If you’re like many people who have been injured in a car accident, you’ve thought about whether you should call an attorney – but you just haven’t done it yet. That’s understandable; a lot of people aren’t sure about calling a lawyer, particularly when they feel their injuries aren’t serious or they’re waiting to find out how much their own insurance company will pay out.
But waiting to call a lawyer could be a big mistake. Here’s what you need to know.
Should You Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Nobody plans to be involved in a car crash, but it happens more often than it should. If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you should call a lawyer immediately – even if your injuries are minor or you’re sure that your insurance company will pay for your vehicle’s damage. There are two big reasons for this: Some injuries don’t show up right away or worsen with time, and an attorney can help you with an insurance claim even if you don’t have to deal with the other party’s insurance agent.
If you or someone you care about requires medical attention after a car accident, it’s a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Your Attorney Can Help You With Your Own Insurance Claim
Unfortunately, no matter what an insurance company’s commercials say, they’re not really on your side. Even your own insurance company’s primary focus is to save money rather than ensure you get the compensation you deserve. While you’ll most likely have a better experience with your own insurance company than you would with the other party’s insurance company, it’s still a good idea for most people to work with an attorney who understands how car crash claims work – and who’s willing to fight hard to get you what you deserve.
You can settle a claim without an attorney’s help, but the outcome may not be the same as it would if you’d worked with a lawyer.
Personal Injury Claims vs. Lawsuits
A personal injury claim is different from a lawsuit, but an attorney can help you with either. A claim is simply the process you go through with your insurance company or with the other party’s insurance company, while a lawsuit is the process of taking an insurance company (or another entity) to court where a judge will decide the outcome.
Why You Should Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident
When you have a personal injury attorney by your side right from the start, you may find that everything proceeds more smoothly – and you may even be able to avoid a lawsuit entirely.
If you’ve never been involved in an insurance claim before, you may be surprised to learn that things can get really complicated. You might also be surprised to learn that your own insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible to settle your case, and to that end, if you say the wrong thing (such as “It was partly my fault”), your insurance company may not pay you what you deserve. That’s just one benefit to having an attorney deal with the insurance company for you. Even better, though, is that he or she can deal with the other party’s insurance company.
The other party’s insurance company really doesn’t want to pay you a settlement. Their adjusters are trained to get you to admit responsibility for what happened or to make statements that mean they don’t have to pay out – and that’s why it’s a good idea to have an attorney handle those communications. Your lawyer can also negotiate with the insurance company.
But most importantly, having an attorney on your side puts the insurance company on notice that you have a professional looking out for you. It lets the insurance company know that someone’s there to tell you if you should file a formal lawsuit in court (which most insurance companies desperately want to avoid).
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car accident, we can help. Give us a call at 818-230-8380 as soon as you’re able. We’ll be happy to give you the legal advice you need.