When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident
Some car accident victims initially believe that they do not need legal representation because the other driver is at fault, OR because the car accident appeared minor. While in some instances, this may be true, it is best to consult (not hire, at least not yet) an attorney before committing to any legal decisions.
Regardless of right or wrong or what is presumably fair, the insurance company will attempt to reduce the rate of compensation by as much as possible. And unfortunately, because many car accident victims are unaware of case values, they end up accepting inadequate settlement offers.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that you will be compensated accordingly. Before ruling out legal representation, consider the top five benefits of hiring an experienced Downey personal injury lawyer for a car accident case, as well as the best time to do so.
The Best Time to Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Complex car accident cases will greatly benefit from the knowledge of an experienced personal injury lawyer. It may be difficult to determine whether or not your case is "complex." However, if your case shares similarities to the following examples, it is strongly advisable to consult with a car accident attorney:
- Car accident injuries were sustained
- Property damage was sustained
- Fault is not clear
- Multiple parties were involved
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist was involved
- The other driver's insurance company is not presenting a fair offer
- Government entity was involved
- A wrongful death of a loved one occurred
Most personal injury lawyers may not be needed for a minor car accident, and there will be some instances where legal counsel may not be necessary. However, if there is uncertainty, consult an experienced lawyer just in case. Schedule a free consultation with a local car accident attorney in Downey, so all of your questions can be addressed.
Reasons to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
If a car accident claim needs to be filed in order to recover compensation, working with an experienced car accident lawyer will be greatly beneficial. Here are the top five ways an auto accident attorney can be of assistance.
1. An Experienced Lawyer Knows the California Traffic Laws
First and foremost, when you hire a car accident lawyer, you are not just gaining a legal advocate, you are gaining the support of a whole legal team.
The firm with the right credentials will possess the knowledge of dealing with auto insurance companies. This is relevant because in order to recover damages, the attorney must obtain a police report, indicate how the other driver's negligence caused the crash, and prove that the client suffered serious injuries.
They will be able to use their knowledge and expertise to help you get the outcome that you deserve, even if your case is complex or when there's uncertainty regarding fault. Other areas most car accident lawyers clarify to clients and assist them with are:
- State and federal legal process guidelines
- Accident laws
- Insurance coverage
- Determining and proving fault
- Assessing injuries and damages
- Negotiating with the insurance adjuster
2. A Car Accident Lawyer Can Explain How to File a Personal Injury Claim
In addition to knowing the legalities and the details of a car accident settlement, a personal injury attorney is also great at imparting that knowledge to clients. When you’re dealing with stress after an accident, it can be difficult to maintain a full understanding of a case's progress.
However, a dedicated car accident lawyer will provide regular case updates, in addition to explaining how insurance companies determine settlement amounts. Attorneys also increase the value of personal injury claims, as they consider all areas of damages, such as lost wages, future medical bills, and pain and suffering.
3. Lawyers Know How to Negotiate for Maximum Compensation
Some accident victims accept early settlements from the insurance company, as they are under the impression these are the best offers they will receive. Additionally, insurance adjusters will try to propose these offers before victims have had an opportunity to consult with an attorney.
Because a car accident lawyer understands the damages that can be recovered from car accidents, the insurance company will find ways to get victims into agreeing to lesser compensation than what is actually owed. With an attorney's services in filing an insurance claim, the damages recovered are generally higher.
In fact, it has been found that personal injury victims recovered a 40% higher settlement than other victims who did not have legal representation.
4. Help Obtain Fair Compensation from the Insurance Company
When insurance companies agree to settlements for car accidents, they often do so for the least possible amount. Therefore, they’ll often call victims and offer them just enough to cover current medical expenses and vehicle repairs.
As a result, victims feel inclined to accept early offers, not knowing they can counter them. In other instances, some victims are too overwhelmed to negotiate with insurance companies and just want the accident claims process to be finished. Instead of rushing to settle, hire a lawyer to deal with the insurance company.
5. Escalating Claims and Future Needs
A car accident lawyer is also going to be valuable when a personal injury claim needs to be escalated to trial. If a settlement cannot be reached due to disagreements or case complexity, personal injury cases can go to court.
For example, if it's discovered that a driver was grossly negligent, meaning there was deliberate and reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of others, a lawyer can help file a personal injury lawsuit. This will hold the at-fault driver accountable and preserve your legal rights before a judge and jury.
Promenade Accident Attorneys - Downey's Top Personal Injury Law Firm
When determining if obtaining legal representation is necessary, consider what damages were suffered and if the at-fault driver's insurance company is offering a fair settlement.
Promenade Accident Attorneys specializes in car accident cases, and we offer free consultations to anyone who is interested in discussing their personal injury accident. Contact our Downey personal injury law firm for a case assessment today.