Car crashes are problematic for victims for many reasons. For example, a motor vehicle accident can likely cause painful injuries that affect your health and life. Subsequently, treating those injuries and the consequences of the impacts on your life can cause you financial pressure from medical bills and the need to meet your daily living expenses.
You may want to move as quickly as possible to get the compensation you need when you are a car crash victim. However, before you take any action on your claim or speak to the insurance company, calling a lawyer is in your best interest and the best interest of your case. A lawyer can help you sort through the messy aftermath of a car accident and take the right action to protect your right to seek compensation from the party or parties responsible.
Understanding what a lawyer can do for you after a car accident and the benefit of hiring a car accident attorney early in your claim can help you make the best decisions when seeking compensation for your damages.
Provide a Free Case Consultation
Car accident attorneys understand that every car accident is a different scenario, and the facts of each case can influence how much compensation a victim may be eligible for under the law. As part of the process of hiring a car accident lawyer, a lawyer or a personal injury firm can provide car accident victims with a free case consultation.
Case consultation is when you can freely discuss the facts leading to your injuries and an accident with an attorney and what the law may entitle you to. This is also a time for a lawyer to understand your case and decide whether they can take you as a client to represent you in an accident claim.
Free case consultations with a lawyer after a car accident offer you an opportunity to speak with the lawyer without risk, ask questions, and determine whether they are a good fit to represent you in your case.
Investigate the Cause of the Accident
Once you hire your lawyer, they can begin to work on the specifics of your car accident claim. One of the first things a lawyer may do is investigate the accident and the parties involved. Unlike an accident victim who may not know where to start or have the resources to conduct their own investigation, a car accident lawyer engages in this work each day. They know what to look for and how to apply their knowledge and resources to seek any issues or discrepancies in an accident investigation that could affect the outcome of your case and benefit you.
An accident investigation allows a lawyer to look in depth at what occurred and how the events leading to the crash and your injuries developed. While police officers at the scene of the crash and insurance companies will also investigate the crash, your car accident lawyer can take a closer look to ensure that no vital details or facts that may influence your case are missing and that if any new information appears that the insurance company becomes aware of it and the possible implications of the evidence on your case and claim.
Determine Who You Can Hold Liable for Your Damages
To file a claim for your losses and seek the compensation available to you under the law, you must determine who you can hold liable. The answer to who is liable in a car accident may not always be as straightforward as it seems. A car accident attorney can look at all the parties involved and any relationships with other parties or entities that could affect who is liable to you and, in turn, who should be responsible for paying your losses and damages due to the crash. Liability in car accidents is an area where insurance companies can give victims a hard time.
Whether additional parties played a role in the crash and the determination of fault by an insurer could have an impact on how much compensation an insurance company may offer you as a settlement or if they choose to deny your claim entirely. Having a lawyer can alleviate the stress of figuring out who the party responsible is and what insurer to file a claim with. Your lawyer will look at all options available and move forward in a way that has your best interest in mind and the most likely path to a successful resolution of your damages claim.
Identify, Retrieve, and Collect Evidence to Support Your Case
Evidence is a crucial part of every accident claim. Whether you are trying to prove who is to blame for the collision or the extent and impact of the injuries you suffered on your life and work, evidence is necessary. Knowing the best evidence to prove your claims or what evidence may be available is a challenging task. As a car accident victim, you may have some vital pieces of evidence in your possession, but not all.
A car accident attorney has the resources and experience to track down the evidence available and determine how it can help your case. For example, videos from traffic cameras or nearby businesses and homes of an accident scene can provide critical perspectives and views of a crash scene that may reveal the moments before and after a crash.
However, getting ahold of this type of evidence is not easy, and much of it is time sensitive and at risk of getting deleted or lost if action is not taken quickly. Contacting a car accident lawyer as soon as an accident happens can help you preserve this evidence when possible.
Interview Witnesses or Experts That May Help With Your Claim
The evidence that can help a car accident victim does not only come in the form of photographs, videos, reports, or records. Testimony by you, witnesses, and experts can help support the claims you make about the accident and your subsequent damages.
A car accident attorney can help you by contacting and interviewing witnesses that may have seen what transpired the day of the accident or the actions or behaviors of another driver that played a role in the collision and your injuries.
Furthermore, experts can play an important role in some car accident cases. There are many experts who analyze car accident scenes, damages, injuries, etc., and can provide better insight and explain what occurred and why in terms of the car accident, your injuries, or your resulting damages. Car accident attorneys can help you find the right experts, if appropriate, in your case and help you arrange for testimony by the expert when possible.
Communicate With the Insurance Company and Other Parties to the Case
A car accident claim can involve much back and forth between the insurance company and other parties, such as other drivers, vehicle occupants, vehicle repair companies, and medical providers. Keeping track and managing these many parties and elements to a car accident claim can be overwhelming and impossible for a car accident victim trying to heal from their injuries and get back to their life and routine. A car accident attorney gives you peace of mind and relief as they handle this aspect of your claim and legal representation. Your attorney and their team can handle your case’s day-to-day communications and management. Once you hire a lawyer to represent you, you can direct all accident related inquiries and calls to them.
Calculating Your Damages
To seek compensation through an insurance claim or case for car accident damages, you need a car accident lawyer who knows what you can recover in a claim. An accurate calculation of all of your losses is how you will know the maximum compensation available to you under the law and then can determine how an offer of settlement from an insurance company compares.
If you calculate your losses on your own, you will likely miss damages or undervalue your losses compared to the maximum damages available after a car accident. For example, damages such as pain and suffering and impacts on future income are not something a victim can easily or readily calculate on their own. Having a car accident lawyer with an understanding of the laws pertaining to damages will allow them to calculate your losses and maximum damages to best negotiate the maximum offer possible from an insurance company.
Work on Negotiations in Your Case
Once you and your lawyer know the damages possible for your claim, they will work on your behalf to communicate with insurance representatives and negotiate the best possible outcome. Insurance companies can make an offer to you, but that does not mean you must accept. You should discuss all settlement offers with your lawyer. Your attorney can help you review the different categories of damages and compare them to your damage calculations.
With an attorney’s guidance and advice, you can also determine when it may be in your best interest to accept an offer versus when it may be worth submitting a counteroffer. There is also the possibility that an offer is not possible after failed negotiations or the stance taken by the insurer in a claim. Sometimes, seeking intervention through court may become a possible option in a car accident case. While going to trial is not something anyone wants to go through, it may sometimes be necessary to fight for the compensation the law may entitle you to in your case.
Prepare for a Possible Trial
As an attorney works through preparing and filing an insurance claim and through negotiations, they understand that a trial could be necessary for some instances. Your attorney knows that each car accident case is unique and may present different challenges and obstacles as you seek compensation for your losses. Trials are not nearly as common as settlements in car accident cases, but they can happen.
A lawyer should give you peace of mind in knowing that if a trial becomes necessary, they will have the information, evidence, and understanding of your case to properly represent you in court and fight for your damages.
How Can the Statute of Limitations Affect Your Rights to Compensation After a Car Accident?
Statutes of limitations are legal deadlines that set how long a victim of a personal injury has to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. These timelines sometimes vary significantly from one state to another.
In states with short statutes of limitations, a victim could have only one year to file a legal action for their damages. In contrast, states with more generous statutes of limitations could give victims of a car accident upwards of four or more years to file a claim.
A car accident attorney knows the laws that apply in each state and how they will affect your case. When you have a lawyer representing you in a car accident claim, they know how long you have to act and what deadlines they must remain within to protect your rights.
When Is the Best Time to Call a Car Accident Attorney After a Crash?
You should treat the decision to contact a car accident attorney after a crash with urgency. While you may suffer injuries and require emergency treatment that delays your ability to call a lawyer, you must do so as soon as possible after the accident.
When you feel well enough to talk to an attorney about your case, you should call for a free case consultation.
The sooner you can contact a personal injury lawyer in Myrtle Beach and hire them in your case, the sooner you can focus on healing and let them handle the insurance companies and parties at fault through your claim and case.