SHOULD I HIRE AN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
Being in a car accident is not just terrifying; it can be potentially devastating as well. Many car accidents result in serious injuries or even death. Even if you are able to move on from your injuries without lifelong disabilities, you could very well be saddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Additionally, you will often be forced to miss days of work; you could even lose your job or find yourself unable to work in the future due to long term issues connected to your injuries.
The question for many is what they'll do next, and whether or not they should get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. It can be difficult to decide when to hire an accident attorney. After all, the last thing you want to do is spend money on a case that has no merit. The good thing is that a reputable attorney will not take on your case unless it has merit. But you should still do some research ahead of time to decide whether or not you have a potential personal injury case on your hands.
IS HIRING AN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY WORTH IT?
Before you decide to hire an accident attorney, you may contemplate handling your personal injury case on your own. Technically, you don't need a lawyer in order to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. You could represent yourself in court, but this is incredibly ill-advised.
Not only would you probably lose your case due to a lack of experience; you would also potentially lose money as well. The reason why people choose to hire an accident attorney is that they will have the odds more in their favor than they would if they attempted to navigate their cases independently. If you lose your case, you may not only be without a win but with the court fees and even potentially your opponent's legal fees.
Another benefit of working with a lawyer is that they can actually drive the amount of your settlement up. Most personal injury attorneys push towards settling rather than advocating for long, drawn-out legal battles. In fact, 96% of all personal injury cases are settled in the pre-trial stage. A lawyer is able to argue for a larger settlement and use their legal weight to try to get you as much compensation for your accident as possible.
WHEN SHOULD I HIRE A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?
In terms of your timeline, you need to decide whether or not you will hire an accident attorney as quickly as possible. This is for several different reasons. For one thing, there are statutes of limitations surrounding personal injury cases. Every state has its own individual laws and regulations, but most will max out at two years.
Additionally, it's important that you get in touch with an attorney while the evidence surrounding your case is still fresh. Surveillance footage, for example, tends to be deleted fairly quickly, sometimes within a matter of months. Witnesses will also be stronger when they testify shortly after an incident, and will also be seen as more credible if less time has passed.
In terms of deciding whether or not you should consult with an attorney after a car crash, you will have to make your own judgment call. If you believe that you were not at fault for your car accident and another person was, you may have a valid case. Sometimes, the determining factors involved are fairly clear; if a driver was texting while driving or driving under the influence, you should get in touch with a lawyer quickly. Remember too that many lawyers offer initial consultations for free, which means that you lose nothing by talking to an attorney and asking questions.
Remember that when you pursue a personal injury case, you aren't just pursuing compensation. You're also pursuing recognition of what happened to you and ensuring that this traumatic event is recognized for what it was. By working with a lawyer, you'll have the best possible odds of achieving a settlement in your favor. Don't feel as if you lack the right to explore your options!