UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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A car accident is an earth-shattering event. It can result in serious injuries that prevent you from being able to work, leave you expensive damages to your car – or completely total your car, and it can cause a lot of pain and suffering.
In addition to causing you serious problems, an auto accident also brings about a host of questions: Who is at fault? Who is responsible for paying for the damaged property? Who is responsible for covering the cost of medical bills? Will there be compensation for pain and suffering, and/or lost wages?
In short, an auto accident is a huge headache. After the accident, your top priority should be recovering from any injuries you have sustained; the last thing you want to do is deal with insurance companies and all of that red tape. An attorney who specializes in auto accidents or personal injury cases can be extremely helpful during this difficult time, helping you negotiate and sift through the often confusion and chaos that is involved with insurance claims and settlements.
If you are wondering if you should hire an attorney to help you handle your auto insurance claim, keep on reading. Here is a look at some valuable information that will help you determine if hiring a lawyer is the right option for you.
Have there been Extensive Damages and Injuries?
If the accident you were involved in caused serious damages and injuries, an attorney can certainly be helpful when it comes to filing a claim and handling settlements.
If you have sustained injuries, the most important thing for you to do is recover. When you have to worry about contacting insurance companies, filling out paperwork and making and answering phone calls, you will also have to deal with additional stress. The stress of the accident and recovering is enough; you shouldn’t have to deal with the stress of all of that red tape. In fact, adding more stress to your situation can impact your recovery, as you may be focused more on handling the claim than getting better.
There is a Question Regarding Who is at Fault
If determining who caused the accident is something you are dealing with, an attorney can be hugely helpful. Lawyers who specialize in auto accidents will understand how to determine who was at fault. They will work with the law enforcement officials who handled your accident, look at police reports, assess the details at the scene of the accident and will speak with your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company. A lawyer will have the knowledge and the experience that is necessary to determine exactly who was at fault, and who should be held responsible for paying the damages.
You are Unable to Work
If the accident you were involved in caused injuries that have left you unable to work, an accident attorney will certainly be able to help you. If you are left unable to work, you may lose wages, or there may even be a chance that you will lose your job.
Again, your lawyer will speak with your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company to determine who is responsible for covering any wages that you may lose while you are recovering. Also, your attorney will be able to speak with your place of work, notifying them of the extent of your injuries and the laws that protect injured workers from being let go.
The Benefits of Hiring an Attorney
In addition to being able to handle the aforementioned issues, an attorney also offers a host of other benefits in the case of an auto insurance claim.
Knowledge of the Law and Procedural Rules
An experienced attorney will have a thorough understanding of the law that governs auto accidents, as well as any procedural rules that are involved.
Your attorney will be able to advise you of any time limits, or statutes of limitations, that may prevent you from being able to file a lawsuit against the other driver. For example, in several states, you have to file a lawsuit within two years of the accident. If you fail to file a suit in that time period, you will forever lose your ability to file a suit. Additionally, a lawyer will be able to let you know about any special exceptions to the statute of limitations; for example, if a minor was involved in the accident.
Filing and Mitigating
An attorney will be able to file a lawsuit against the other party’s insurance company on your behalf. This saves you from having to worry about filing the claim in a timely manner and ensures that the claim will be filed correctly. Also, once your case is underway, your attorney will play a vital role in preparing your case for trial, should it go before a court, and will represent your case.
A Lawyer Handles the Work
There is a lot of work that is involved with negotiating an insurance settlement and filing a personal injury lawsuit. After your accident, taking on these two tasks is not only time consuming, but can also impact your recovery. The last thing you want to do after you have been injured in a car accident is handle all of the red tape that is involved with filing claims and lawsuits. An attorney will be able to do all of this work for you.
Experienced with Filing Claims and Lawsuits
Though this may be your first time filing an auto claim or a personal injury suit, an attorney will likely have done both tasks several times before. A lawyer knows how to obtain the evidence that is necessary to support your claim, such as police reports, photographs, statements from witnesses, medical records and bills, and any loss of employment or lost wage information.
With the help of an attorney, you can rest assured that your auto insurance claim will be in good hands so that you can worry about what is really important; recovering.