“I’ve had a car accident, should I get a lawyer?” If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re not alone. After a car accident, it’s common to wonder if you really need an attorney or if you can handle the matter yourself. The short answer is that legal representation is usually a good idea – let’s consider seven reasons why.
1. Build a Strong Case
To make a car accident claim, you must prove that:
- Another party owed you a duty of care (e.g. all drivers are expected to drive with due care and attention to keep others safe).
- The other party breached this duty of care by behaving carelessly or recklessly.
- You were injured or suffered loss in the resulting accident.
- The harm or losses occurred due to the other party’s negligence.
It’s not always easy to prove a car accident case, depending on what evidence is available. However, a lawyer will help you make the most of the evidence you have, such as medical bills, photographs, and accident reports, to get a fair settlement.
With a lawyer’s help, you may be able to claim a wide range of damages, including compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Traveling expenses
In wrongful death claims, a lawyer can help you pursue damages on your loved one’s behalf.
2. Prove Liability
You need to show that (at least) one other party is to blame for your injuries or else you might not have a compensation claim. A lawyer can help to identify the link between someone else’s negligence and your personal injuries.
Are you worried that you might be at least partly to blame for the accident? This is not uncommon. In Texas, you can still claim compensation so long as you were 50% or less to blame for the accident. So, if you’re half responsible for the accident, or only partly at fault, you can still pursue damages.
Comparative negligence rules can be complex. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure the fairest possible outcome in the circumstances.
3. Sue the Right Parties
Sometimes, it’s obvious who is at fault for a car crash. However, in some cases, there’s more than one party to blame, or it might not be clear where the fault lies. For example, if there’s a car accident, you might be able to sue parties including:
- At fault driver (defendant)
- Vehicle manufacturer
- Defendant’s employer (if the other driver was on the job at the time)
- Car mechanic
If you don’t sue the right parties, you won’t recover the full amount of damages you’re actually entitled to. An attorney will carefully consider the facts of your case and ensure that all relevant parties are included in the action.
4. Negotiate a Fair Settlement
If you’re unfamiliar with the claims process, you might not know what makes a settlement offer “fair”. Insurance companies might take advantage of your inexperience by accepting liability and making a low offer to settle the claim quickly.
At the AK Law Firm, our attorneys have the knowledge to understand what makes a settlement offer fair and reasonable. We will use our experience to help you decide whether to accept or reject an offer based on the facts of your case.
5. Meet Legal Deadlines
Insurers have deadlines for filing car accident reports. The deadline varies by policy; however, it’s normally around 30 days. Hiring an attorney can help to ensure you file your claim on time.
What’s more, there are strict time limits for filing personal injury claims. Under Section 16.003 of the Texas Civil Code, you normally have two years from the accident date to file a lawsuit (although there are some important exceptions).
If you don’t file your claim in time, you can’t claim damages. Hiring a car accident lawyer ensures you won’t lose out on damages due to missing key deadlines.
6. Prepare for Trial
Most car accident claims settle outside of the courtroom. However, it’s sometimes necessary to go to trial to get clients the damages they deserve.
Formal legal proceedings are not something you should attempt to handle alone. An experienced lawyer will be your best advocate, presenting a compelling case on your behalf and pushing for a fair outcome. They’ll also ensure you understand the pros and cons associated with going to trial so you feel in control of the process.
7. Focus on Recovery
If you’re injured or in pain, the last thing you want to do is handle stressful negotiations. When you hire a lawyer, you can focus on resting while they handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. You can prioritize recovery and move forward with your life rather than stressing over how to deal with insurance companies.
When Should I Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
You can hire an attorney immediately after a crash – there’s no reason to delay. However, if you didn’t hire a car accident lawyer right away, don’t panic. Just contact the AK Law Firm at your earliest convenience to go over your case.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
When you make a car accident claim, you need to have suffered some form of loss to be successful. So, you might not need an attorney if:
- There are no injuries
- There’s no property damage
If you only have minor injuries or it’s a fender-bender with minimal damage, you might not need a lawyer. However, it’s always worth discussing your case with an experienced attorney, especially if you plan on making an insurance claim or you were partly at fault for the accident.
Hire Car Accident Attorneys in Texas
Is it good to get a lawyer for a car accident? Absolutely. Every car accident case is unique and legal proceedings can be complicated. If you’re injured in a car crash, a lawyer can give you the support and guidance you need to make a successful accident claim.