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Eric T. Chaffin
Eric T. Chaffin
Attorney • (888) 480-1123

10 Reasons Why You May Need an Attorney After a Car Accident

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After a car accident, most of us hope to walk away with minimal damage. We want to exchange insurance information, talk to the police, and get it all over with as quickly as possible. Sometimes, however, it’s wiser to take a step back and consider getting legal help. Here are some guidelines to help you decide when to do just that.

When Things Aren’t So Cut and Dried

If you notice minimal damage to your vehicle, and you are unhurt, you may be fine without consulting with a car accident attorney. Even then, it is common for pain, stiffness and injuries to reveal themselves days later. If any of the following are true you should think again and act quickly to consult with a lawyer.

  1. There’s been a serious injury or death. Whether it’s you, a passenger, victims in the other car (or cars) involved, or even pedestrians, if anyone is injured, you’ll best protect yourself and your interests by getting an attorney on your side.
  2. You’re looking at missing significant work time. No matter what the reason, if you’re missing work because of the accident, an attorney can help. He may be able to present a claim for you against those responsible for your injuries, and help you recover lost wages.
  3. The accident happened in a construction area. This can complicate things. A good lawyer can help protect you by thoroughly investigating the area. The construction company may have made mistakes in how they set up an intersection, for instance, or in leaving hazardous areas unmarked.
  4. The report doesn’t look right. If you get a copy of the police report and notice errors, or statements you feel are incorrect, an attorney can help protect your interests against other parties involved.
  5. You’re not sure who’s at fault. If fault is in question an attorney can help demystify the situation and make sure you still receive any compensation you deserve.
  6. You’re insurance agent doesn’t seem to be on your side. Insurance companies want to protect their bottom line. If you feel your agent is more concerned about the company’s profits and less concerned with paying damages (and in our experience they always are), an attorney can help. An attorney can also handle the negotiations with an insurer, and with filling out any necessary paperwork and forms to maximize the amount you recover.
  7. You’re the victim and the at-fault insurer is hesitating. If it’s clear the other driver was at fault, such as in drunk-driving accidents, and his insurance company is balking at paying your claim, an attorney can help fight your battle. He can also help protect you against insurers who refuse to pay because of technicalities, or refuse to pay certain medical bills.
  8. You don’t have time. If you’re a car accident victim, you can be looking at spending significant hours filling out paperwork, making statements, pulling evidence together, and more. All of this is time away from your family, work and leisure time. If you are already crunched for time, an attorney can prove very helpful in managing all the details for you.
  9. You want it over and done. A car accident claim can leave a lot of odds and ends around that need to be taken care of. After your claim is paid, one of the health insurance companies may need to be reimbursed, and there may be leftover medical expenses that also need to be handled. A car accident attorney can ensure all bills are paid and all claims are settled so you don’t have any surprises down the road.
  10. You’re not sure what you deserve. This may be the biggest reason to hire an attorney. They may be able to find additional sources of recovery to which you are entitled that you may not have known about on your own. They can also help protect you by addressing any other claims prior to settlement so you’re not left owing any money once the case is settled. Also, if the insurance company refused to offer you a fair settlement, an attorney can file suit for you―take the insurance company to court―to get you what you deserve.