A Lawyer Answers Common Car Accident Questions
If you have been in an accident and you’re wondering Should I get an attorney after a car accident?, here’s a quick and honest answer: not everyone needs an attorney after a car accident.
Even though I am a car accident lawyer, I firmly believe this. Just as you don’t need a real estate agent to sell a house or a certified public accountant to file your taxes, you don’t need to have an attorney to help you manage your car accident case.
Yet, the very reason we hire professionals — real estate agents, CPAs, and lawyers — is because they have skill sets that the rest of us simply don’t have. Professionals add value to our situations. The guidance insight of a professional can give you peace of mind that everything has been done the right way.
As a lawyer, I have bought and sold numerous houses. In each transaction, I have always had a real estate agent assisting me. I could certainly handle my own real estate transactions. However, I would rather have someone that does real estate every day by my side. I am capable of doing my own taxes, too, but I hire a CPA to help me to ensure everything is filed correctly.
The same goes for hiring an attorney to help you with your car accident claim. You simply have to decide if a legal professional’s help and peace of mind is worth the fees you may pay after your case settles or if it succeeds in court.
Why would you need a car accident lawyer? To answer this question, let me explain more about what a car accident lawyer does. This will help you make an educated decision about hiring a car accident lawyer to help you.
What a Car Accident Attorney Can Do To Help Your Case
- Establish a roadmap of what to expect: This ensures that you always know where your claim is headed and that no surprises pop up along the way.
- Protect your legal rights: Insurance companies and their attorneys are really proficient at getting you to say and do things that oppose your legal rights.
- Help you get treatment: If you are struggling to find doctors or get the medical treatment that you need to recover from your injuries, a good car accident attorney can put you in touch with medical providers who can help you.
- Construct a case value: Your compensation from a car accident is the sum of your economic damages (i.e. medical bills) and your non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering). You should expect your car accident lawyer to assist you in determining what your case is worth and how to properly present your claim to the opposing party.
- Draft and review all the paperwork that needs to be executed related to your case: When filing a car accident claim, there is more paperwork than you realize. Some of the language in these documents can be hard to understand. Your car accident attorney should review and explain everything before you sign it.
- File a lawsuit: Not all cases settle. If you find yourself filing a lawsuit, you would absolutely want to have a car accident lawyer representing you.
- Go to trial: Some cases end up in trial. This is a complicated and stressful situation to be in. An experienced attorney can help you pick a jury, present your case, and argue for fair and just compensation for your damages.
What a Car Accident Attorney Does Not Do
- Settle quickly: A car accident attorney should not settle your case too quickly. You only get one bite at the apple, so to speak. If you bite too soon, you could be left with lasting reminders of how poorly your case was handled.
- Provide jackpot justice: There is a misconception that car accident attorneys support the idea that because you have been hurt you should be entitled to millions of dollars. When you’re in an accident, you haven’t won the lottery. In fact, it’s the exact opposite: you’ve been hurt and now have to deal with the aftermath of a life-altering event. The law allows for you to be compensated — to “make you whole” or, in more simple terms, give you the right amount of money to balance the imbalance that has occurred in your life. That’s it. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less.
- Send you to “their” doctors: Although your car accident lawyer may work with many different medical professionals, your lawyer won’t have any of these doctors on retainer. There is no back room deal between the doctor and the attorney. Your attorney should provide you with medical recommendations. From there, you and your treatment providers work together to resolve your injuries.
- File frivolous lawsuits: The insurance industry loves to promote the idea that your lawsuit is frivolous and should be dismissed immediately. This is a bunch of rubbish! Car accident lawyers don’t file frivolous lawsuits. They file lawsuits because insurance companies treat your claim like it is frivolous. This is an important distinction.
- Guarantee anything: No car accident lawyer should be guaranteeing a certain outcome. The world of car accident law is difficult, confusing, complicated, consuming, and overly intense. There are many moving parts and there are certainly no guarantees.
“Should I Get an Attorney After a Car Accident?”: Answers to Questions We’re Frequently Asked
Here are some “no B.S.” responses to many questions that our attorneys at Negretti & Associates get asked about hiring car accident lawyers.
You don’t need a car accident lawyer to handle your case. But, more often than not, I would recommend that you have one. For reasons outlined above, you are making a choice to have someone help you.
First, if the accident was your fault, your insurance company will eventually appoint a defense attorney to represent you.
You do not need to hire a car accident lawyer if you are at fault. If you are not at fault, then see my previous answer.
Fairly quickly. This is because evidence can perish over time. If certain evidence isn’t preserved right after a car accident, then you may be at a disadvantage later on down the road.
It’s probably never too late, but you may have a hard time finding a good car accident lawyer the longer you wait. This is because some car accident lawyers prefer to be involved early on. Free piece of advice: If your deadline to file (statute of limitations) is rapidly approaching, seek out a car accident attorney immediately. Most attorneys won’t take on a case if your deadline is just a few weeks away.
No. Just like you don’t need a Realtor to buy a house. You have to decide if the value add is worth hiring a car accident attorney to help you.
Car accident lawyers do and do not do certain things. From a practical standpoint, typically the first thing a car accident lawyer does after you hire them is contact the insurance company and instruct them to stop contacting you. This allows you to receive treatment and get better without having the worry and concern of fielding phone calls from insurance adjusters. A good lawyer will ensure that you’re able to have the mental distance from your case, so that you can concentrate on healing.
Find a Car Accident Attorney in Arizona, California, or Colorado with Negretti & Associates
If you are considering hiring a car accident lawyer in Arizona, California, or Colorado, Negretti & Associates would be happy to see if we can help with your case.