After an accident, you may be going through a whirlwind of emotions and activities. There will be doctor’s appointments, insurance company calls, police talks, bills to pay – things will be hectic.
While you may be overwhelmed or even injured in the accident, there are some important things you need to do in the days following a car accident that are critical to your recovery. These are the top seven reasons to talk to a lawyer after a car accident.
Insurance companies will put you down
Many accident victims receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company shortly after the accident. They will offer you a settlement if you agree not to proceed. For many people, this offer can be tempting. It’s quick money that will definitely help you get back on your feet. However, is this sufficient?
In many cases, the insurance company doesn’t want to go through the hassle of a lawsuit, so they just offer you money to cover part of the damage. This is when you should talk to your lawyer. Often times, the money they offer won’t cover everything you need, and once you accept their offer, you lose the chance to get more in the process.
You may miss deadlines
In the legal system, there are deadlines for everything. You may have a limited time to file a claim if you plan to proceed. There may be a time limit on how long you can sue certain government entities. If a city employee caused your accident, for example, there may be a short period during which you can file a claim.
Understanding and meeting these deadlines is something your lawyer will be able to do, so it pays to call your lawyer immediately after an accident. Also, it is worth contacting local legal experts, as deadlines and many other procedures change from state to state. If you have been injured in Lafayette, lawyer specializing in personal injury of the city will know the local procedures.
Your injuries may not be immediately obvious
Some injuries appear weeks or months after the accident. When you get your initial assessment from your doctor following the incident, you may think that all you need to do is get a settlement that covers your current injuries. However, soft tissue injuries like whiplash often appear weeks or months later.
In addition, you will have to pay these medical expenses out of pocket. Additionally, it can be difficult to predict how long a recovery will take. You might expect to be back to work in a month, but it may take two months to recover. Your lawyer will help you get all the money you need now and in the future.
Proving responsibility is tricky
Several factors can be at the origin of the accident, which can mean that several entities or people are held responsible. Maybe the accident happened because a stop sign was missing on the street and the other driver was texting, and their car had faulty brakes that should have been recalled. Or maybe the accident involved a trucking business, in which case there will be a difficult road to prove liability.
Lawyers have specialized knowledge and tools
Your lawyer will have access to expert testimony, accident reconstruction specialists, eyewitness accounts and surveillance cameras. The sooner you talk to them, the sooner they get to work and earn you the money you deserve.
Lawyers help you navigate a delicate process
Have you ever tried to read your insurance policy? There are all kinds of industry jargon and legal jargon that you need to decipher. It can be difficult and you can miss an essential clause. Talking to your lawyer means they can translate everything for you, which makes it easier to understand.
Law firms offer free consultations
The main reason people avoid talking to a lawyer after an accident is because they think the fees will be high. However, many lawyers don’t charge their clients until they win, and almost all will at least review your case for free.