Many motorists involved in auto accidents wonder if they need an attorney. Though a small fender bender may be easily settled, accidents where you incur large damages and injuries are likely to entail a fight. In any legal battle, a tough lawyer is essential. If you have been in an auto accident, you need a lawyer in the following situations.
If You Are Injured
Never attempt to settle an auto-accident claim if injured. Injury cases are complex, and the amount of compensation varies widely. Insurance companies always attempt to settle these claims at the lowest amounts possible, which often means offering a quick settlement for less money than they would have to pay if the case goes to court.
They may also try tricks, such as offering a final settlement amount before it is clear what all the medical expenses are. A tough litigator puts a stop to such tricks and forces the insurance company to pay the full amount.
If the Claim Is Contested
When insurance companies contest claims, they often win, even if the insured person was actually at fault. This is because they can deny payment if proof of fault cannot be offered, according to Nolo. In these instances, a driver can not only lose just compensation, but also may be unfairly given a black mark on their driving record.
Often, it comes down to whether or not you have legal representation. Those without an attorney are often victims of insurance company tricks because they are unfamiliar with their tactics. Also, if the case will be heard in court, an attorney is essential because rules of evidence are complex.
Big Out-of-pocket Expenses
If your auto accident costs you large out-of-pocket expenses, you may need a lawyer. Many people are comfortable settling claims with small out-of-pocket expenses on their own. For example, if $500 is the out-of-pocket cost, you may want to simply do your best to settle it on your own.
However, if it cost you $15,000 that you cannot afford, a lawyer could be what saves you from severe financial distress. Large out-of-pocket expenses are common in injury cases. Sometimes, medical bills can add up to the tens of thousands and endanger victims of losing their homes or going bankrupt.
Contact an Attorney Right Away
When you are injured in an auto accident and face huge medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering that diminishes your life, tough litigators who fight insurance companies everyday are essential.
Insurance companies protect their bottom lines by offering the lowest settlements they can, notes Clearfield and Kofsky. The claims process is complex and time consuming. A good lawyer navigates this process for their clients and holds the insurance companies 100 percent accountable.
If you are injured, face large amounts of out-of-pocket expenses, or face a contested claim, contact an experienced car accident lawyer to protect yourself and your financial future.