Car accidents are a ubiquitous occurrence throughout the nation. Recent road safety facts show that thousands of people die in car accidents each year in the U.S., and millions more get seriously injured. You can file a claim against the at-fault party and receive financial compensation for your injuries and damages in almost all states.
Even though the law entitles you to file a claim, that doesn’t mean you automatically get a settlement. You still have to negotiate and prove what happened. Doing so can be highly challenging, especially when you’re still injured. That’s why it’s vital to hire a car accident attorney as soon as you can.
When Is the Best Time to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
The best time to hire a car accident attorney is right after getting medical treatment. You want to get professional legal assistance as soon as possible because the insurance company may try to contact you. Insurance adjusters love to speak to car accident victims soon after their accident to try and convince them to accept a fast settlement.
Try not to speak to any insurance adjuster. Most important of all, never verbally agree to anything or sign any document. Anything you say or do will get used against you, and there’s no reason to believe the insurance company is on your side.
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Why Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me?
Car accidents happen frequently. In fact, just recently, in 2020, the U.S. saw the highest car accident death rate in 13 years. You would assume that every car accident victim would get compensation, but this isn’t always the case.
Out of the hundreds of thousands of injuries and fatalities from car crashes reported by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (FHSMV) crash dashboard, There are many that get denied when they file their claims.
Insurance companies are businesses, and their main goal is to get you to settle for less with a quick settlement offer. While you don’t explicitly need a lawyer to help you file a claim, a lawyer can help you immensely and increase the chances of you winning a settlement that accurately accounts for all your damages.
Insurance companies love to use stall tactics and drag out the negotiation process. In doing so, they know that you will suffer financially from your damages. This makes you more likely to accept whatever offer they give you. An experienced car accident lawyer won’t let them get away with this and assist you in your efforts to get compensated fairly.
What Exactly Will a Car Accident Attorney Do for Me?
There are several things a car accident attorney can do for you. All of them will help you build a strong case and ensure that you get a voice during negotiations or at trial.
After your accident, you may be too hurt to collect any evidence. Car accident attorneys can send accident investigators and other experts to collect evidence on your behalf. Using this evidence, your attorney can prove negligence and hold the at-fault party liable for your damages.
Handling All Your Communications
Many car accident victims can sabotage their case by saying the wrong things to the wrong people. Until your settlement gets secured, it’s best to watch how you act and sound, as the insurance companies can use that against you.
To ensure the strength of your case and keep your life private, a car accident attorney can handle all your communications with other parties.
Taking Care of All Your Legal Affairs
Going through a car accident can leave you with severe and traumatic injuries that will require your undivided attention to recover from. Your mental and physical health is the priority above anything else. While you recover and heal from your accident, your car accident attorney will handle all your legal affairs to ensure you can get the best settlement possible.
What If I’m In a No-Fault State?
Some states, like Florida, follow a no-fault rule, which means you can’t file a claim against another party, even if they were at fault for your accident. All parties involved must file a claim with their own insurance company. Even then, you should still hire a lawyer to help you navigate the claims process.
Just because you file a claim with your own insurance company doesn’t mean they will settle fairly with you. All insurance companies try to save as much money as possible to protect their bottom line. Don’t forego legal representation even if you’re in a no-fault state.
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How Do I Find a Good Car Accident Attorney?
Many law firms and shady car accident attorneys out there only seek to exploit car accident victims for their money. In general, you should look for these qualities in a car accident attorney:
- Experience and good client testimonials
- Free consultations at no risk or obligation to you
- A transparent payment structure built on a contingency fee basis
- No upfront fees required
Trustworthy attorneys will never push you and will always be honest about their assessment of your case. As long as these basic criteria get met, you shouldn’t have any hesitation about hiring a lawyer.
How Much Does It Cost to Retain a Car Accident Attorney?
Car accident attorneys that operate out of a contingency fee basis take a portion of the settlement you receive from the insurance company. How much the fee will be depends highly on several factors surrounding your case and the workload associated with it. For an accurate estimation, it’s best to get a free case review and consultation.
Remember the Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations varies in every state. In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Whatever deadline you have, it’s always best to take action as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it is to prove negligence. Evidence and memory can fade rapidly as the days go by. Even though it’s not smart to blindly file your claim, neither is waiting until the last minute.
Get in Touch With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
Remember, after a car accident, you aren’t alone. Not only is the law on your side, but our car accident lawyers are also here to help you too. We can get you the legal assistance and support you need to stand a fighting chance against the insurance company. Don’t hesitate to contact the experienced car accident attorneys at the Eltringham Law Group to learn more.