liability and protect your rights.
- Deliberately uncooperative insurance company. Insurance companies may use tactics to minimize their payouts, such as offering low settlements or attempting to shift blame. A lawyer can negotiate with insurers to ensure you receive fair compensation.
- Unresolved or ongoing medical issues. Some injuries have long-term consequences that may not immediately manifest. A lawyer can work with medical experts to assess the potential long-term impact of your injuries and calculate the appropriate compensation.
- Loss of income. If the accident results in time off work, reduced earning capacity, or permanent disability, a lawyer can help you pursue compensation for lost wages and future income.
- Uninsured or underinsured driver. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, a lawyer can explore options for recovering compensation through your own insurance policy or other available sources.
- Preexisting conditions. If you have preexisting medical conditions, insurance companies may attempt to downplay the impact of the accident. A lawyer can gather medical evidence to establish the accident's contribution to your current condition.
Given these factors, involving a lawyer after a car accident ensures that your rights are protected, you receive proper compensation, and you can focus on recovery without the added stress of legal complexities.
What Our Experienced Team Could Do for You
If you have a car accident claim that is complicated by one of these factors, working with a lawyer gives you many advantages when taking on the insurance company for the at-fault driver. When you work with our team on a complicated case, you can be sure to get all the benefits we offer, including:
- Legal knowledge. We specialize in the complex legal aspects of car accident cases. We can navigate the intricate laws, regulations, and procedures involved in seeking compensation, ensuring your rights are protected.
- Free case evaluation. Our team will assess the details of your case, including the extent of your injuries, property damage, and potential liability. We will provide an informed opinion on the strength of your case and the likelihood of a successful outcome.
- Maximizing compensation. Our decades of experience negotiating with insurance companies to secure fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages means we will work to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement.
- Evidence collection. Our investigators understand the importance of preserving evidence. They can help gather crucial information such as accident reports, witness statements, medical records, and photographs to help us build a strong case.
- Establishing liability. Determining fault in a car accident can be complex. Our team will investigate the circumstances of the accident, consult experts if necessary, and establish liability to hold the responsible party accountable.
- Filing a lawsuit. If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, we will prepare for trial and represent you in court. We will present your case, cross-examine witnesses, and argue for your rights in front of a judge and jury.
- Reducing stress. Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. By hiring a lawyer, you can alleviate stress and focus on your recovery, knowing that we are handling the complexities of your case and representing your interests.
- A fair assessment of settlement offers. Insurance companies may try to offer quick settlements that may not fully cover your damages. We will review settlement offers to ensure they are fair and adequately compensate you for your losses.
Calling a personal injury lawyer after a car accident ensures that you have a knowledgeable advocate on your side who can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and work to secure the compensation you deserve. The best part is that we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us if we win your case. This allows you to access legal representation without worrying about upfront costs.
What Do We Mean by Serious Injuries?
Catastrophic car accident injuries are severe, life-altering injuries that can have profound and lasting effects on an individual's health, mobility, and quality of life. When we say that sustaining a serious injury warrants hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you, we are referring to the following types of injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI occurs when a blow to the head causes brain damage. It can range from mild concussions to severe brain trauma. After a TBI, the person could experience cognitive impairment, memory loss, mood disorders, seizures, speech difficulties, and long-term physical or mental disabilities.
- Spinal cord injury. This injury involves damage to the spinal cord, often resulting in paralysis or loss of sensation below the injury site. The long-term consequences of a spinal cord injury include paralysis of lower limbs or paralysis of all limbs, loss of bladder and bowel control, chronic pain, susceptibility to secondary health complications, and much more.
- Amputation. Amputation is the surgical removal of a limb or body part due to injury. Losing a limb in a car accident means a life of prosthetic use, adjustment to daily activities, emotional trauma, and potential phantom limb pain.
- Severe burns. Severe burns can result from exposure to fire, hot surfaces, or chemicals during a crash and its aftermath. Burns can cause scarring, disfigurement, limited mobility, chronic pain, risk of infections, and psychological distress.
- Multiple fractures. Multiple fractures involve the breakage of several bones, often requiring surgical intervention. Even after the bones have healed, victims can experience chronic pain, limited mobility, joint stiffness, risk of arthritis, and potential need for ongoing medical treatment.
- Organ damage. Internal injuries may lead to damage or rupture of vital organs such as the liver, spleen, or kidneys, resulting in impaired organ function, chronic pain, susceptibility to infections, and the potential need for organ transplantation.
- Severe soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries involve damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. Long-term consequences of these injuries include chronic pain, limited range of motion, difficulty performing daily activities, and risk of joint instability.
- Internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can occur due to ruptured blood vessels or organ damage and can result in severe anemia, organ failure, risk of shock, and the potential need for surgical intervention or ongoing medical treatment.
Any injury sustained in a violent car crash can have a life-long, costly impact on your life. It is vital that you contact a lawyer if you had to be transported in an ambulance, were hospitalized, or you required surgery after a crash.