Should I Wait to Call a Lawyer for Car Accidents? | Auto Accident Attorney
If you suffered harm due to the negligence or carelessness of another driver, you may wonder: “should I contact a lawyer after a car accident?” The answer is an unequivocal yes.
Motor vehicle accidents continue to plague the United States, many experts consider it a full-blown public health crisis. Recent data shows that over 46,000 individuals lose their lives every year in motor vehicle accidents in the US alone. In addition, more than 4.4 million are injured seriously enough that they need emergency medical attention. Also, the overall economic impact of road crashes comes at a $871 billion cost, with more than $380 million in direct medical costs.
If you have injuries from a motor vehicle accident, you are not alone. Many, many others have gone through the same issues, or are currently navigating similar circumstances.
Should I Contact a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
You should absolutely contact a lawyer after a car accident, if even for a simple case evaluation. It is the most important thing you can do, and it comes at no out of pocket cost, or commitment.
See, most car accident attorneys offer free initial consultations. During this consultation, they will assess the accident, and your injuries, to determine whether you have a valid accident claim. They’ll also provide some helpful guidance on next steps. If you feel that they are a “good fit,” you can move forward with them, then agree to have them represent you in litigation.
Either way, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.
When Should You Contact a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
You should call a lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident. In fact, they should be one of your first phone calls. Here are a few reasons why:
Statute of Limitations
Every state has a personal injury statute of limitations. This is a deadline that mandates how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. In some states, it is as short as a year or two. It can be even shorter if your injury claim is against a government entity. Keep in mind that your auto accident attorney will need time to work on your legal case before they can file a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, the sooner you contact them, the better. They will know what statute of limitations apply to your accident case to keep it moving in a timely manner.
Maximizing Claim Value
Car accident insurance adjustors have a habit of reaching out to injured claimants shortly after they file a legal claim. This is no mistake; they want to talk to them about a settlement while the getting is good. At this stage, most injured parties haven’t yet contacted a lawyer for car accidents to find out what their claim is really worth. When they receive a call from an insurance adjuster already offering a settlement, they might be happy to receive it so quickly. They might accept the settlement offer, not yet knowing their personal injury claim might be worth much more. The sooner you contact a personal injury lawyer, the sooner you will know the actual value of your accident claim and not fall for lowball settlement offers.
Protecting You From Insurance Company Tactics
Insurance companies use many tactics to avoid paying claims or the full value of the claims they receive. When you speak directly with them, you leave yourself open to more of their tactics. For example, they might twist what you say. If they call you and ask how you are doing today, you might answer, “Fine.” This doesn’t mean you are healed from your injuries and living your life as usual; it just means you are fine. However, they will use something as simple as that to their advantage, arguing that you must not have significant injuries or that you are already healed since you said you were fine. Insurance adjustors might also ask for recorded statements that they can use against you. You have the right to refuse to give such a statement. When you hire a car accident attorney, you no longer need to have direct contact with the insurance company. If the insurance company needs to speak to you, your lawyer will be present to protect your rights.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Most lawyers for car accidents work on contingency, which means that they don’t get paid until and unless they obtain compensation on your behalf. Simply put: they only get paid if you do.
If and when they reach a settlement or receive a court award on your behalf, they take a percentage cut of the winnings. This can vary from 25 to 40 percent, depending on a number of different factors.
In the vast majority of cases, victims obtain significantly more compensation than they would if they handed their cases themselves. Hiring a lawyer for car accidents is a good investment, and it’s a “free” investment, too.
Find the Best Car Accident Lawyer Near You
If you need to find the best car accident lawyer near you, you have come to the right place. Simply call us at 1-800-THE-LAW2 or complete our form to get connected to a licensed attorney in your area in just 10 minutes or less. Consultation is free, so don’t delay!