Whether you’ve been in a minor or major accident, it’s usually a good idea to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible so you can have legal representation. Although insurance companies say that minor accidents can be handled by insurance adjusters, there may be circumstances in which your car accident case is too complicated for the insurance company to handle, meaning your claim will have to go to court so that you can receive compensation. Here are a few other reasons why you may want to hire a lawyer quickly after an accident
Five Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
1. Serious Injuries
One of the biggest reasons to quickly hire a Kansas City personal injury lawyer specializing in car accidents is because you or the other driver have been seriously injured. Minor injuries such as burns, scrapes, and sprains that can be healed within a few weeks typically won’t require the assistance of a lawyer to seek compensation. However, serious injuries to either driver can make your case much more complicated.
If there are head injuries, broken bones, loss of limb, paralysis, or permanent disability, these all can incur extensive medical bills, which means you may require more compensation to pay for these expenses. Your insurance company may only cover part of your medical expenses, so you may need to go to court to seek compensation from the other driver to cover your medical bills.
2. Insurance Claims
Usually, one of the first things drivers will do after a car accident is contact the insurance company to file a claim to process payments to repair the vehicle. Most of the time, the insurance company is willing to work with drivers to provide compensation up to the limit of the driver’s policy. However, there are times when the insurance company refuses to make an appropriate settlement offer.
For example, your insurance company may be reluctant to honor your claim if they believe you are liable for the accident. Even if your policy indicates that you should receive compensation, the insurance company may lowball your settlement offer so that you have to pay for repairs or medical bills out of pocket.
3. Evidence Gathering
You may also need assistance gathering evidence, particularly if you are seeking compensation from the other driver in court. For example, a lawyer may be able to help you easily obtain police records, accident reports, medical documents, photographic or video evidence, and even expert forensic analysis of the accident. This is especially important if the other driver holds that you are responsible for the accident.
It may also be crucial to gather evidence that proves your injuries are related to the accident. Some insurance companies will refuse a claim because they believe your condition is pre-existing. However, a lawyer will be able to use evidence to prove that your injury was sustained in the accident.
4. Legal Advice
It’s also wise to hire a car accident lawyer for legal advice. Most drivers don’t think about it, but when they are talking to other lawyers or the insurance company, there’s always the risk of self-incrimination. Sometimes, the individuals you speak with after an accident are looking for evidence to disprove your claims about the accident. With the advice of a lawyer, you can learn about the things you shouldn’t say after an accident that may complicate your ability to get compensation.
A lawyer will advise you to seek medical treatment even if you only sustained minor injuries. A lawyer may also tell you to avoid saying “I’m fine”, which may undercut your legal case claim. With legal advice, you can redirect insurance companies or other lawyers to your legal representative and focus on recovery after the accident.
5. Statute of Limitations
Finally, it’s important to contact a lawyer after an accident because of the statute of limitations. Most car accidents have statutes of five years after the accident in which you were able to file a claim or lawsuit. If you missed this deadline, then you will not be able to seek compensation for your injuries or property damage.
Furthermore, lawyers are more willing to work with drivers who contact them quickly after an accident than drivers who procrastinate filing a case. This is because the evidence is more readily available immediately after an accident. If you want to have the best grounds for your case, then contacting a lawyer is the best idea.
There are a few scenarios in which it is a good idea to contact a car accident attorney after an accident quickly. You may need a personal injury lawyer on your side if there have been serious injuries related to the accident, if you need help gathering evidence, or if you need help with your insurance claim.