If you’ve been injured in a collision, where can you get good, reliable car accident legal advice? While you can find plenty of information online, in order to get legal advice, you will need to contact a local attorney.
When you get injured in a car accident, almost everything you say and do can have an impact on your financial recovery. This starts as soon as the accident happens, and it doesn’t end until your case is over. As a result, it is extremely important to get reliable car accident legal advice from an experienced attorney. Fortunately, finding an attorney is easy, and you can get a free consultation online 24/7.
Car accidents happen every day. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of car accident victims hire attorneys to represent them. For those who have been seriously injured, this proves to be an extraordinarily costly mistake. In addition to out-of-pocket costs (i.e. medical bills and prescriptions costs), serious injuries can lead to loss of earnings, emotional trauma, chronic pain, and other significant losses as well.
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What Legal Advice Do You Need After a Car Accident?
With this in mind, if you have been injured in a collision, you owe it to yourself to get car accident legal advice from a local attorney. Since your initial consultation is completely free, you have no reason not to consult with an attorney about your legal rights. Here are 10 examples of the types of questions a local attorney can help you answer:
- What Should You Say to Your Insurance Company?
- How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim?
- What Type(s) of Claim(s) Can You File?
- Are You Entitled to Compensation Outside of Car Insurance?
- How Much Compensation are You Entitled to Recover?
- What Should You Be Doing While Your Case is Pending?
- What Should You NOT Be Doing While Your Case is Pending?
- Is It Okay to Work (and Do Other Activities) While Your Case is Pending?
- When Should You Consider Settling a Car Accident Claim?
- What are Your Chances of Winning if You Don’t Settle?
Most auto insurance policies require drivers to report all accidents regardless of fault and regardless of the severity of the collision. But, while you may need to report your accident, you also need to be very careful not to provide any more information than is absolutely necessary?
Why? Because when you have an insurance claim, your insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible. So, the more information you provide, the greater the chance that your insurance company will use your own words against you. Insurance companies will try to get drivers to make assumptions as well; and, even if you say you think you might have been at fault, there is a very good chance that this will cause problems for your claim.
When it comes to the car accident legal advice you need after a collision, one of the first pieces of advice you need is how to deal with your insurance company. A local attorney can tell you what to say (and not say), and perhaps even file your claim for you.
Most auto insurance policies also specify a deadline for filing a claim after an accident. This deadline is typically much shorter than the statute of limitations (often measured in days or weeks rather than years).
Your attorney can advise you of how long you have to file an insurance claim under the terms of you policy and your state’s law. Deadlines vary from insurance company and from state to state, so you need advice that is tailored to your particular set of circumstances.
There are four main types of auto insurance that cover accident-related injuries. Depending on (i) your insurance coverage, (ii) the other driver’s insurance coverage, and (iii) your state’s law, you could have a single auto insurance claim, or you could be entitled to multiple forms of coverage.
For example, several states have “no fault” insurance laws that require drivers to carry personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay) coverage. In these states, filing a PIP or MedPay claim is usually your first option, but you can usually also file a fault-based claim if the other driver caused (or contributed to causing) the accident.
Filing a fault-based claim involves seeking coverage under the other driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy or your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) policy. An attorney can give you advice about what type(s) of claims you should file, and your attorney can handle your claim(s) on your behalf.
Another important piece of car accident legal advice you need is whether you are entitled to compensation outside of car insurance. This could be the case if:
- The other driver was working at the time of the accident;
- An issue with your vehicle caused (or contributed to causing) the accident;
- An issue with the other driver’s vehicle played a role in the accident;
- An issue with the road played a role in the accident; or,
- You were hit by a drunk driver.
If you have a claim outside of car insurance, then it may be possible to recover significantly more for your accident related losses. This is because most auto insurance policies have policy limits that are relatively low compared to the commercial liability insurance policies carried by big companies.
When you get injured in a car accident, it is absolutely essential to determine how much you are entitled to recover. If you don’t know how much you are entitled to recover, you won’t know when to settle, and this means that you will almost certainly either (i) settle for less than you deserve, or (ii) reject a fair settlement offer and risk ending up with nothing.
This is perhaps the single most-important piece of car accident legal advice you need. Once you understand the extent of your current and future losses, then this will guide the rest of your decisions. It will help you take your case seriously, it will help you understand the importance of hiring an attorney, and it will help you make smart decisions about when (and if) to settle your claim.
When you get injured in a car accident, filing a claim is just the start of the recovery process. As the process progresses, you will need to be very careful to ensure you do everything that is necessary. There are several steps you will need to take—and there are even more steps that your attorney will need to take for you. Your attorney can explain everything you need to do in order to give yourself the best chance of recovering maximum compensation.
Just as important as knowing what to do after a collision is knowing what not to do. When providing you with car accident legal advice, your attorney can explain all of the various mistakes you need to avoid.
For example your attorney can tell you what not to post on social media that the insurance companies might try to use against you. Your attorney can also help you avoid saying the wrong things to insurance adjusters, and he or she can help make sure you do not settle too soon.
Another common mistake people make is returning to work before they are ready. While this might seem like the right thing to do – and while it might seem necessary if you rely on your paycheck to pay your bills – it can have a devastating impact on your claim(s) after a car accident. If you return to work (or resume other physical activity) too soon, the insurance companies will say that (i) your injuries must be minor, (ii) your pain must not be that bad, and (iii) any future pain or side effects must be the result of your own actions.
At the same time, when you can return to work, you should return to work. When providing you with car accident legal advice, your attorney can help you make the right decision about when (and if) to go back to your old job.
We’ve touched on this already; but, when you have a car accident claim, you need to be extremely careful not to settle your claim too soon. Along with calculating your losses, helping you decide when to settle is among the most-important pieces of car accident legal advice an attorney can offer.
Why? Because once you settle, your claim is over. When you sign your settlement agreement, you will waive your right to seek any additional compensation for the effects of your injuries. If you accept a low-dollar settlement, that’s on you, and you will need to find another way to cover the financial and non-financial costs of your injuries.
When deciding whether to accept or reject a settlement offer, there are two main factors you need to consider: (i) how close is the offer to providing full compensation for your losses, and (ii) what are your chances of recovering more if you take your claim(s) to court.
In many cases, car accident victims need to balance these factors carefully. Is it worth it to reject an offer—and potentially have to take your chances in court? Or, based on the totality of the circumstances, is it in your best interests to settle and move on? These are not easy questions to answer, and in order to make the right decisions you will need to rely on car accident legal advice from an experienced local attorney.
Where Can You Get Free Car Accident Legal Advice?
Are you looking for free car accident legal advice? If so, you can contact a local attorney 24/7 through CarAccidentSource.com. We help connect car accident victims with local attorneys in all 50 states, and virtually all lawyers handle car accident cases on a contingency-fee basis.
With contingency-fee representation, your initial consultation is completely free, and you only pay legal fees if you receive compensation for your injuries. Your attorney will provide you with legal advice throughout your claim—while fighting to recover the compensation you deserve.