What Can a Lawyer Do For You After a Car Accident?

Feb 6, 2024 | Right Path Law Group
What Can a Lawyer Do For You After a Car Accident?

One of the first decisions that you will make after you have suffered an injury in a car accident is whether you will hire a lawyer to represent you in the legal process.

Do not spend too much time considering this question. Always get legal help when seeking financial compensation. There is far too much at stake, and you need all the firepower at your disposal you can muster.

No law says you cannot file a claim independently. However, to understand why you should hire a lawyer, you must learn their role in your car accident case. You are always better off when you retain counsel to deal with the insurance company on your behalf. You have a better chance of getting a settlement offer in the first place and are more likely to end up with a significant check.

Contact one today if you have yet to call a car accident lawyer. The longer you go without legal representation, the more at risk you fall victim to the aggressive tactics that an insurance company will use to shortchange you.

What Can a Lawyer Do For You After a Car Accident?

Car accident lawyers often discuss standing up for your legal rights at every turn, and although the term may seem like a cliché, it has a definite legal meaning in your case.

If someone else was to blame for your car accident, you can receive total compensation for your injuries. The insurance company will owe you money up to the amount of the policy limit, and you may even pursue the other driver directly if you have suffered severe injuries in the accident.

In addition, you have the right to compensation from your insurance company if you have underinsured motorist coverage and the other driver’s policy was not enough to pay for all your damages.

Even though you have the legal right to compensation, it does not mean you will get it. Your car accident case is only worth what you eventually can get in a settlement or award. If your lawyer does not stand up for you, insurance companies may keep you from getting money entirely, or they may try to settle your claim for pennies on the dollar.

Your Lawyer Can Keep You from Making a Mistake

You can do many things that can sink your legal case. Once you have said or done something after a car accident, taking it back or undoing the damage is complicated. It does not matter that you did not have legal representation when you made the mistake. Insurance companies will treat it as an admission and do everything they can to exploit the situation in their favor.

You can make the following mistakes in a car accident case:

  • Saying anything to the other driver’s insurance company that it can use as an admission of fault for the accident
  • Saying anything to the other driver’s insurance company that may downplay the severity of your injuries (even telling them that you are “ok” can be twisted and taken out of context)
  • Posting anything on social media or speaking to multiple people about your accident

It is better not to say anything about your accident, and you should never speak to the other driver’s insurance company under any circumstances.

You can also make a mistake by signing something that releases insurance companies from any further obligation in your case. They may try to rush you into accepting a quick and low settlement agreement that will put some money in your pocket but keep you from getting anything else.

Your Car Accident Lawyer Can Gather the Evidence That Can Prove Liability

Before getting a single dollar from a car accident claim, you must prove that the other driver was negligent. In a car accident case, negligence means the other driver did something unreasonable under the circumstances.

Your word counts for nothing as far as the insurance company is concerned; therefore, you must back up every contention that you are making with proof. You have limited time to obtain evidence before it goes away, and it is no longer helpful.

Car accident evidence can include:

  • Witness statements from people who saw what happened
  • Picture of the scene of the accident (including the skidmarks and an analysis of them)
  • Dashcam or traffic camera footage
  • Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert who will give their opinion about which driver caused the accident
  • The police report on the accident (which will be a part of your insurance claim)

You may use this evidence to prove to hold the other driver responsible for the accident.

You may need to determine the full extent of your legal rights after a car accident. You understand that the other driver was to blame for the accident, but you may not know what to do, and nobody will put money into your pocket. If the insurance companies are trying to give you money, you can be confident that they have an ulterior motive.

You have two potential options when you have suffered an injury in a car accident:

  • You can file a claim against the responsible driver’s car accident insurance
  • You can file a lawsuit against the other driver, which the insurance company will defend

What you do depends on the facts and circumstances of your situation, and an experienced lawyer will work with you to determine the most effective path forward. First, they must investigate your car accident and help decide whether or not you have a solid legal case.

Your lawyer will explain how the legal process works and how your case may unfold. Without an attorney, you may struggle to figure out how to get the financial compensation you deserve.

A Car Accident Lawyer Will Estimate the Value of Your Claim

Even if liability seems to be a sure thing in your car accident case, your real fight may come when you try to get every dollar coming to you. Insurance companies can concede liability without a battle because they know that they can drag out your claim in the settlement phase of your claim.

You must know how much your case is worth. Otherwise, you may accept what the insurance company offers without putting up your own fight. That amount of money will not compensate you for all of your expenses.

Your compensation consists of:

Knowing the value of your claim will give you a starting point for settlement negotiations. You can rest assured that the insurance company’s adjuster has detailed information to guide them throughout your claim.

Your Attorney Will Deal With the Insurance Company on Your Behalf

Insurance companies will certainly not do anything just because you ask them nicely. These companies, which are for-profit businesses to their core, have earned their reputations from years of hardball tactics. Insurance companies aim to weaken your legal and financial position because they ultimately want to pay you as little as possible for your claim.

If insurance companies talk to you, they will use an entirely different tone than when conversing with your lawyer. They will act like they have power over you and your fate, knowing you have the legal rights they must honor.

Your attorney will elicit an entirely different communication style, and the insurance companies will show you more respect, knowing you have recourse against them and the means to use it.

Your lawyer knows how to fight fire with fire, keeping the insurance companies honest and not allowing them to take advantage of you.

Your Lawyer Will Take Your Case as Far as It Needs to Go

Your lawyer’s job is to do whatever they have to so they can maximize your financial compensation. You will most likely reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company that pays for your injuries.

You may need to go to varying lengths to settle your claim, and chances are that you will need to negotiate several times before you reach any agreement. You will have to say no (through your lawyer) to many subpar settlement offers and counter with your demands.

Your lawyer may need to file a lawsuit on your behalf in court if the insurance company is on a completely different page. Your attorney can pull the plug on the claims process to take your case to court. At that point, the jury will decide your case after you have gone through the trial process.

Insurance companies, fearing a jury verdict that can cost them more money, may settle your case on more favorable terms.

When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer

You will pay the same percentage of the proceeds of your case to a lawyer regardless of when you hire them for your case. Therefore, it makes sense to hire an attorney right after the accident to get the most benefit from their services.

After you have suffered an injury, there is little that you can do other than worry, and you are not in any position to pursue compensation on your own. You know you deserve money but must figure out how to get it.

Hiring an attorney as soon as possible can help ease your and your family’s minds. You know that you have a protector and an advocate who will go to bat for you at all times.

If you wait too long to hire an attorney, it can place unnecessary obstacles in your path when you are seeking compensation for your injuries. It is better to play it safe than to be sorry, and you should hire an attorney as soon as possible.

Do Not Worry About Affording a Lawyer

After you understand everything a car accident lawyer does in your case, you may wonder how you can afford their services. Stop worrying about it now because you will not have problems getting legal representation.

When you hire your lawyer, you will sign a representation agreement with them stating how much payment your lawyer will receive for handling your case. You never have to pay an attorney out of your pocket for their time at any point in your case.

If you win your case, you will be legally obligated to pay your attorney. However, you still do not have to write them a check from your finances because a portion of your settlement or award goes into your lawyer’s escrow account.

If you do not win your case, your lawyer will not make things worse by sending you a bill for what they did. If you do not receive payment, neither does your lawyer. Thus, you can have peace of mind when you hire an attorney for your car accident case.

What to Expect from a Consultation with a Car Accident Attorney

Pierre Prialé, Attorney for Car Accident in Fairfax
Pierre Prialé, Car Accident Lawyer

Many people are intimidated by the idea of speaking with a lawyer, though you should realize these professionals are only here to help. When scheduling a consultation with a car accident attorney, here’s what you can expect.

First and foremost, the consultation provides an opportunity for the attorney to hear your case and understand the circumstances surrounding the crash. They will listen empathetically, allowing you to share the details of the accident and your injuries. During this time, feel free to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have.

Next, the attorney will assess the strength of your case. They will carefully review the evidence, such as accident reports, medical records, and witness statements. Based on their extensive legal experience, they will provide an honest evaluation of your case’s viability and the potential for obtaining compensation.

Overall, a consultation with a personal injury attorney is an opportunity to gain valuable insights and guidance from a legal professional with extensive experience in car accident cases. They will offer support, answer your questions, and help you make informed decisions about your next steps.

Remember, you don’t have to face this challenging situation alone, as a skilled attorney is here to provide the support and advocacy you need.