Table of Contents
- Steps To Take After A Car Accident
- What To Avoid After A Car Accident
- Not Reporting Your Accident
- Admitting Blame
- Accepting Settlement
- When Should I Call An Attorney
- What To Provide Your Attorney
- Benefits Of Hiring An Attorney
- Filing Necessary Paperwork
- Taking On The Insurance Company
- Thorough Investigation
- Contingency Basis
- Not Missing Deadlines
- Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What are three questions you should ask a lawyer before hiring?
- 2. Is Florida a no-fault state?
- 3. What details do I have to give to an auto accident lawyer?
Nobody is prepared for a car accident and the consequences it can have on their lives. Over 3 million people are injured in car accidents each year in the U.S. Car accidents can cause stress, pain, and inconvenience. It can also leave you with mounting medical bills and medical conditions that prevents you from working.
While hiring a lawyer does not guarantee a specific outcome for your case, they can assist you in investigating the accident, gathering evidence to demonstrate the other driver's negligence, and negotiating with insurers on your behalf.
This article discusses when to get an attorney for a car accident, as well as the benefits of having one. Read on to learn more.
Steps To Take After A Car Accident
There are steps you can take immediately after being injured in a car accident to help you obtain the compensation you need.
- Call 911 - Call 911 to report your accident, which alerts both police officers and emergency response teams to the scene. Your police report and medical records will be extremely helpful in determining fault and liability.
- Gather Evidence - With smartphones, gathering evidence has never been easier. Take photos of license plates, eyewitness information, vehicle damage, traffic patterns, intersections, and anything else that could help your lawyer determine fault.
- Contact A Lawyer - Insurance companies will always try to reduce their liabilities by making a lowball settlement offer to accident victims. This is usually only a portion of what you require to recover. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer right away to start building your case.
What To Avoid After A Car Accident
While knowing what to do after a car accident is important, knowing what not to do is equally important. Avoid making these serious car accident mistakes right after your incident.
Not Reporting Your Accident
It can be tempting to simply exchange information with the other driver and proceed, especially if you have not been seriously injured. However, it's best to always file an accident report and obtain a police report.
Even when we are not at fault, it is human nature to apologize. However, after a car accident, saying "I'm sorry" can imply that you accept responsibility for the accident. Do not admit fault, even if you believe you were partially to blame.
The insurance company will frequently use a "take it or leave it" approach to coerce injured car accident victims into accepting an unjust settlement. Do not sign anything unless you have first spoken with a personal injury attorney or a car accident lawyer.
When Should I Call An Attorney
Not everyone involved in a car accident will require legal representation. However, if your accident is severe, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can start building your case. If any of the following apply to your situation, contact an attorney immediately:
- Any accident that causes serious injury to you or someone else
- Any accident where the fault is not clearly established
- Any crash involving another motorist, such as a pedestrian, other vehicles, a truck, or a cyclist
- Any crash involving an underinsured or uninsured driver
- Anytime you disagree with a police report.
What To Provide Your Attorney
Provide your lawyer with the following information to ensure your case is handled properly.
- Your contact details
- Key information about your case
- Police report
- Medical records
- Financial documents or medical receipts
- Photos of the accident scene or damage
- Witness contact information and statements
Benefits Of Hiring An Attorney
Hiring an attorney can make your life and recovery process easier, as well as protect you from unscrupulous insurance adjusters. The following are some of the advantages of hiring an attorney:
Filing Necessary Paperwork
A car accident claim and a personal injury lawsuit both require extensive paperwork. Various forms must be filed correctly and on time to ensure that your case is handled properly and that you receive a favorable outcome.
Taking On The Insurance Company
Insurance companies are not always on your side. This is why you need an experienced car accident lawyer to fight for you during this difficult time. Your attorney can handle the insurance company and ensure that they are not acting in bad faith.
Lawyers have a lot of experience investigating car accidents. They frequently employ accident recreation teams, forensic specialists, and experts to identify all liable parties, including those not named in the police report.
The majority of car accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. That is, you owe them nothing unless and until they win or settle your case.
Not Missing Deadlines
A car accident lawyer will ensure that you do not miss any important deadlines, such as the statute of limitations. In some cases, accident victims only have a limited time to file a claim, so your attorney will make sure you meet those deadlines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the commonly asked questions regarding car accident lawyers.
1. What are three questions you should ask a lawyer before hiring?
Some of the fundamental questions you may ask your prospective lawyer are:
- Will you be the attorney personally handling my case?
- Will you take the case all the way to trial if necessary?
- What results have you obtained in the past for cases like mine?
2. Is Florida a no-fault state?
Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. This means that drivers, regardless of who caused the collision, must carry personal injury protection insurance (PIP) to cover their medical expenses and other accident-related damages.
3. What details do I have to give to an auto accident lawyer?
Auto accident attorneys, like any lawyer, want complete documentation of your accident, case, and injuries. You can have a better idea of what you are able to contribute by asking an attorney what kinds of photos, evidence, witnesses, documents, and other material will best serve your case.
If you have been involved in a car accident and are wondering when to get an attorney for a car accident, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Having auto insurance will protect you from accidents. Find out more about PIP in auto insurance in this article from Disability Help.