Top 7 reasons to speak to a lawyer after an accident
After an accident, you may be going through a whirlwind of emotion and activity. There will be doctor’s appointments, calls to insurance companies, interviews with police, bills to pay – things will be hectic.
While you may be overwhelmed or even injured in the accident, there are some important things you need to do in the days following a car accident that are critical to your recovery. These are the top seven reasons to talk to an attorney following a car accident.
Insurance companies will lowball you
Many accident victims get a call from the other driver’s insurance company shortly after the accident. They will offer you a settlement if you agree not to sue. For many people, this offer can be enticing. It’s quick cash that will certainly help you to get back on your feet. However, is this enough?
In many cases, the insurance company doesn’t want to go through the hassle of a trial, so they just offer you some cash to cover part of the damage. This is when you need to talk to your attorney. Often, the money they offer won’t cover everything you need, and once you accept their offer, you lose the ability to get more at trial.
You may miss deadlines
In the legal system, there are deadlines for everything. You may have a limited time to file a claim if you plan to sue. There may be a time limit on how long you can sue certain government entities. If a city employee caused your accident, for example, there may be a short window in which time you can file a claim.
Understanding and meeting these deadlines is something that your attorney will be able to do, so it pays to give your lawyer a call immediately after an accident. Also, it is worth contacting local legal experts, since deadlines and numerous other procedures change between states. If you were injured in Lafayette, a personal injury lawyer from the city will be knowledgeable about local procedures.
Your injuries may not be immediately evident
Some injuries show up weeks or months after the accident. When you get your initial assessment from your doctor following the incident, you may feel that all you need to do is get a settlement that covers your current injuries. However, soft tissue injuries like whiplash often appear weeks or months later.
Furthermore, you will be on the hook for paying those medical costs out of pocket. In addition, it can be a challenge to predict how long a recovery will take. You may be expecting to go back to work in a month, but recovery can take two months. Your attorney will help you get all the money you need now and in the future.
Proving liability is tricky
There may be multiple factors that caused the crash, and this may mean holding several entities or people responsible. Maybe the accident happened because the street was missing a stop sign and the other driver was texting, and their car had faulty brakes that should have been recalled. Or maybe the accident involved a trucking company, in which case there will be a tough road to navigate when proving liability.
Attorneys have specialized knowledge and tools
Your attorney will have access to expert witness testimony, accident reconstruction specialists, eyewitness testimony, and surveillance cameras. The sooner you speak to them, the sooner they get to work getting you the money you deserve.
Lawyers help you navigate a tricky process
Have you ever tried to actually read your insurance policy? There are all sorts of industry jargon and legalese that you have to decipher. It can be difficult, and you may miss an essential clause. Talking to your attorney means that they can translate everything for you, making it easy to understand.
Law firms offer free consultations
The main reason people avoid speaking to an attorney after an accident is because they think the fees will be expensive. However, many lawyers don’t charge clients until they win, and almost all of them will at least review your case for free.