You’ve never really interacted with attorneys except through TV shows, so you tend to think of an attorney as someone you call only in the most extreme situations. But the reality is that an attorney can help you navigate the most stressful periods of your life. Unfortunately, the time period after a car accident is a difficult time, and not just because of your injuries. The other party may decide to sue even if you’re not at fault, and your insurance company will find every reason to avoid paying out. In these cases (and in many others) an auto accident attorney can help you. Here are five signs you need to call an accident lawyer right away.
1. Your Injuries Are Serious
Are your injuries severe? Did you have to spend a significant amount of time in the hospital after your accident? Are you still receiving treatment for your injuries, even though months have gone by? Will you still need treatment for your injuries for many months to come?
If your injuries are so severe that they dramatically impact your quality of life and your ability to do your job, you need to call a personal injury attorney.
You should never have to put your life on hold because of injuries caused by someone else’s negligence, and an auto accident attorney can help ensure you have the compensation you need to get back on your feet again.
2. Your Injuries Are Permanent
Will you be able to make a full recovery from your injuries? Will you suffer the effects of these injuries for years to come or even the rest of your life? Will you have long-term chronic pain? Will you be unable to participate in certain activities or unable to keep your job because your injuries render you unable to perform it?
Injuries like this can change the entire trajectory of your life. They require extensive care to deal with the physical consequences. The psychological consequences are even harder, forcing you to confront a changing relationship with yourself and the world around you as a result of permanent disability.
And chances are, if your injuries are so far-reaching that you can no longer keep your job as a result, you may be facing mounting medical bills without the ability to pay for them.
These are cases where a personal injury is vital. We know that no sum can make up for how your life has changed or give back your life as it was before, but we can provide you with the tools you need to begin the long process of recovery.
3. Liability Is Unclear
Sometimes, the liability for a car accident isn’t clear. Unfortunately, liability is also the critical deciding factor in a personal injury lawsuit, as you have to be able to prove liability in order to receive damages for your injuries.
Who decides fault depends on the personal injury case. However, hiring an attorney can help with liability determinations.
When you hire an attorney, they will investigate the case, discover at-fault parties, and make a liability determination.
Even if you’re not at fault, you still need to hire an attorney to assist you, as the other party will try to make the case that you were at fault.
4. Your Insurance Company Won’t Pay
Even if the other party does not elect to hire an attorney, it is still worthwhile to hire an attorney to help deal with your insurance company.
To put it bluntly, insurance companies are sharks. Regardless of whether or not you were at fault, insurance adjusters are not there to assess the accident on your behalf—their job is to minimize the payout you receive by finding ways to minimize the effects of the accident.
In many cases, your insurance company will find reasons to refuse to pay at all, even if you know that they should pay. Their strategy is simple. They know that most people do not have the knowledge, resources, and resilience to outlast their insurance company alone, so they’ll keep pushing until you give in.
Don’t let your insurance company refuse to pay. An auto accident attorney can help ensure that you receive the payment you deserve.
5. Your Insurance Payment Is Way Too Low
Even if your insurance company doesn’t refuse to pay outright, they will still find ways to minimize the accident.
Regardless of how clear-cut your accident seems, trying to negotiate with your insurance company without a lawyer can easily end in disaster. If you’re not familiar with the personal injury laws in your state (and most people aren’t) you’re all but guaranteed to make expensive mistakes.
Agreeing to pay isn’t the end of the story. Remember, insurance companies make a profit by paying out as little as possible as infrequently as possible. But they know that they can get away with an insultingly low settlement offer because most people don’t know better than to accept it.
Don’t try to negotiate with your insurance company or accept an offer without an attorney present. They can help ensure you get an offer that actually meets your needs.
Do You Need an Accident Lawyer?
At Sweet Lawyers, we know that you’re coming to us for more than an accident attorney. You’re coming to us looking for someone to guide you through an incredibly difficult time in your life.
We take that responsibility seriously, and we won’t stop until we get the results that you deserve. If you need to speak with an experienced auto accident lawyer about your options and next steps, get in touch today for a free case evaluation.