Car accidents are a common occurrence on roads and highways around the country. In fact, on average, there are over 6 million passenger car accidents in the United States every year, and they can have serious consequences for those involved. From physical injuries to emotional trauma and financial losses, accidents can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate alone. That is why it can be beneficial to seek the assistance of a car accident attorney in some cases.
In this article, we’ll explore scenarios where it’s important to have an attorney by your side and provide some tips on how to choose the right car accident lawyer. With an online search, you can find the many local car accident attorneys offering their services right now.
When To Hire An Attorney
Car accidents can be a traumatic experience that can result in serious physical injuries, emotional distress, and financial losses. If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering whether you need to hire a car accident attorney to help with your case. Some of the signs that you may need to seek legal assistance include the following.
1. Serious Injuries
If you have suffered serious injuries as a result of a car accident, it is crucial to seek legal representation. Serious injuries may include broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, or any other injuries that require hospitalization or long-term medical treatment. A car accident attorney can help you assess the full extent of your injuries and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Hiring a lawyer is just as important if a passenger in your vehicle or the person in another vehicle involved in the accident were seriously injured.
2. Liability Dispute
If there is a dispute over who is at fault for the car accident, it may be necessary to hire an attorney. Proving liability in a car accident case can be challenging, and insurance companies will often try to minimize their liability or shift the blame to the other driver. A car accident attorney can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf.
3. Insurance Company Denial
If your insurance company has denied your claim or offered you a low settlement amount, it may be time to seek legal representation. Insurance companies are in the business of making a profit, and they will often try to settle claims for as little as possible. A car accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve.
4. Complexities of the Case
If your case is complex and involves multiple parties, it may be wise to hire a car accident attorney. For example, if the accident involved a commercial vehicle, a government entity, or a defective product, a car accident attorney can help navigate the complexities of the case and ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable.
5. Statute of Limitations
It’s important to seek legal representation before the statute of limitations expires. In all states, there is a limited amount of time in which you can file a car accident lawsuit. If you miss that deadline, you are likely to lose your right to pursue legal action.
It varies quite a bit from state to state, ranging from one to six years after the incident. A lawyer can help you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations and ensure that your case is handled in a timely manner.
How To Choose An Attorney
The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, and choosing the right car accident attorney can feel like a daunting task. With so many attorneys to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best fit for your situation. Here are some tips on how to choose the right car accident attorney for your needs.
1. Experience and Expertise
Consider an attorney’s experience and expertise in handling car accident cases. Look for someone who has a proven track record of success in handling cases similar to yours, or a law firm that specializes in auto-related or personal injury lawsuits. This will ensure that they have expertise in the area of law that you’ll be filing a claim in.
2. Communication and Availability
Communication and availability are crucial when working with a car accident attorney. You want an attorney who is responsive and keeps you updated on the progress of your case. During your initial consultation, pay attention to how the attorney communicates with you and whether they make time to answer your questions and concerns.
Choose an attorney who you feel comfortable with. Since you’ll be working closely with them throughout the case, it’s important to have a good rapport. During your initial consultation, trust your instincts and choose an attorney who you feel is genuinely interested in helping you.
3. Reputation and Reviews
Reputation and reviews can provide valuable insight into an attorney’s performance and professionalism. Research the attorney’s reputation online and read reviews from past clients. Additionally, check to see if the attorney has any disciplinary actions or complaints filed against them.
4. Fee Structure
The fee structure can vary among car accident attorneys. Some attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only get paid – often a percentage of the settlement or court award – if they win your case. Others may charge an hourly rate or a fixed fee.
Typical contingency fees in the United States are 33%, but can be up to 40%. It’s also important to note that only plaintiffs, or the person filing the lawsuit, can use a contingency fee arrangement. If you are the defendant, or the person or entity being sued, you should expect to pay an hourly rate, which varies widely amongst lawyers. Make sure to discuss the fee structure with the attorney during your initial consultation to ensure that it aligns with your budget and expectations.
Search For a Reputable Car Accident Attorney
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can be a critical step in recovering from a car accident. The right attorney can provide the legal guidance and support you need to navigate the complex process of filing a car accident claim. They can help you assess the full extent of your injuries, determine liability, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for fair compensation.
By choosing an attorney with experience and expertise in handling car accident cases, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome. Remember to research your options, ask questions, and choose an attorney who you feel comfortable working with. With the right attorney by your side, you can focus on healing and moving forward after a car accident.