When Do I Need an Attorney’s Help After a Car Accident?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Michael Chaloupka with Metier Law Firm.
Not every car accident requires the help of an attorney; this might sound counter intuitive, but in accident cases where the damages were relatively minor and/or completely covered by one or both insurance companies, a driver can often handle the case on their own. However, when the damages sustained in a car accident exceed what insurance will cover (i.e. severe injuries and property damage) and/or insurance providers seem to be reducing or denying valid claims, it’s probably a good idea to involve a car accident attorney.
You may need an attorney’s help after a car accident when the injuries are severe or fatal.
When an injury is fatal or results in hospitalization and the need for ongoing treatment, this might mean it’s time to contact a lawyer. Catastrophic injuries may result in damages the average person doesn’t recognize.
In a successful car accident claim, the injured party is able to seek damages for not only their current medical bills but also for future predicted medical bills and other expenses. Severe or catastrophic injuries often have long-term if not permanent effects on the victim’s life and livelihood, so it’s important to evaluate all of the potential damages which may be applicable in a catastrophic injury car accident case.
Impairment of earning capacity, loss of chosen profession, and life care expenses are just three types of damages which a car accident attorney can help litigate for, which the average person likely cannot pursue on their own and which insurance will not fully cover. In fact, even cases where insurance should cover the cost of the damages may require the help of an attorney when the insurance provider(s) is behaving unscrupulously.
You may need an attorney’s help if an insurance company is withholding the full compensation you are entitled to.
Despite insurance providers billing themselves as companies designed to help people, it’s important to remember that the way they turn a profit is by holding onto their customers’ money. While insurance companies can at times provide valuable help to car accident victims, occasionally an insurance adjuster may try to reduce or deny a valid claim in the interest of holding onto profits for the company; this practice is referred to as insurance bad faith and may require the help of an experienced lawyer to correct.
Some signs that may indicate you are experiencing insurance bad faith include an adjuster seeming to intentionally misinterpret policy language, asking for arbitrary evidence, and failing to conduct a thorough investigation. If you suspect an insurance company is not dealing fairly with you after an accident, do not accept any offers less than the full amount you are entitled to according to your policy and reach out to an insurance bad faith attorney to correct the situation.
Car accident attorneys are typically free to talk to and work on contingency.
Reputable car accident attorneys will not take a case they are not needed for. Most car accident attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid if and when they win a case. This allows car accident victims a risk-free way to get a better idea of their situation, their options, and their need for an attorney.
To learn more about when to look for a lawyer after a car accident, or for help filing a claim, reach out to a car accident attorney in your area.