When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney
I’m pretty sure all of us have seen the advertisements on TV telling you to call an attorney in case you have been injured in a car accident and don’t want to lose your right to sue. What they don’t tell us is how much time we have and under what circumstances we should do it. In order to help you to determine whether or not a car accident attorney is necessary or advisable in your case, I’ve spoken to an experienced Stockton car accident attorney. Here’s what I have found out!
In general, the most clear-cut, simple claims do not call for an attorney’s assistance. For example, if the liability is clear – the other driver was at fault and is willing to acknowledge it and/or an injury is minor with low expenses (medical and other). Also, if there is no extenuating circumstance calling for investigation (for instance, previously existing injuries, complicated car accident scenario etc.) you don’t need an attorney’s assistance.
But, it is advisable to seek advice from a car attorney when:
- Liability is shared among the parties or unclear.
- You have been asked to provide medical records (from before the accident).
- You don’t know how to evaluate the claim (but you think the adjuster’s offer is less than you should get).
- You claim lost wages that could be daunting to prove.
- You are not good at negotiating a settlement on your own behalf.
You should consult a car accident attorney by all means when:
- There’s extenuating circumstance which makes your claim more valuable, but you have no idea how to prove your loss.
- Your claim was denied by the insurance company and you think that they’ve made a mistake, but don’t want to reconsider the decision.
- The injured party is a child with more severe injuries.
- You have been injured with residual disability that would incur future medical care (and bills).
- The settlement you’ve been offered by the insurance company is too low.
- Liability’s disputed and you think you aren’t responsible for the accident.
- It has been several months since the accident and you believe you aren’t close to settling the claim.
- The circumstances regarding the accident are rather complex and need expert investigation.
- You have been served with a lawsuit by the other party to the accident.
Finally, in case your case is not the simplest one, make sure you consult with an attorney before talking to an insurance adjuster. This is a good idea if you don’t want to make statements to the adjuster that might damage your claim.