When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself First

In just one day alone, an average of 90 people are killed in car accidents. Of the 6 million car accidents in the US each year, 3 million of them involve injuries. 

If you have been injured in a crash or your loved one has been injured or killed in a car crash, you may want to consider hiring a car accident attorney. Car crashes can have long-term negative impacts on your life and getting adequate compensation may be difficult without legal representation. 

Are you wondering if you need to hire a car accident lawyer? If so, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn more about the situations when you should contact an attorney. 

1. Were There Injuries?

Even if the injuries seem minor, you still may want to contact a car accident law firm. Car accident injuries are often delayed and may not show up until a few days after the accident, especially things like whiplash, abdominal pain, headaches, back pain, and neurological issues. 

The adrenaline after the crash may mask some of the pain, but when the adrenaline wears off, you may experience severe pain. This is why it’s important to seek medical attention after the accident, even if you think that you are fine. Be sure to document any visits to the ER, doctors, or other medical providers and keep any receipts for any payments you make. 

Car accident injuries can often result in a need for long-term care, which insurance companies may be reluctant to pay for. An attorney can help you determine what amount of compensation is adequate to cover these costs. 

2. Will the Insurance Company Cooperate? 

Insurance companies are businesses that are looking out for their bottom line. They want you to settle for the lowest amount possible, and it is likely that they’ll quickly make you a settlement offer after your accident.

This amount will typically be much less than what your accident claim is worth, though, as they want you to settle quickly and for a low amount. Once you settle, you can’t change your mind later. An attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve and can help determine exactly how much the accident will cost you over the long run. 

Insurance companies also may outright deny your claim, especially if they say that you were at fault. Some states allow insurance companies to refuse to compensate those who were injured in an accident if they were at fault even as little as 1%. If your insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver tries to deny your claim, you need an attorney.

3. Is It Clear Who Is at Fault? 

Sometimes it is very clear who is at fault. If you had a clear green light and someone runs a red light, if you were stopped at a red light and a driver rear-ends you because they were texting and not watching the road, it is often easy to determine who is at fault. 

However, sometimes it’s not that easy and both drivers share fault or it’s not clear who is at fault, especially when there are multiple cars involved. The police will investigate the accident and may determine fault, but insurance companies also will determine who is at fault and how much of the fault they hold.

A car accident attorney will coordinate lawsuits against multiple people and insurance companies if it turns out the fault is shared by multiple parties. 

4. Is the Responsible Driver Insured?

If the person responsible for your accident is uninsured, you absolutely need an attorney. When a driver gets into an accident and causes injuries, property damage, or other losses, it is almost always their insurance company that is going to pay the injured parties. 

However, if they are uninsured, there is no insurance company to pay. In this case, you would have to file a civil lawsuit against the other driver seeking compensation for your damages. 

5. Am I Permanently Disabled? 

Car accident injuries can result in permanent disability or long-term injuries that prevent you from enjoying the things you once did and even prevent you from going about your day-to-day activities. If another driver causes a car accident that results in permanent disability or long-term injuries, you need an attorney to see that you get adequate compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, long-term care, any special modifications that you need to make for your home, wheelchairs, etc. 

6. Can I Work? 

If you are going to be out of work for a period of time, no matter how long, due to injuries sustained in your accident, you should consult with a car accident lawyer. This is especially important if you are going to be out of work for the long term or must go on permanent disability, as your lawyer will be able to calculate your lost wages over time, as you would have likely gotten promotions and raises. Your lifetime earning

7. Was Another Driver Responsible For My Loved One’s Death? 

If your loved one died in a car accident that was due to the actions (or inactions) of another driver, you should speak to an attorney who handles wrongful death suits. A wrongful death suit will help you and your family get compensation to cover funeral costs, the lost wages and other support from that person, and ensure a surviving spouse, children, or other dependents will be provided adequate compensation for their needs after the person’s death.

There are specific rules surrounding wrongful death claims, who can file them, and what kinds of damages you can get. It’s wise to let an attorney handle these types of claims rather than trying to do it on your own. 

Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today 

If any of these questions apply to you and your situation, you need a car accident attorney. They will be able to advise you on how to proceed, whether you have a strong case, and handle the legal process for you. Let them take this stressor off of your plate so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. 

Contact Sweet Law today for a free case consultation. Our attorneys specialize in personal injury cases, including car accidents, and can handle all aspects of your case. 

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