After a car accident, your first priority should be recovering physically and emotionally as much as possible. It is equally important, however, to protect your legal rights. Attempting to pursue a complicated legal claim without the benefit of an attorney in your corner is usually not a good idea. The other parties involved in the matter will likely have a legal team at their disposal. If you do not have an attorney to represent your interests, you will be going up against other attorneys with experience handling these types of claim. The primary goal of the attorneys representing the other parties is to minimize the amount of compensation you ultimately receive. In most cases, it is critical to have a knowledgeable attorney in your corner.
Two Situations Where You May Not Need an Attorney after a Car Accident
While most car accident injury victims will benefit from having an experienced attorney represent them when pursuing a claim, there are certain limited circumstances where you may be able to handle the claim on your own behalf, including the following scenarios:
- You are dealing with property damage only. When you are only dealing with the cost of repair or the value of your vehicle, there is plenty of information available to you that will allow you to reach an appropriate settlement of your property damage claim without the need for an attorney. It is important, however, to educate yourself about the best way to handle a property damage claim before proceeding.
- You suffered only a minor injury that did not require medical attention. In these situations, there really is no reason for an attorney to be involved. You should be able to fully explain the nature and extent of the injury you received and, if you did not need medical care, there are no complicated medical billing and reimbursement issues.
Five Reasons You Need an Attorney after a Car Accident
If your situation is like the vast majority of cases, however, you would benefit significantly from having an attorney in your corner. There are several ways in which having an attorney can help you achieve a successful outcome after a car accident that leaves you with injuries or property damage, such as:
- An experienced personal injury lawyer can appropriately evaluate your case and determine what your case is worth. Unless you have handled hundreds of these cases, you really have no way of determining whether the insurance company is taking advantage of you.
- Submitting your injury claim involves more than simply collecting and sending your medical bills. Most cases require the preparation of a detailed demand package that fully covers both the liability issues and the nature and extent of your injuries and damages. For example, this may require reports from experts, doctors, economists and rehabilitation specialists.
- An experienced personal injury lawyer who has handled hundreds of injury claims and cases has the ability to appropriately advocate and negotiate your case with the insurance company.
- An experienced personal injury lawyer has the ability to identify the obligations you may have with regard to reimbursing your medical insurance company for the medical bills it has paid in connection with the accident. This area of the law can be quite complicated.
- There are dozens of missteps you can make if you do not have an experienced attorney guiding you. These missteps can occur during your treatment, during conversations with the insurance adjuster, and at many other times during the claim process. Unless you have experience pursuing this type of claim, you are unlikely to be able to anticipate these potential missteps. Unfortunately, if you attempt to pursue a claim without the assistance of an experienced attorney, you cannot go back later and undo what has already been done. Learn more about these missteps (and how to avoid them) in our free book Don’t Wreck Your Injury Claim here!
Clearly, situations where a victim would benefit from legal representation for a car accident claim far outnumber situations in which having an attorney is unnecessary. Fortunately, we are here to provide you with the assistance you need after a crash. When you are ready to take the next steps, contact us at 816-471-5111 for a free, no-obligation consultation.