Should I Get A Lawyer For A Car Accident That Wasn't My Fault?
Hiring a lawyer is not compulsory when you get involved in a car accident. But even if the accident is not a major one, a lawyer could be your best bet. Your lawyer would have the professional knowledge and skills to support you when your accident involves critical issues or conditions. Even if you are not at fault for an accident, you could still have to prove your innocence to the state and insurance companies. A reputable car accident attorney could also ensure you get a fair outcome in court.
The Accident Caused Significant Losses
If you or a loved one suffer major physical injury or significant property loss due to an accident, then a discussion with your lawyer could definitely help. Irrespective of whether you were at fault or not, you could still find it tough proving your innocence without the support of an attorney. The situation could get dire when there are losses as a result of the crush. Experienced lawyers could then be your best choice for relevant legal representations.
Insurance companies from the parties involved could try to minimize or even deny your claim when the amount in question is substantial. A personal injury attorney could review any settlement offers from the at-fault party and ascertain if it is in your best interest. This is crucial as such offers might need you to agree to no future claim against the at-fault party. Accepting an unfair settlement could put you in a situation with no recourse available.
If The Accident Results In Fault Dispute
Sometimes there could be multiple cars involved in an accident. This could create more questions as it may be hard to determine who is at fault. Insurance companies could insist on private investigations to save their clients from the blame for such accidents. If the damages are huge, you might need your lawyer to handle such investigations and negotiate with the insurance agencies. They are trained in this and are in a good position to prove your innocence. Accidents, where the faults are in dispute, have many legal limitations that need an experienced and qualified person to deal with them, such as an accident lawyer.
The Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
Most insurance companies try to avoid settlement payouts as much as possible. These are not the easiest to deal with if you are not trained or lack legal knowledge. They could try to either convince you for a minimum settlement or deny your claim on some legal grounds which could not be known to you. Your lawyer could handle insurance adjusters better by presenting acceptable pieces of evidence and arguments in your interest. Insurance companies might also try to downplay evidence to hold you at fault in situations where third-party claims come into the picture.
Your State Laws Could Make Things Critical
Many state laws differ to some extent in handling car accident damages. Although negligence is considered the basis for liability in such accidents, it does not always apply to a single driver as the person at fault. Many good lawyers would recommend an out-of-court settlement in these situations, which would leave all parties content but not necessarily satisfied.
However, the court could need to evaluate apportion liability following the laws of that particular state when these cases go for a trial. Your personal lawyer could play a big role in both scenarios, be it in court or out-of-court negotiations. Courts consider two theories of negligence for car accident claims:
- Comparative negligence considers each party’s responsibility in an accident for settling damages in similar ratios.
- Contributory negligence refers to a plaintiff’s failure in exercising care for safety as the cause of an accident. There could be a fair chance of claim reduction for the plaintiff if their carelessness majorly affects the cause of such accidents.
Insurance companies also keep these rules in mind while they negotiate with you for a settlement. So, your attorney by your side might just give you an advantage during such circumstances.
What Could Happen If I Don’t Hire A Lawyer?
Although you don’t need to hire a lawyer for your accident claim, some things could work against you. Here are some major setbacks that could happen:
Delay In Payment By Insurance Agency
Insurance companies are for-profit entities and want to settle with the payouts possible. But you could need the settlement to pay your medical bills after you meet a major car accident. You would also need money to repair vehicular damages as well. The at-fault insurance company party might try to drag your settlement for months in the absence of your lawyer. Your lawyer could know professional ways to force them to pay you much quicker.
Insufficient Claim Settlement
You could need your lawyer to assess any settlement offers from insurance companies. They might find such offers insufficient to cover all your immediate and future losses. A lawyer would consider your medical expenditures and any future treatments you might need before presenting your claim for settlement. This ensures that whatever claim you settle for should be sufficiently fair in your best interest.
Sometimes your claim settlement in an accident could need further investigations to analyze fault and other conditions. Your lawyer may have a team of experts for these investigations. They could ensure the collection of all essential pieces of evidence to make your claim legally stronger and more imposing to the insurance companies or in the court if needed. Investigations are a major part of car accidents involving multiple parties. It becomes critical to identify the party at fault and the ratio of blame to spread for the accident. A lawyer would know better what evidence from an investigation could work for your claim by his legal experience and save on time and effort on your part.