Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be just as stressful and overwhelming as the accident itself. It can be very reassuring to have the help of a legal professional by your side to walk you through the process and fight for a fair injury settlement on your behalf. It is usually a good idea to seek a free consultation with a car accident lawyer after a car accident but certain circumstances make it even more important. Here’s how to know if you need a lawyer for a car accident.
How to Know if You Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident
Here are the factors to consider when deciding whether to hire a car accident attorney for your accident:
Severity of Injuries
If you sustained minor injuries that required minimal medical treatment and resulted in a full recovery, you might be able to handle the insurance claim process on your own. However, if you suffered severe injuries, long-term disabilities, or the death of a loved one, it’s advisable to consult with a personal injury lawyer.
Serious injuries often result in higher medical bills, lost wages, and future expenses that a car insurance company will try to downplay so they can offer you the lowest settlement possible. An attorney knows all the insurance industry tricks and can help you recover a full and fair settlement.
If the other party disputes liability (who is at fault), it can complicate the claims process. A lawyer can help gather evidence, assess the accident scene, talk to witnesses, and build a strong case to establish that the other party is at-fault. This is especially important in accidents where both parties may share some blame. In Washington State, you can still recover damages for the percentage of fault attributed to the other driver.
Insurance Company Challenges
Dealing with insurance companies can be complex and stressful. If you encounter difficulties, such as delays, denials, or a low settlement offer, an attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure you receive fair compensation.
Confusion over State Laws and Regulations
Laws regarding personal injury and car accidents vary by state and can be complicated. A lawyer familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction can guide you through the legal process, ensuring you meet deadlines and fulfill legal requirements.
Potential Long-term or Permanent Disabilities
If the accident caused injuries that result in long-term or permanent disabilities, you may require ongoing medical care and accommodations. A lawyer can help calculate the future costs associated with your injuries and fight for a settlement that covers these expenses.
Multiple Parties Involved
If multiple parties were involved in the accident, such as other drivers or even government entities responsible for road maintenance, liability can be complicated. An attorney can navigate these complexities and identify all responsible parties.
You’re Too Injured to Handle Documentation
Paperwork and documentation requirements can be overwhelming, especially if you’re severely injured. A lawyer can handle the paperwork, gather necessary documents, and ensure all paperwork is filed correctly and within deadlines.
You are Near or May have Missed the Statute of Limitations
There are time limits, known as statutes of limitations, within which you must file a lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to seek compensation. An attorney can ensure your case is filed within the appropriate time frame or advise you of your options should you be close to the deadline.
If you’re uncertain about whether you need a lawyer, most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations. During this meeting, you can discuss the details of your case, and the attorney can advise you on the best course of action. It’s generally wise to consult with an attorney, especially if your case involves significant injuries or complex circumstances.
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!