Every year there are about five million car crashes. Over 50% of that number is caused by drivers who are driving aggressively behind the wheel. It’s no surprise that many of those accidents lead to serious injuries and even death.
As a victim of an auto accident, you might be facing bills for medical care, a long recovery, and missed wages from work. You might even be worrying about how to cover all the expenses related to your accident.
Some people worry that hiring an auto accident lawyer to help with their case will just be another expense they can’t afford. So, what should you consider if you’re worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer to help you with your case?
Can you afford to hire a lawyer? Can you afford not to hire one? Read on for the considerations you should take related to hiring an auto accident attorney.
What Should You Do Immediately Following an Auto Accident?
If you’re involved in an auto accident, it’s important to know what to do at the scene of the accident to protect your interests.
First, you want to check on injured people from the accident. Seek medical attention as needed. If the injuries are emergent, get the emergency services as quickly as possible.
You want to avoid moving cars involved if possible. You want the police to be able to come and assess the scene, do an investigation and make a full police report.
Be careful about talking to other people involved in the accident. You don’t want to admit any responsibility for the accident. Exchange information, including insurance information with the other drivers. You also want to get the names and numbers of other witnesses to the accident.
If you are safely able to, walk around the accident scene and snap photos with your cell phone.
Once the accident clears, you will want to contact your insurance company and make them aware of the accident.
Be Aware of Insurance Company Tactics
One thing to be aware of is that you might not know the full extent of damages or costs related to your accident right away. If you were injured, medical bills may take a while to gather. You may need treatment over a period of time. It’s possible your injury will cause you to miss going to work.
Insurance companies are going to want to, especially initially, want you to quickly settle your case. They might want to get you to settle before you consider whether you should hire an auto accident attorney.
It’s important to remember, it’s the goal of the insurance company to pay out as little as possible in claims and settlements. Insurance companies who see an accident victim who doesn’t have legal counsel are more likely to try to take advantage by offering smaller amounts to close the case.
What Can Your Settlement Cover?
If you have been the victim of a car accident injury where someone else was at fault, you should not be responsible for the costs related to the accident. The at-fault driver and their insurance company should have to cover expenses.
Their coverage should include payment for things like:
- Emergency medical care
- Long term medical care
- Lost wages
Compensation can also include money for your pain and suffering from the accident. Calculating these compensation amounts and negotiating on your behalf with the insurance company is something an experienced auto accident attorney can do on your behalf.
Hiring an Auto Accident Attorney
While you might be worried about how much an attorney will cost you, there are some things you can do to help with cost. It’s also important to know how most auto accident attorneys charge for their services.
Take Advantage of No Fee Consultation
As you consider whether you can afford an attorney or even if your case merits one, take advantage of the no-fee consultations. Most attorneys will meet with you once to discuss your case.
You can get information about the attorney, how they charge, and whether you have a case. The attorney can get an idea of what kinds of compensation might be due to you from your case.
No Compensation, No Cost
This is one of the most important things to know as it relates to auto accident attorneys. Most don’t charge you upfront. They get paid when you get paid.
Their fees come from a percentage of the money you receive as a settlement on your case. It’s in the attorney’s best interest to work hard on your case then too. You both have a vested interest in the case reaching a lucrative financial outcome.
Most auto accident attorneys don’t make money if you get no money for your case.
Know the Qualification When Hiring an Attorney
If you are going to make the decision to hire an attorney, then you want to make sure you get one who will do the best job possible. Check on the qualifications of your attorney candidates.
How many cases have they handled like your case? What is their success rate? If you are going to eventually hand over funds from your case’s settlement, you want to make sure you have an attorney who got you the most money possible.
Read the Fine Print
Make sure you understand the financial agreement you are entering with your attorney. Read the fine print. Know what percentage of your payout you will be handing back to the attorney.
You also want to know if there are any costs that you will be expected to cover out of pocket. Some attorneys will want you to pay filing fees, for example.
Can’t Afford Not to Hire a Lawyer
The truth is that if you have been injured in a car accident by the fault of another driver, you probably can’t afford NOT to hire an attorney. Their experience in negotiating with insurance companies and knowing exactly what you can get compensated for will mean a much bigger settlement than if you try to do the process without legal counsel.
Insurance companies will take advantage of accident victims who don’t have a lawyer representing them.
When It’s Time to Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you might be worried about mounting expenses, lost wages, medical bills from your accident. It might seem, at first glance, like an auto accident lawyer is just another expense you can’t afford.
The reality is that you need an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle negotiating with the insurance company so you get the money you deserve as a result of your accident.
If you need help with your auto accident, take advantage of our no-fee consultation. Let’s talk about your case and see if we can help you. Contact us today to set up your free evaluation appointment.