After having been involved in an auto accident, many drivers simply aren’t sure whether or not they should seek the counsel of a lawyer. There is nothing set in stone but there are a few key indicators that would suggest whether or not it would be in your best interest to hire an experienced auto accident attorney with a history of winning for their clients. Here are a few things to consider.
How Serious Was the Accident?
The first thing you might want to consider before jumping the gun to call an auto accident attorney is just how serious was the accident? Were there any injuries? If so, how serious? The thing is, a simple cut or scrape doesn’t constitute a serious injury but if the injured party was taken to the hospital and required urgent care, you just might want to contact a lawyer before talking to the other insurance company.
Did Anyone Lose Significant Time from Work?
You may not consider the injuries ‘serious’ but if they were significant enough to require a number of days or weeks off work, then there is a possibility that an attorney could help get compensation deserved. Sometimes the injuries aren’t apparent on the first day or night but as time goes on, pain increases and there may be injuries that aren’t immediately apparent. This often happens when the injured party goes into shock. There is a defense mechanism that kicks in when the body is injured and often the person doesn’t realize it until the next day or even the day after that.
Is the ‘At-Fault’ Driver in Question?
Sometimes the at-fault driver is clearly recognizable from the very beginning. For example, if one driver runs a red light or drives off the road into a pedestrian on the sidewalk. However, there are a great number of times when both drivers feel the other was to blame and with conflicting sides of the story, it is often hard for even the police to determine who was at fault. Insurance companies aren’t always going to agree with what the police report indicates and lengthy litigation in court will often ensue.
Before Speaking with the Other Insurance Company
Whenever there is an auto accident, both insurance companies will want to speak with everyone involved. If the accident was any bigger than a minor fender bender, you may want to contact an auto accident attorney before speaking with the other driver’s insurance company. This is especially important if you or someone in your vehicle was injured seriously. If you are not at fault, the other insurance company will use every trick in the book not to pay out the compensation the injured party deserves.
So, the best advice when trying to figure out whether or not you should contact an attorney after an auto accident is to determine first if anyone was hurt or if there was significant property damage. If so, and you feel you should be compensated, then it is always advisable to get legal representation and then let your lawyer communicate with the insurance companies for you. It protects you and can often offer a bigger settlement out of court. When in doubt, call an attorney.