It’s a common question of accident victims: Do I need a lawyer? Especially for those who are involved in an accident in which they feel the other party was clearly at fault, it can seem unnecessary to retain legal representation. Often, minor accidents can be resolved fairly easily through insurance companies and small fines can be paid to law enforcement if necessary. At other times, however, the stakes are much higher, and only an experienced injury attorney can offer the knowledge and tools to ensure a positive outcome.
Why Do I Need an Experienced Lawyer for My Car Accident Case?
In general, an experienced personal injury attorney can offer services and knowledge that can help you prepare a more effective case. Typically, a lawyer has helped others in a similar situation, so they know how to navigate the legal system and keep you fully informed of all your rights. An attorney can help clients:
- Prepare documents. There is a large amount of paperwork involved in filing a legal claim. The appropriate documents must be completed correctly or the case can be delayed or even dismissed.
- File paperwork. Similarly, court documents must be filed with the appropriate court by specific deadlines. An experienced lawyer knows how and where to go to make sure that your case is prepared and executed promptly.
- Investigate and gather evidence. In preparation for insurance negotiations and court dates, an attorney and his support staff will investigate your accident. They can obtain for you any necessary evidence and retain expert witnesses if appropriate. An experienced attorney knows what it takes to be successful and can ensure that all the pertinent information is available to the deciding parties.
- Appear in court. In some cases, it is necessary to appear in court to make your case. Often, victims have never been involved in a legal matter and appearing in court can feel overwhelming. An attorney can help you prepare, state your case, and offer you the confidence you need to move forward.
- Negotiate with insurance companies. Often, personal injury cases are settled through negotiations with insurance companies. In an effort to protect their own bottom line, insurance adjustors will use many tactics to attempt to lower your settlement offer. A skilled and experienced attorney knows what is a fair offer and has to the tools to effectively negotiate so you and your family get what you deserve.
Some Situations Require the Knowledge of a Skilled Lawyer
While some minor cases can be resolved on your own, there are some car accident situations in which it is best to retain an attorney. These cases include:
- When an insurance company refuses to pay. If your insurance company or that of the responsible party refuse to pay what a victim is due, it can be necessary to retain counsel.
- There are multiple parties involved in the accident. Multiple parties can lead to complex litigation and even multiple lawsuits. It may be necessary to both protect your own rights and pursue a claim against another party. A skilled lawyer can help victims understand the law and decide how best to proceed.
- Victims suffered serious injury or death. In these traumatic cases, emotions run high and the stakes can be even higher. The accident has completely changed the lives of victims and their families, and it can be difficult to navigate complex legal issues during this difficult time.
- The victim may share some degree of blame. Rules about fault vary from state to state. In Washington, DC, the law is very strict when it comes to blame and pursuing a legal case. In Texas, an award or settlement can be reduced if the victim shares any responsibility for the accident. Assuredly, the opposing parties will attempt to deflect as much blame as possible to mitigate the damage to themselves and their bank accounts.
Accident Lawyers Can Help You Bear the Recovery Burden
The time after a car accident and resulting injury can be overwhelming and painful for victims and their families. They should have the time and energy to focus on their physical and emotional recovery, rather than trying to learn about and pursue a legal case. An experienced attorney can help families relieve some of that pressure by handling the often complex legal aspects of your case.
Additionally, failing to hire a skilled attorney could be more costly than an attorney’s fees. Once a settlement or verdict is reached and paperwork is signed, the case is closed. It is not usually possible to pursue a second claim if you feel you did not receive a fair outcome. With a trusted and effective legal advocate on their side, victims can ensure that they have the best chance for success.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car accident, you may be eligible to file a claim. The experienced lawyers at Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P., may be able to help you protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call our legal team toll free at 855-947-0707 to discuss your case and schedule a free consultation.