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Car Accidents: When Do You Need an Attorney?

Written by Teresa Te on December 14, 2017

Getting in a fender bender usually isn’t a big deal. You get tapped from behind, nobody is hurt, and the insurance company offers a small amount of money to fix the dent in your bumper. A high-force collision or other serious accident is another matter. While you might think everything is fine, be wary of moving on without exploring your legal options.

Do you Really Need a Lawyer?

We’ve all seen the cheesy commercials on TV, with the catchy jingles telling viewers to call an attorney if they’ve been hurt in a wreck, but is this something you should really do? While the exact answer depends on the circumstances of the accident, car accident lawyers are invaluable in time of need. Here are some of the top reasons why:

Help Paying Medical Bills

“If you suffer significant injuries in a car accident, you may face a serious financial setback,” attorney Benjamin T. Cochran warns. “You may have tens of thousands of dollars of unpaid medical bills, a loss of income from missed work, and diminished earning prospects in the future if your injuries will make it difficult to return to work or handle the physical demands of your former job.”

Medical bills aren’t cheap, so don’t just assume everything will work out for the best. Even a small, chronic injury can be extremely costly. If you don’t get the support you need, it could devastate your family’s financial future.

Dealing With Insurance Companies

“Insurance companies typically attempt to offer small settlements immediately following accidents to avoid going to court,” CarInsurance.org explains. “In the first few days following an accident, a few thousand dollars may sound like winning the lottery, but if your injuries persist and you end up missing weeks of work, settling such a claim for a few thousand will be the mistake of the decade.”

Insurance companies know how to coax people into settling – it’s what they do. If you don’t have a skilled car accident lawyer on your side, it’s possible that you’ll get just a fraction of what you deserve.

Investigative Resources

Trying to prove fault in a car accident isn’t always cut and dry. Sometimes you need to gather evidence and make a case in order to prove what happened. An attorney has the investigative resources to study the facts, gather evidence, and present a case.

Challenges Proving Liability

Proving liability in any legal case can be difficult. Trying to prove it in a car accident where both cars are totaled and there’s no witness or clear evidence to support either party’s claims is enormously challenging. (Even if you have a police report and witness on your side, it’s not necessarily a shut and close case.)

A skilled, experienced attorney will help you build a case and prove liability – even in the most challenging of cases. This allows you to focus on getting better, without stressing over the complexities of the case.

Don’t Regret Doing Nothing

A lot of people are under the assumption that meeting with a lawyer is the same as hiring a lawyer. The reality is that you can meet with an attorney, explain your situation, and gather feedback on whether or not you have a possible case. If the answer is no, you can easily back out. (Most attorneys offer free consultations, which means it probably won’t cost you a dime.)

A small injury right now might not seem like a big deal, but when the bills add up and you’re having trouble finding work, it will seem like a much more significant issue. The last thing you want is to end up regretting your decision not to hire a lawyer.