If you are in an automobile accident, a car accident lawyer can help you to recover damages or to protect yourself if someone is suing you. Read on for the top 10 reasons to consult a car accident lawyer after a car accident.
You have the right to recover damages for a car accident: If someone is driving negligently or recklessly and causes you injury in an accident, you likely have the legal right to recover your damages.
You could potentially be sued by the other driver for liability: On the other hand, if the other party believes you are at fault, he could potentially file a lawsuit against you. This could mean that you- or your insurance company- could end up with a very large bill for someone else's injuries. This is true even if you were only partially at fault under comparative negligence rules, which means you can still be sued for a portion of the other driver's expenses and injury costs even if the other party shares the fault for causing the accident.
There is a statute of limitations for filing car accident injury claims: If you want to sue someone else for causing your injury in a car accident, you have to do so within the statute of limitations set by the state. If you don't sue within this period- which is normally from one to two years after the accident- you may lose your right to sue forever.
- There may be steps you need to take to preserve your right to sue: You may need to do certain things, such as filing a police report after the accident or collecting evidence or finding witnesses, in order to help you make your case. The sooner you find an attorney after your car accident, the more quickly you will know what you need to either bring a suit or defend yourself against one and the more likely your chances of being able to find that information.
- Your insurance company may not have the same agenda as you: If you are being sued, your insurance company is legally responsible for defending you. However, your insurance company may not be as focused on protecting your rights as they are on protecting theirs. In some cases, there may be a direct conflict of interest- such as when an insurance company may believe you were acting outside the terms of the policy and thus not entitled to coverage. Hiring your own attorney to talk to your insurance company and work with the legal representatives form the insurance agency may be a wise idea to ensure you have an advocate on your side.
- The extent of the damage may not be immediately obvious: What may seem like a minor fender bender may develop into something much more serious if you or the other party later develop an injury such as whiplash or soft tissue damage that was not immediately obvious at the scene of the accident. If you believe you may have been injured or injured someone, you should consider contacting an attorney as soon as possible for a consultation to see what you need to do to protect your rights.
- Most car accident lawyers will give a free consultation: If you aren't sure that you have a case, you may want to visit with an attorney for a consultation. This may be free or low cost, and he can help you determine if you have standing to sue or the potential to recover damages for your injuries.
- With many lawyers, you only pay if you win: If you are a plaintiff, then you may be able to hire an attorney on a contingent fee basis. This means he will evaluate whether you have a good case, and if he believes you do, he will agree to take you on as a client and get paid only if you win your case. This allows you to file a lawsuit without risking your personal assets and the potential of ending up with a loss and high legal bills.
- A car accident lawyer can help you determine who to sue and for what: There may be multiple different parties you can sue- such as the person driving the car, but also the employer of the person driving the car if the driver was engaged in doing work at the time of the accident. If one party is not sufficiently insured or doesn't have enough money to recover your damages, another party may... your car accident attorney can thus help you determine who all of the potential defendants are. He can also help you determine what damages- from actual medical bills to pain and suffering or punitive damages- that you may be entitled to.
- A car accident lawyer can help protect you if you are sued: If someone sues you, a car accident lawyer can help you to build a defense and to limit your liability for monetary loss as a result of the accident you caused.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an auto accident lawyer for advice regarding your individual situation.