Auto accidents are incredibly common, and while many result in little to no consequences, some lead to major injury or death. For this reason, many people wonder if they need to contact an attorney after an accident. If you are uncertain if an attorney is the right choice for you, check out these four instances when getting an attorney's help is beneficial.
1. You Were Injured in the Accident
Ideally, if you do get into a car accident, you experience no injury, but that isn't usually the case. High speeds and sudden stops can lead to both hard and soft tissue damage, such as broken bones and whiplash. If you experienced any injury during the accident, it's best to contact an attorney.
Even if the injury seems minor, you may not understand the long-term consequences. For example, whiplash may lead to chronic neck pain that requires physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage, etc. If you accept a settlement before undergoing treatments, you may not get as much money as you need.
Car accidents can also lead to physical and mental pain and suffering. For example, a car accident that leaves you with a large scar on your face may cause nerve damage (physical pain and suffering) or depression (mental pain and suffering).
2. Your Vehicle Was Damaged
Depending on how much your car was damaged in the accident, you may want to contact an attorney. Even minor dings can lead to expensive repairs, and the insurance company may refuse to pay you enough, but a skilled attorney can negotiate for you.
This is especially problematic if the car was totaled in the accident. If your car is totaled, you deserve enough money to replace it, and an attorney may be the only one who can argue successfully on your behalf.
3. You Are Being Accused of Causing the Accident
In some cases, the cause of the accident is clear. For example, if three witnesses saw a car speed through a red light and hit you, the insurance carrier will likely side with you. However, sometimes, it's hard to tell who is at fault, even if there are witnesses. This can lead to false accusations that you caused the accident.
For this reason, it's important to be careful after any accident, even if you are positive you didn't cause it. Never admit fault at the scene of the accident, and make sure you collect all necessary evidence, including witness information and photos of all vehicles included in the collision. In addition, don't talk about your injuries at the scene of the accident.
4. You Aren't Comfortable With the Offered Settlement
After the accident has been reported, the other driver's insurance carrier will contact you to try and offer you a settlement. This settlement is often initially too low, but the insurance carrier may be aggressive about getting you to accept the settlement. This is because once you accept the settlement, you get no more money. Even if the doctor discovers long-term damage, you are out of luck once you've accepted the settlement.
Therefore, if you are uncomfortable with the offered settlement, contact an attorney. Trying to negotiate yourself may seem tempting, but it is most likely a waste of time. Plus, the more you talk to an insurance adjuster, the more you risk saying something that may make you look guilty or uninjured. If there is any money involved, you should involve an attorney.
After an accident, you may not be immediately aware of all your injuries, and the insurance carrier will push you to accept a settlement. A skilled accident attorney, however, can help get you the money you deserve. For more information, contact an auto accident attorney in your area today.