Should You Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault?
Are you wondering, “Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t my fault”? While you are not at fault for the recent car accident you were in, that does not change the fact that you have car damage and injuries to tend to. You do not know if you should comply with the at-fault party’s insurance provider on your own. This is especially true if all signs point to another driver bearing all responsibility for the accident. Is it worth the time to hire a lawyer for an accident that was clearly not your fault?
Must You Consult a Lawyer Before Filing an Insurance Claim?
The simplest answer to your question is that you do not bear an obligation to get a lawyer for a car accident that was not your fault. That said, working with one could help ensure that you get the compensation you need and deserve for the car damage and injuries.
Say that after the car accident, you got the at-fault driver’s insurance information. You are ready to file a claim, but should you continue without a lawyer’s guidance? Depending on the state you live in, the at-fault driver may bear responsibility for your injuries and property damage. But you may want to use your own car insurance’s personal injury protection to cover your medical bills. Often, insurance companies work their hardest to keep from accepting claims. Even if you get a claim approval, you may not receive the amount you legally deserve. That is why you are better off working alongside a lawyer while seeking compensation for the .
That said, if you only sustained a few scratches and a dented bumper in the crash, then working with the other driver’s insurance company alone may not be such a terrible idea. It is when your injuries are so severe that you must miss work that you should seriously think about working with a legal advocate.
Is There a Reason Insurance Companies Are Often Difficult To Work With?
Insurance companies want to hold on to as much money as possible rather than lose it to clients. But is there another reason insurance companies work so hard to disprove claims? Unfortunately, many people attempt to scam insurance companies out of money. This is one reason companies go to such lengths to punch holes in claims. No matter if you work with an attorney, expect the other party’s insurance provider to scrutinize every page of your medical records and look for ambiguities in police reports and your account of the car accident with the at-fault party.
Also, insurance companies have a fiduciary duty to policyholders, which means they must act as advocates for their policyholders. Failing to do so could even result in legal action against an insurance company brought by one of the provider’s own policyholders. Legal professionals understand this, which perfectly positions them to go toe to toe with insurance providers.
What Damages Should You Seek Against the At-Fault Driver?
You understand the other party’s insurance company owes you compensation, but do you know what kind of compensation? You have medical bills and auto repairs to cover, but what else? There is a chance that your injuries are more extensive than you or a physician anticipated. If you need follow-up treatment or if a doctor prescribes medication for your injury, you must factor in future expected medical costs. Serious or extensive injuries may require you to take time off work while you recover. Though, you still need some way to make up lost wages. Even if you can still do your job, your injuries may keep you from performing the same level of work as before. This may result in a reduced overall earning capacity.
Rather than physical injuries you can see on X-rays, diagnostic tests and bloodwork, you may have psychological scars. It is not unusual to hear of car crashes leaving people with PTSD, anxiety, depression and similar mental health conditions. If you fall under this category, you may qualify to receive damages for your pain and suffering. Was the at-fault motorist driving drunk, street racing, fleeing from the police or otherwise behaving recklessly? If so, and if you and your lawyer can prove recklessness, you could seek punitive damages.
How Do You Prove Fault in a Car Accident?
If the other party’s coverage provider does not feel the policyholder is as responsible for the accident as you do, you may have to gather evidence to build your case. For instance, you can submit the police report to demonstrate that the officer who investigated the scene of the crash felt the other driver was at fault. If the other person broke traffic laws and caused the accident, you can look up recent laws and codes at public law libraries or state government websites. When you find solid evidence that the person broke traffic laws, present it to the insurance company. Regardless of whether it is you or a legal advocate researching traffic laws, you must use the law or code’s exact wording. This is due to the fact that the insurance company will double-check your findings for accuracy.
Is It Too Late To Work With a Lawyer?
Your accident with a negligent or reckless driver may have happened days, weeks or even months ago. Whether you still have time to take your case to a legal professional depends on your state’s statute of limitations. Maybe you and the other driver exchanged insurance information and made a police report, but you did not think you were injured at the time. Now, you suspect your recent aches, pain, soreness or other medical condition may be because of the incident. Get in touch with a legal specialist ASAP. The at-fault party’s insurance company may not accept your car accident claim if you wait too long to file.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
Do yourself a favor and allow a legal advocate to take over your auto crash; you do not have to handle your situation — or the at-fault driver’s insurance company — alone. Think about how much you stand to lose without a lawyer’s insight and experience. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!