Car accidents are scary. Starting from the moment of impact, the last thing on your mind is dealing with the aftermath. When the dust settles and the wreckage remains, your first thoughts may not be to call a lawyer–yet you need someone to look out for your rights as you recover. Read on for reasons for how a lawyer can help following a car accident.
- Advise you on the process and your legal rights
A lawyer can help you get compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and car repairs–but you must first what you are getting into and what rights you have in the first place.
Since everything after an accident can be used as evidence, it’s essential to know your rights immediately following a car accident. For example, you have the right to protect yourself against adverse legal consequences and have no moral or legal obligation to admit fault. Your lawyer will also advise you in the best next possible steps in getting the most compensation for any damage.
- Help gather evidence to determine negligence
Determining fault in a car accident is necessary in order to file insurance claims correctly. If you are found to be at fault, you run the risk of having your car insurance costs increase in the future. A lawyer can help you avoid any missteps during the initial investigation as evidence is gathered.
A lawyer will be able to find the proper evidence to ensure you get the proper compensation, as they are trained to look out for things that you may not notice. A lawyer will also protect you by communicating with the insurance company so you don’t unwittingly admit fault.
- Navigating insurance claims
After evidence is gathered and fault is determined, insurance claims must be filed. A lawyer will help you through this process so you can include all required details, documentation, and evidence.
Deadlines for filing claims vary across states–and what you can file for is different to. 16 states require no-fault insurance, and require you to file through personal injury protection before using your regular health insurance.
This kind of insurance can pay for:
- Lost wages
- Some house care expenses
- Funeral expenses
However, it doesn’t cover the following expenses:
- Damage to your vehicle.
Damage to other people’s property.
- Medical expenses that exceed your coverage limits.
In states without no-fault coverage, typical insurance claims may be paid out as follows:
- Bodily injury liability coverage if you’re injured in an accident caused by another driver
- Medical payments coverage if you’re injured in an accident you cause
Considering there are many different types of coverages, contacting a lawyer can help make this as seamless a process as possible.
- Support for additional filings
If you are unsatisfied with the amount you are receiving from insurance, you may also wish to file a lawsuit to cover medical costs, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. A lawyer can help you figure out what lawsuits can be pursued and which ones are worth taking to court. As laws vary state-to-state, they will know what is permissible and would be in your best interest.