Every year, about 3 million people sustain injuries from car accidents in the U.S. alone. If you're a driver, chances are you may have already gotten into an accident. It could be a minor one, like bumping into a signpost while parking, or a major one involving several vehicles and casualties.
But whether you have caused the accident or not, you may wonder whether there's a need to hire an auto accident attorney. Below are four warning signs an attorney is needed.
There Are Liability Disputes
If your accident involves two or more parties, it may not be clear who's at fault. The other party may even try to shift the blame on you. An attorney can collect evidence and review the specifics of the case to ensure you're not unfairly blamed.
Additionally, your state may be operating under 'at fault laws.' Under these laws, you must be less than 50% responsible for an accident for you to recover damages. Typically, these cases end up in a court to be reviewed by a judge. Your lawyer will represent your case and convince the judge you're less than half at fault for the crash.
You Sustained Severe Injuries
You may have suffered severe injuries that lead to permanent impairments, disabilities, or long-term trauma. Hence, you may need ongoing medical care that extends to thousands of dollars.
You deserve adequate compensation to cover your losses. However, it may be difficult for you to estimate the value of your damages correctly. Luckily, an auto accident lawyer has handled similar cases before and can correctly estimate the cost of damages. If you're unable to continue work, they'll also factor in the losses.
Your Insurer Offers You a Low Settlement
Your insurance company may present a low settlement that doesn't match your injuries or car damage. This is especially common if you don't have an attorney, as they know you're more likely to accept the first settlement offered.
Understand that a settlement can be several thousand dollars and still be inadequate. Think how much you stand to lose if you lost your job due to long-term injuries. A lawyer will consider all factors involved and then argue your case to your insurer, so you can receive fair compensation.
Someone Died in the Accident
Irrespective of whether you have caused the accident or not, you need an attorney by your side if a person has died in the accident. If the other motorist or one of their passengers has died, you can expect they'll do everything possible to seek restitution for their loss. An attorney will represent you to ensure the compensation amount agreed is fair to both sides.
If one of your passengers has died, you want a peaceful time to mourn your loved one. Your lawyer will handle the case to ensure those at fault for the accident are held responsible.