What Will a Car Accident Attorney Do for Me?
If you are involved in a car accident, it can be very traumatic, especially when you are injured and can’t return to work. If you have been in an accident where another party is at fault and the resulting injuries caused you to need excessive medical treatment or to lose wages, a car accident attorney may be able to help you. According to Owen, Patterson & Owen, a Santa Clarita auto accident lawyer, there are several things an attorney can do for you.
Ways a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
Insurance companies can be more interested in profits than paying you a fair settlement for injuries and lost wages. A car accident attorney will be your advocate.
Collecting Evidence and Investigating the Accident
A car accident attorney will work to collect the evidence from your incident in order to prove who was at fault in the accident. The negligent driver should be held accountable for injuries sustained in your accident.
Determining Your Total Damages
The total damages resulting from your car accident can be much more than just medical bills and auto repairs. Your car accident attorney will calculate your costs for expenses such as lost wages and future medical needs.
When Should I Call a Car Accident Attorney?
There are definitely situations where calling a car accident attorney as soon as possible is your smartest move. Jason F. Abraham of Hupy and Abraham S.C. says there are six situations when you should call a lawyer.
Fault Is Not Clearly Established
If a police report does not clearly or accurately describe the accident and indicates you are at fault, call a car accident attorney. If you are determined to be at fault, you will be responsible for damages.
Serious Injuries Have Occurred or Long-Term Care Is Needed
A lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for injury and damages. Car accident attorneys are experts in negotiation and can help maximize your settlement.
Significant Damage Happened to Your Vehicle
The other driver and their insurance company are responsible damages to your vehicle and costs of alternative transportation while it’s being repaired. Don’t get short changed.
The Insurance Company Won’t Provide Compensation
Insurance companies will attempt to lowball your claim by avoiding paying more than they need to or by seeking to refute any expense that may be invalid. An attorney can fight for you to make sure maximum settlement is achieved.
Compensation Is Insufficient
The initial offer from the insurance company is often too low, or fails to cover all the costs related to your accident and resulting injuries. A car accident attorney will be your advocate.
The Insurance Adjuster Is Pressuring You
Adjusters look to settle claims as soon as possible and for the lowest possible cost to the insurance company. Never give a statement to an adjuster or respond to their calls right away. Consult a car accident attorney first.
Please note that if you have little property damage and no injuries have resulted from your accident, you may not need an attorney.
How Much Can I Get From a Car Accident Settlement?
The amount you can recover for injuries resulting from a car accident varies. It depends on how severe your injuries are, the balance of fault between you and the other driver, and how likely it is that injuries you sustained in the accident will affect you in the future. If you are 50 percent or less responsible for your accident, you may be eligible to collect compensation for a variety of expenses. Below are some of the primary expenses for which you can receive compensation.
The costs of diagnosis and treatment of your injuries sustained as a result of the car accident would be included in the settlement. The costs need to take into account any long-term consequences of your injuries.
Lost Income/Earning Capacity
Injuries sustained in a car accident may affect your ability to work, either temporarily or permanently. Your bills and medical expenses don’t stop just because you cannot work. A car accident settlement should compensate you for lost wages and any reduction in wages as a result of your reduced ability to perform in the future.
You may be able to recover compensation for pain, suffering, disfigurement or scarring you endured as a result of your accident, as well as compensation for lost enjoyment of life or damage to your marital relationship. A car accident attorney can provide a better idea of what compensation might be available for you.
How Do I Choose the Right Car Accident Attorney?
Choosing the right car accident lawyer is the most important first step in obtaining a fair settlement for your injuries, pain and suffering. A competent car accident attorney not only can help you receive a larger settlement, but will save you time, unnecessary frustration and provide expertise to help you navigate a complex legal environment.
Ask for referrals from family, friends and business associates. Once you get a few referrals, you should search the Internet to find out more about their background, specialty and qualifications. Then call one or two of the referrals to request an initial consultation.
When meeting with an attorney for the first time, be sure to ask:
- How long have you been in practice?
- How many personal injury claims have you settled successfully?
- What percentage of your practice involves personal injury cases?
- How much experience do you have in auto accident cases specifically?
- How do you think my case should be handled?
- How will I be kept informed of the status and progress of my case?
- What kind of role will you personally have in the case? Do you plan to pass it along to another lawyer in the firm?
Act quickly after your accident and contact prospective car accident attorneys right away. A long wait could hinder your chances to receive a fair settlement.